How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door

How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door
How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door
How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door
How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door

How to Rescreen a Retractable Screen Door?

Manual retractable screens for large openings, such as retractable screen doors, offer a convenient way to enjoy fresh air while keeping insects out. Over time, the screen fabric can wear out or get damaged, necessitating a rescreening. Rescreening a retractable screen door can be a cost-effective way to extend its life and maintain its functionality. In this comprehensive guide, we will address the most frequently asked questions about how to rescreen a retractable screen door, providing step-by-step instructions, tips, and insights into the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why Might I Need to Rescreen My Retractable Screen Door?

Answer: You may need to rescreen your retractable screen door for several reasons:
  • Tears and Holes: Wear and tear, accidental damage, or pets can create holes or tears in the screen fabric.
  • Discoloration: Over time, exposure to sunlight can cause the screen to fade or discolor.
  • Improved Aesthetics: Replacing an old or damaged screen can enhance the appearance of your door.
  • Increased Functionality: A new screen can restore the door’s ability to keep insects out and allow fresh air in.

2. Can I Rescreen My Retractable Screen Door Myself?

Answer: Yes, rescreening a retractable screen door is a manageable DIY project for those with basic handyman skills. Here’s a general outline of the process:
  • Remove the Screen Door: Carefully detach the retractable screen door from its frame.
  • Remove the Old Screen: Use a flathead screwdriver or a similar tool to remove the spline (the rubber strip that holds the screen in place) and take out the old screen.
  • Measure and Cut the New Screen: Measure the dimensions of the door and cut the new screen material to size, leaving a few extra inches on all sides.
  • Attach the New Screen: Position the new screen over the door frame, use a spline roller to press the spline into the groove, securing the screen in place.
  • Trim Excess Screen: Use a utility knife to trim the excess screen material around the edges.
  • Reinstall the Screen Door: Attach the rescreened door back to its frame.

3. What Tools and Materials Do I Need for Rescreening?

Answer: To rescreen a retractable screen door, you will need the following tools and materials:
  • New Screen Material: Choose a durable screen fabric that suits your needs (e.g., standard, pet-resistant, solar).
  • Spline: Rubber or vinyl spline to secure the screen in place.
  • Spline Roller: A tool used to press the spline into the groove.
  • Flathead Screwdriver: To remove the old spline and screen.
  • Utility Knife: For trimming excess screen material.
  • Measuring Tape: To measure the dimensions of the door.
  • Scissors: For cutting the screen material.

4. What Types of Screen Material Are Available?

Answer: There are several types of screen material available, each with its own benefits:
  • Standard Fiberglass Screen: Lightweight, easy to install, and provides good visibility and airflow.
  • Pet-Resistant Screen: Made from thicker, more durable material to withstand damage from pets.
  • Solar Screen: Designed to reduce heat and glare from the sun, providing energy efficiency and UV protection.
  • Privacy Screen: Offers increased privacy by limiting visibility from the outside.
  • Aluminum Screen: Durable and resistant to corrosion, ideal for high-traffic areas.

5. How Do I Ensure the New Screen Fits Properly?

Answer: To ensure the new screen fits properly, follow these steps:
  • Accurate Measurements: Measure the width and height of the door frame accurately, including the spline groove.
  • Cutting the Screen: Cut the new screen material slightly larger than the door frame to allow for adjustments during installation.
  • Securing the Screen: Use a spline roller to press the spline firmly into the groove, starting from one corner and working your way around the frame to avoid wrinkles or gaps.
  • Trimming Excess: Carefully trim any excess screen material with a utility knife, ensuring a clean and neat finish.

6. How Do I Remove the Old Screen and Spline?

Answer: Removing the old screen and spline is straightforward:
  • Detach the Door: Remove the retractable screen door from its frame to access the screen easily.
  • Remove the Spline: Use a flathead screwdriver to pry out the old spline from the groove, starting at one corner.
  • Take Out the Old Screen: Once the spline is removed, the old screen can be easily pulled out of the frame.

7. What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid During Rescreening?

Answer: Common mistakes to avoid during rescreening include:
  • Incorrect Measurements: Failing to measure the door frame accurately can result in a poorly fitting screen.
  • Using the Wrong Spline Size: Ensure the spline fits the groove properly; too large or too small can affect the screen’s stability.
  • Not Stretching the Screen: If the screen is not stretched tightly during installation, it may sag or have wrinkles.
  • Over-Tightening the Spline: Pressing the spline too tightly can damage the screen fabric or the frame.

8. How Can I Maintain My Retractable Screen Door to Prevent Future Damage?

Answer: Proper maintenance can extend the life of your retractable screen door:
  • Regular Cleaning: Clean the screen and tracks regularly to remove dirt and debris.
  • Lubrication: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the tracks and moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Gentle Use: Operate the screen door gently to prevent accidental tears or damage.
  • Inspection: Periodically check the screen for signs of wear or damage and address any issues promptly.

9. How Long Does the Rescreening Process Take?

Answer: The time required to rescreen a retractable screen door depends on your experience and the condition of the door. For most DIY enthusiasts, the process can take anywhere from one to two hours. Professional services may complete the task more quickly due to their experience and specialized tools.

10. Should I Hire a Professional for Rescreening?

Answer: While rescreening can be a DIY project, hiring a professional has its benefits:
  • Expertise: Professionals have the experience and tools to complete the job efficiently and correctly.
  • Time-Saving: Professional services can save you time and effort, especially if you’re not comfortable with DIY tasks.
  • Warranty: Many professional services offer warranties on their work, providing peace of mind.


Rescreening a retractable screen door is a practical way to maintain its functionality and appearance. Whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional, understanding the process and having the right tools and materials is essential. This guide aims to answer the most frequently asked questions about rescreening, helping you make informed decisions and ensuring a successful outcome. By addressing these common questions and providing detailed instructions, we hope to make the rescreening process more accessible and manageable. Proper maintenance and timely replacement of your retractable screen door will enhance the comfort and usability of your living space, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and protection from insects for years to come.
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