Replacing an aluminum screen is an easy task. Screening comes in metal or fiberglass. Whichever you use, replacing an aluminum screen on a screen door is a useful skill to have and one you're likely to need several times over the years to come — particularly if you have kids or pets.
Get your replacement screen at a home center or hardware store. Be sure to choose a screen that is a few inches longer and wider than your screen opening. For this project you'll also need a splining roller, a work surface, a pair of pliers (or an awl). If your replacement screen is larger than necessary, you'll need a pair of scissors strong enough to cut through the material you purchased.
Remove the frame and lay it flat on a work surface.
Remove the screen in its frame from the door and lay it flat on a workbench or a set of sawhorses.
Pry the spline out of the groove on the back of the frame.
Use small pliers or a carpenter’s awl to pry the spline out of the groove. If the corners are tight, use a screwdriver to remove the spline. If the spline appears to be in good shape, set it aside for use with the new screen.
If the spline is brittle or cracked, you must replace it with a new spline (available at hardware stores).
Lift out the damaged screen.
Holey screens let in insects — and bats, if the hole is big enough.
Wipe the spline groove clean.
Be sure that you remove even the tiniest grit. You can use the tip of a screwdriver or awl to get into the groove if necessary.
Lay the new aluminum screen over the frame.
Be sure that it overlaps the groove by at least 1/8 inch on all four sides.
Cut the screen at a 45-degree angle at the corners.
Cut off the corners of the screen at a 45-degree angle, just inside the outer edge of the spline groove.
Press the screen into the groove using the convex end of the splining roller.
Hold the roller at a 45-degree angle toward the inside edge of the groove and then roll downward to press the screen into the groove.
Hold the screen taut across the frame as you roll it into place. Sags and wrinkles are about as attractive on screen doors as they are on people.
Press the spline into the groove using the concave end of the roller.
Tip: Don’t cut the spline at the corners: Instead, bend the spline around the corners and install it in one continuous piece. When you position it tightly in the groove, the spline holds the screen in place.
Trim away excess screen.
Place the tip of the knife between the spline and the outside edge of the spline groove and pull the knife slowly along the entire groove perimeter.