Where I’m currently living, I was unable to open any windows because the fly screens had been removed & the frames damaged beyond repair. I have an indoor cat & obviously, this is not ideal. More bugs than necessary flailing about my granny flat just so I can have some fresh air is also not ideal. SO I decided it was time for some DIY, & off to Bunnings I went! If you’re just after information about re-meshing an existing frame, check out steps 1 & 2, then skip ahead to step 6.
1. Measure the window where the frame is going
First things first, measure up your window. It doesn’t have to be 100% exact at this point, but round up because these measurements are going to determine the amount of materials you’ll need to purchase. Make sure you also measure the thickness of the aluminium frame you’re going to need.
2. Next, gather your materials!
You’ll need all of the following to complete a full frame:
– Aluminium frame
– Mitre Box
– Hack Saw
– Fly screen corners
If you’re just replacing the mesh, here’s what you’ll need:
– Fibreglass fly screen (I bought pet-proof screening, but if you’re not worrying about your cat climbing up your window, fibreglass will work fine, is much cheaper than pet-proof screens, & generally more durable than other options that are a similar price)
– Screen Spline
– Spline roller
– Utility knife
3. Measure for the frame
This is loads easier if you have another window that’s the same size with a frame still in it. I popped out the frame & measured it that way. If this isn’t possible, just keep in mind that you want to measure so that you can pop the frame in easily but it will still sit in the window. Don’t make it exactly the same size as the frame it’s sitting in, or it’ll be too big and won’t pop in. I measured the window, then I shaved off roughly 1cm for both the height & length when cutting the aluminium frame to ensure it would fit easily.
4. Cut the frame
If you’re able to find fly screen corners that act as actual corners, you can make a horizontal cut across the aluminium easy-peasy. BUT I was only able to find the corner connectors that slip inside the frame to connect the pieces, which requires a diagonal cut in the aluminium… SO grab the mitre box, measure from the longest point, and cut a diagonal line (there will be 2 points, the longest point will be going to the outside of the frame. Make sure that when you measure & mark the longest point that the gutter in the frame is along the shortest point… The shortest point needs to run along the inside of the frame for the spline to hold the screen once the frame is assembled).
5. Connect Four
Shimmy the frame corners into the inside of the aluminium pieces & then connect the frame together. Double check that the gutter on each piece lines up with the next, & that it’s running along the inside of the frame.
6. Roll the mesh out over the frame & cut
Leave the frame flat with the gutter-side facing up, then roll the mesh over the frame & make sure that you have at least 1-2 inches of overhang on all 4 sides. Cut the mesh with trusty scissors. (Untrusty scissors could potentially ruin your whole endeavour.)
7. Spline time
I found it easier to prepare the spline by unravelling it & loosely running it around the frame. With the spline roller in hand, grab the end of the spline & push it into a corner of the frame. You may need a screw driver to make sure that the spline in all corners is completely pushed in, or your roller may have a tip at one end to do this.
Next, roll the spline roller over the spline, pushing it down into the gutter while holding the screen tight. Make sure you don’t lean on the screen that’s in the middle of the frame so you don’t stretch it; you’ll want to have a nice flat surface when completed. Go over the spline a few times to makes sure it hasn’t popped out, & also the corners, especially when finished. If you have extra spline when getting back to the first corner, carefully cut it with scissors & make sure it’s tight against the beginning spline. (5 points for every time you say spline. I’m a champion at this, obviously.)
8. Cut (& pol-mesh… sorry.)
Now that the frame is sufficiently meshed – pick up the Stanley knife, & be very careful not to a) cut the spline, b) cut the mesh on the inside of the frame, & c) cut yourself; cut the overhanging mesh that’s sticking out. If you’re not too fussed about a little overhang, you could just use scissors, but it won’t look as neat. The best way to cut with the Stanley knife is to angle the blade towards the outside of the frame, above the spline, but not facing it. Hold the overhanging mesh to create tension, and you won’t need to push as hard with the blade.
Congratulations! You now have a completely new, completely DIY Flyscreen Frame (or a freshly meshed frame!). After doing this frame, I’ve noticed that the screen on my door is looking a little worse for wear (my cat is completely nuts & likes to climb up &/or destroy everything; if you also have cats, you no doubt underst& this). Now, I feel more than confident re-meshing my screen door! I hope this is helpful for you, too. Have an excellent day 🙂