Screens keep bugs out and let fresh air in. Originally simple grey rectangles that fit on doors or windows, today’s options can add a custom, artistic flair as well as lower your cooling costs. The average cost of screens for your whole house is $277.00. This covers your windows and doors, including sliding glass doors, higher floors and the occasional custom-cut screen.
Replacing a Window Screen
Screens are most often found on windows. They can be damaged by pets, things hitting them, weather, or just age. Replacing a single screen is an easy and inexpensive DIY job, or you can have a handyman do it.
If you decide to do it yourself, a window screen frame kit costs between $9.00 and $13.00, or you can buy 7’ lengths of framing for about $5.00 each and cut it yourself. The material costs $6.00 to $20.00 depending on the type of screen and length of the roll. A roller tool, if not included with the frame kit, costs about $3.00. You’ll also need a utility knife, about $2.00.
If you have a standard-sized window, you can probably buy a finished screen from your local home improvement store for $13.00 to $15.00 and just swap the old for the new.
A handyman costs an average of $68.00 including materials and installation, and the job should take less than an hour for a single screen.
If you hire a professional, you should think about labor rates. A pre-assembled screen replacement should cost about $5.50 in labor per screen. If the frame is all right and you just need new screening put in, cutting and installing should cost about $12.50 in labor. Having to build and install a whole new screen brings the labor cost to around $23.50 per screen. This assumes a rectangular ground floor window with relatively normal dimensions.
Typical costs for five windows are:
DIY - $65.00 to $75.00 for a direct swap, or around $80.00 to $105.00 to cut and install
Handyman – about $340.00
Replace standard frame and screen, preassembled – about $90.00 to $100.00
Replace screen in existing frame – about $100.00
Assemble and install new frame and screen – about $185.00 to $200.00
When hiring the job out, ask about discounts for having multiple windows done at once. Some installers have material left over from previous jobs and might be willing to give you a discount if they don’t have to buy all new material.
Window screens take a lot of beating. Exposed to the weather, pet claws, and things striking them, they’re going to need repair or replacement at some point. When do you need to replace them, and when can they be repaired? here are some pointers:
If part of the screen is coming out of its frame but is otherwise undamaged, you can often press it back in with the roller tool. This damage is often caused by heavy things like toys being thrown or pets jumping on the screen.
Punctures are another common repair. Left untreated, it can turn into a tear. Fortunately, patch kits cost as little as $2.50 for an adhesive patch with a pattern printed on it. This is a good short-term solution. It doesn’t let air through and dust can stick to the tacky side, but it will buy you time to decide if you want to replace the screen.
A longer-term solution is a mesh patch. They cost from $2.00 to $7.00. Some have to be stitched into place with wire or nylon thread, but others can be adhered with a blow-dryer. For around $8.00 you can buy a roll of adhesive patch to handle long tears. These patches are not invisible. You will see them no matter what, so these are best used where looks aren’t an issue, such as a workshop.
Most of these quick repairs cost less than the minimum labor rate above, so unless you really have trouble moving around, you might consider doing this yourself.
You should replace the screen when the tear is too big, the holes too numerous, or when the frame is damaged. If the frame is damaged, it’s best to replace the whole thing. Screens will stretch with time and the old mesh won’t fit correctly into your new frame.
Screens aren’t just for windows. Front doors and sliding doors also have them. A typical screen door measures 6’8”x3’ and costs from $30.00 to $70.00 based on the material used. Installation is usually between $50.00 and $100.00, bringing your total to between $80.00 and $170.00. It’s a fairly involved job.
Sliding screen doors can cost around $100.00 a panel. Not only do they require more material, they also require extra hardware to make sure they fit and slide in the tracks properly. Labor costs are about the same as a front screen door, but they can be a little higher in some places, about $75.00 to $125.00.
The installation costs are affected by the type of screen that you choose. The plain gray screens that you might be familiar with are the most affordable option and the easiest to install. Solar screens are made of a unique woven mesh that blocks out 90% of the sun's hot rays, lowering cooling costs and protecting carpets and home furnishing. Colored and decorative screens are also available, so you can mimic your home's decor.
Here are some basic types and their cost:
Solar– They block out the sun’s heat, usually 90%. Average $7.50 sq ft.
Security– Stronger mesh and heavy frame make them hard to pry and can withstand blows. $50.00 to $250.00.
Aluminum– Stronger than fiberglass but costs more. Average $.35 per sq ft.
Fiberglass– Cheaper than aluminum, but fades and damages easier. Average $.25 sq ft.
Metals – Usually chosen for looks, more expensive than aluminum or fiberglass.
Bronze - $1.00 sq ft
Copper or Stainless - $1.20 sq ft
Brass - $2.15 sq ft
Pet Resistant – Sold in DIY kits, made of reinforced vinyl-coated polyester. $20.00 to $25.00.
There are movable screening options available now, as well. The cost to install a screen that is removable or movable is higher, but these models offer more functionality. Retractable screens look and act like window shades, but function as screens. These can be made invisible whenever you want. Here are some other types to consider:
Adjustable screens are like double-hung or glider windows. They are made for minimal installation skills, often snapping right into place. Depending on the size and manufacturer, they can cost as little as $7.00 each up to $100.00 each.
Retractable screens also require minimal installation skills. They act like roll-up shades and are made for doors as well as windows. A door model will cost around $200.00, but one for a window will cost from $50.00 to $100.00 or so.
Hinged screens are easy to clean and provide easier escape in case of fire, but they are like a screen door over your window. The cost is difficult to estimate because they are all custom built for your specific window.
If you have a non-standard window, you will have to cut the screen yourself or hire a professional. Two common custom shaped styles have angles or arches. Tall screens for cathedral windows keep a uniform look outside even if only part of the window opens. Some are octagonal or round. Though these often don’t open, a solar screen will help let in light while blocking heat.
Custom screens are often priced by the square foot. This cost depends on materials, size and location (upper floors cost more), distance to the job site, and local labor rates. Get at least three quotes from professionals.