I don’t mind the squirrels taking their turn at the bird feeder, but our dog seems to have developed a personal vendetta against the critters. He is so vehemently opposed to the squirrels that he managed to get through the screen of the patio door, leaving a large hole in the bottom third.
Not only was this hole unsightly, but the warmer weather means mosquitoes, flies and gnats are active. Replacing the screen quickly moved to the top of the priority list. Fortunately, it’s an easy project to do yourself.
But please note, you will be able to do a simple screen door repair without the experience and knowledge that a professional has, however if what you need is some custom screen doors & repairs then it’s highly recommended to opt for professional help and you’ll get a brilliant customization and repair job.
The first step was to remove the screen door from the frame. Since the entire door slides on flexible rollers, I raised the frame until the bottom edge of the rollers cleared the edge, then angled the door out from the bottom.
The next stop was the hardware store, where I found a huge variety of materials and supplies. There are basically two types of replacement screen material: wire and fiberglass. Both are sold in rolls and are offered in shades of black, white, or charcoal.
There are also a couple of specialty fabrications, including wire mesh with smaller holes designed to block “no see ums” and a heavier duty “pet” fiberglass option.
Although our old screen was wire, I decided to try the pet-friendly fiberglass. The standard patio door size roll measures 36 × 84″, although both larger and smaller rolls are available.
The next option was the screen’s slotted flexible tubing that holds the screen in place. Sold in rolls and available in different widths and two colors, the slot is inserted between the screen mesh and a narrow slot along the edge of the door frame. I chose the narrower gauge because pet mesh was a thicker screen and I wanted to make sure it would fit securely into the existing slot.
Before starting to work, I needed a more specialized tool: a knurled roller, the tool you would use to fit the knurl into the slot in the door (available on Amazon). For a small or single-use job, the plastic version is fine; If you have multiple door and window screens to replace, you may want to purchase the wooden tool.
Armed with my materials, I headed home and gathered a few more tools, including a regular skinny screwdriver, needle nose pliers, regular pliers, and a knife with a new blade.
I inserted the tip of the screwdriver into a corner of the door frame and plucked out the old knurled material with the pliers, being careful not to bend the metal edges of the groove. Once I removed the old slot and cracked screen, I thoroughly cleaned the door frame.
I unrolled the new fiberglass screen on the door, making sure to overlap all the edges. Then, starting at one corner, I used the concave end of the knurled roller to gently push the knurl and screen into the metal groove.
However, before I went too far, I noticed that the mesh didn’t go in evenly. So, I carefully pulled out the slot and screen, put the screen back on the frame, and tried again. This time I placed light clamps on the corners to hold the screen in place and placed my free hand firmly on the frame to keep the mesh from shifting.
Once I had the groove and screen in place on all four sides, I used the convex end of the grooved roller to firmly push everything into place and, using the utility knife, trim off the excess screen material. I put the screen door back in the frame and sat down with an iced tea to enjoy the fresh spring breeze.