Design & DIY

2 simple screen door fixes

Screen door

While the main doors on your castle handle security, your screen and storm doors protect your cottage too. They won’t stop the bears, but storms will keep out the weather and, provided your screen doors continue to make a pleasing “thwack-latch” sound when the kids run through, they’ll keep out the creepy-crawlies. Here are some tune-up tips.

Replacing a screen held by moulding
On a wooden door, the screen is often held with staples, finishing nails, and wooden moulding. Using a utility knife, score paint seams around the moulding; remove the moulding with a small pry bar or putty knife. Pull nails out the back with pliers—don’t damage the moulding by hammering nails back through the face. Cut the new screen a few inches oversized on all sides. After you’ve stapled the screen on one side, wrap the screen around a length of the moulding or dowel on the opposite side to tug it taut. When it’s stapled all around, nail the mouldings back on, with a brad every 6″ or so.

Replacing a splined-in screen
After prying out the spline and removing the screen, clean the groove with an old toothbrush. Sometimes you can reuse the spline, but it’s often toast. Just make sure to buy a same-sized replacement. Cut new screen about 1″ oversized all around, and begin by pinching in place down one side with the spline and a spline roller—work in one direction only, going slowly to avoid cutting the screen with the roller. Once the screen is in the groove on all sides, go over the spline a second time with more pressure to seat it tightly, alternating between opposite sides of the screen. Carefully trim excess screen with a sharp utility knife.