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How to Install Custom Window Screens in Old Window Frames

How do you install custom window screens that you make from screen repair kits?

I showed you how to make the window screens in a prior post. And this skill comes in handy when your screens are blown away or destroyed by rainstorms.

As I write this post we’re getting hit by a storm that’s the result of a hurricane going up the east coast. You’d think that Pittsburgh being inland wouldn’t suffer from crazy wind and rain, but we did. I sure hope the sump pump is working.

Today you’ll discover just how easy it is to install your new screen. And if you use sheet metal screws during this process you’ll likely never have to worry about your screens blowing away.

Here are the supplies you’ll need for this project:

  • Drill (Ridgid 3/8 inch corded drill)
  • 7/64 Titanium Drill Bit
  • 1/2″ Hex Head Sheet Metal Screws
  • Plastic Window Screen Turn Buttons
  • Duct Tape ($3.98)
  • Gumption (No cost just the fuel you’ll need to do projects)

The total cost for everything is $71.03. 

But if you can borrow someone’s drill or have your own the budget is $11.06. Not a bad price for peace of mind.

The total time to do this project is roughly 7 minutes. And once you understand how to install one window screen the rest are no problem.

I promise you’ll be pleased with the results and that it would take hurricane-strength winds to dislodge the screens.

So let’s get on to the fun stuff!


Drilling Holes Into the Window Frame

Why do you need to drill holes into your window frame?

The turn buttons that hold the window screen in place need to be secured to the window frame. It’s that simple.

Place the window screen into the window frame and hold it in place with 4 pieces of duct tape.

You should place the duct tape on the corners of the screen. The tape should then span the screen and stick to the window frame.

Install Custom Window Screens-Adding duct tape to the 4 corners of the screen

The 7/64 drill bit will grab hold of the duct tape and allow you to drill a hole in the window frame without the drill “walking” all over the slick sheet metal.

The hole should be about 1/4 inch from the edge of the window screen frame.

Install Custom Window Screens-Drill holes into the window frame

I also use this same technique when I have to drill into ceramic or porcelain tile.

Here’s my video that shows you how to install your custom window screens. But I’ll also include a complete step-by-step guide with detailed instructions. When you’re done watching the video scroll down the rest of this page for additional pictures and tips.

Adding Turn Buttons to the Window Frame

The nylon turn buttons hold the custom window screen to the window frame. I bought these at Lowe’s here in the states but I’m sure you can find a similar product at other hardware stores.

Install Custom Window Screens-Turn buttons hold the custom window screen to the window frame

Use the sheet metal screws you bought separately to secure the turn buttons to the window frame. I tried using the screws that came with the turn buttons but they didn’t work well.

Install Custom Window Screens-Sheet metal screws should be used to secure turn buttons

The sheet metal screws can be tightened using a screwdriver or drill. I prefer to use my drill because it can get the screws nice and tight.

Install Custom Window Screens-Four turn buttons hold the window screen in place

There should be a total of 4 turn buttons that hold the custom window screen in place. Each turn button can be placed at the four corners of the window screen for a tight fit.

What’s Next

I hope this tutorial was helpful and shows you how easy it was to do this project.

As I mentioned in the beginning I do have a tutorial that shares how to make custom window screens from a screen repair kit.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.



Screen Repair Kits, Window Screens