Author Topic: Window screens + exterior shutters  (Read 703 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Window screens + exterior shutters
« on: February 21, 2020, 09:38:52 AM »
My next DIY project (after the deck painting) are the exterior windows.

Two separate issues with them:
1. The window screens need to be replaced. These are the bug screens outside the window (not sure if there are other technical names for it). They have ripped in places, and almost all of them act more like a nest of bugs and spiders now rather than keeping them out.

Are there some standard size screens available for purchase from HomeDepot/Lowes etc? Do I just show up with measurement in hand in these stores and buy them?
As you can probably tell from my questions - I am a novice on these things. So anything specific I need to keep in mind?

2. The street facing external windows have those decorative shutters (i.e. they are screwed fixed and don't move) that need to be replaced. They are made of cheap vinyl that has faded over the years and looks awful now.
What should I replace them with? Vinyl again? Any suggestions on what a good value options that will not cost much, look nice and last long?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Window screens + exterior shutters
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 09:54:07 AM »
I have tried replacing screens myself but it is fussy work, sometimes need special tools (depends on manufacturer) and if not done well can end up with wrinkles. In my town at least, I just take them down to the local glass replacement shop and they also do screens. I think it costs me about $10 to $15 a window, almost all of it labor.

As for shutters, replacement vinyl shutters like what you have are very cheap, come in standard sizes and are pretty easy DIY to swap out. I would just grab the measurements, head down to the your nearest big box store and pick them out. Mine carries a few colors so if they are special colors, you may have to order them online. When I had a house with those, I replaced them when I repainted and probably would have continued to just do it every time I painted since I had to take them off anyway to paint the house. I suspect after 10 fifteen years in the sun they will be faded again.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Window screens + exterior shutters
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2020, 12:49:34 PM »
Replacing the screens is easy.

 Last year I started the process of replacing every screen in our house. They were the old aluminum/shiny style and absolutely filthy.

 Just go down to your home improvement store and buy a roll of screen. You can buy good, better, or best. Higher price means easier to see through. Then you buy a cheap plastic tool, and some spline. It's all going to be in the same area, so easy to find.

 When you take the screen frame out of the window, you'll see that the screen is held in place by the spline which runs all the way around in a groove. You'll use pliers to pull the spline out, throw it and the old screen away, wash down the dirty old frame. Then cut screen to fit, with several inches overhang all the way around. Then put the spline in one corner and start working your way around using the tool.
 It takes a bit to figure out the best way to do it, but it's easy to figure out. I've never done it in my life and didn't find it complicated. You'll learn that you can't pull the screen too tight, or you'll twist the frame. If you don't pull it snug enough, your screen will have waves. You'll figure it out. Also, it is easy to pull on the overhanging screen to "pop" the spline back out of the groove, then tighten or loosen the screen and redo the spline.
 I'm sure there's youtube videos that explain it far better.

But just wanted to assure you that it's an easy diy project and SO worth it. I replaced two screens on one side of my house and those windows looked night and day different from the street than the tired old screens. Amazing! Plus, SO much easier to see outside.
 I'm looking forward to getting the rest of ours done this spring.