Screenmobile Tech servicing a window screen affixed to a home.
How to Rescreen Your Patio or Porch

A screen adds a lot to your patio or porch, meaning you can sit out comfortably without worrying about insects crashing the party. They can also be used for shielding your porch furniture and flooring from the worst of the sun’s rays or keeping curious pets or toddlers. Over time though, the screen itself or its fittings can get damaged or torn, either defeating its purpose or just not looking the best when that happens. It’s probably time to consider rescreening your outside living areas.

Porch and patio screen repair can actually be done successfully yourself, as a two-person job, if you go about it the right way. The cost to rescreen porch and patio areas yourself is pretty reasonable, though a lot will depend on the type of screen you want to use. To be ready for full use in the summer, spring is the best time to do your porch and patio screen repair.

Here we’ll look at how to rescreen a porch or patio, what you’ll need for the job and give you a step-by-step guide to help you rescreen patio and porch areas.

How to Rescreen Patio and Porch Areas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Work Out What Materials You’ll Need

The first thing you’ll have to do before starting to rescreen patio or porch spaces is to put a plan in place and figure out what you’ll need to make it happen. For our guide, we’re going to go with the more modern way to install the screening using splining rather than tacking or stapling the screen up, but either way, the basics are much the same. You’ll want to work out the width of your largest screen space as that’ll be the length of the screen roll you’re buying, which can come be anywhere from 2ft to 8ft. Don’t worry about the length, as you’ll be cutting off whatever’s unneeded, and rolls can be up to 100ft long, so you’ll most likely always have enough.

With the splining method, you’ll also want base strips, cap strips, spline and a spline roller (or mouse). In terms of tools, you’ll want a straight-edge knife or scissors for trimming the screen, pliers or a hook to take out previous tacks, staples or spline, and some 1-inch wood or drywall screws. A cordless drill would be best for fixing the screws, but it’s not 100% essential.

Step 2: Picking Your Screen Material

The biggest decision when looking to rescreen patio or porch areas is what type of screen material you’ll be installing. The most common and cheapest option is fiberglass which is also quite lightweight and easy to install and attach yourself. However, fiberglass can tear quite easily, which is why other people go for aluminum, which won’t tear but can dent. Then there are also considerations such as pets, which will definitely try and scratch or bulldoze their way through a porch screen if there’s something they want on the other side. In that case, it’s best to go for pet-resistant screen material, which is made of PVC-coated polyester fibers.

Step 3: Put Up Base Strips

To rescreen patio or porch spaces with splining first, you need to put up the strips that the spline will run into. The base strips will have two grooves running along their length, into which the spline will be pressed to hold the screen in place. The strips are generally 8ft long and can be easily cut to get the right length. However, it’s best to measure the width of your porch posts to get base strips that fit as closely as possible so there’s less of a contrast when they’re up. To attach them, run the 1-inch wood screws through the holes on the base strips and use a drill (quick) or screwdriver (slow) to fix them.

If you’ve already installed the base strips from your previous porch screening, then remove the spline and old screen material at this juncture. Take the opportunity to clean down the strips, especially the grooves, so the rescreening will be as smooth as possible.

Step 4: Attach the Screening

Now to the main act, putting up the screen itself, which will be done with spline, a hard rubber or vinyl cable. Measure out the screen for a specific section and cut it long, don’t worry about there being too much. You’ll be trimming it down afterward, anyway. Pull the screen material tight and get whoever’s helping you to hold it in place. Run the spline through the spline roller and, starting at the top or one end, run the spline into the grooves on the base strip. The tightness of the spline in the groove will hold the screen tight in place. Run your hand along the different sections to make sure it’s at the tightness you want. As it’s an easy process, if you find slack or aren’t happy with how it appears, feel free to take out the spline and start again.

Step 5: Applying the Finish

Once the screen is attached, there are a few tasks needed to finish the job well and make it something you’re proud to look at. First, go around the edges with the flat blade knife or scissors to trim off any excess screen material that came out the other side. When that’s done, take your cap strips and fit them over the base strips, this will give them a tidier, cleaner finish and prevent anyone or anything from getting at the spline. Press these in with your hand, and either lightly beat them into place with the soft end of your fist or with a rubber hammer if you have one. You can also take the opportunity to rescreen patio door or window fittings if you have them.

Final Thoughts on Rescreening your Porch or Patio 

Patio and porch screens are great for giving more utility to your outdoor spaces. If you’re looking to rescreen patio and porch spaces, you’re in luck, as it’s quite possible to take on the job yourself with the help of a friend, some measuring tape, screen roll, spline and a few other essentials. However, if you fancy leaving the rescreening job to the professionals at Screenmobile, we’re always happy to help. All of our screens are guaranteed to fit, and our specialist fitters have a wealth of experience in helping people find the perfect patio or porch screen for their needs.

To find out more about getting a full rescreening of your porch or patio with Screenmobile, go here to find your nearest Screenmobile operator.

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