Should I fix my Screen Enclosure myself?
Q: How do you know when the screen needs replacing?
A: The black coating wares off the screen and exposes the fiberglass yarn. This will make your screen have a silverish tint (you will see fiberglass threads shining in the sun) as well as ripping through the seams and holes showing up more. The spline (the rubber that holds the screen in the aluminum) coming lose from the screen enclosure.
It always feels good to complete a home project yourself. This is the joy of a Do-It-Yourselfer. As the weather becomes warmer here in Florida, your swimming pool or screen porch will begin to look more and more inviting. This is usually when you notice holes in your screens, doors that donít open correctly, and a few months worth of dirt. When it comes to screen repair, a screen enclosure can range from a very small, one panel, framed in opening to a very large pool enclosure consisting of 50-100 screen panels. This being the case, when can you roll up your sleeves and go to work as your own handyman or handywoman, and at what point should you call a professional? We will discuss the difficulty of different projects, the different repairs you may face, and what is involved in completing those repairs.
Repairing screen is a job that few people master, and even many handymen have trouble finishing a job correctly. If you evaluate your repair before you are knee deep into it, you can save yourself the headache of starting a project that is beyond your abilities and leave that one to the professionals. This however doesnít mean that every repair is off limits.
First let us consider your skills. If your reading this because youíve never done a home repair yourself, and you want to give it a go and get something under your belt, unfortunately I donít think screen repair is the best place to start. Mainly because to properly replace even a single screen panel, or repair a screen door handle, you will need more than the standard household tools, and you will spend money at the hardware store that will be wasted should the project prove to be too difficult. Calling a professional screen repair company will be worth your while, as a simple repair will not cost more than $50-$100. For those who consider themselves handy, and usually take care of small repairs around the house, any small screen repair should be within your ability to complete with success. These would include replacing a single torn screen panel, replacing the door hardware on a screen door, or even reattaching a loose piece of metal or replacing rusted fasteners. Then there are the large repairs. These include rescreening an entire porch or patio enclosure, replacing torn panels on the roof (or ceiling) of a pool cage, or new construction of a screen enclosure. These should only be attempted if you consider yourself very handy, and have previous construction experience. More often than not, and for your own safety, these repairs should only be completed by trained professionals.
If you are not experienced installing screen, you could expect a small porch (apx 8íH x 12íW) to take four to six hours to complete. Other miscellaneous repairs that you may look to complete include: replacing lower (base) panels with pet resistant screen, adding a pet door to an existing enclosure, cleaning mold and mildew from an enclosure, painting scratches or blemishes on the aluminum etc. Many of these will require other tools and material that must be purchased from an aluminum distributor. As time allows, we will go into further details on these repairs and others, and how they can improve your outdoor living spaces.
After taking a more detailed look at what is involved in completing several types of screen repair, and considering the difficulty of different projects, I hope you feel better about the repairs you are facing. If you think youíre repair is better served by a professional screen repair company, there is no shame in that. As we mentioned earlier, your safety should be your number one concern when considering any handyman task. Either way, as we come into spring and sizzle into summer, now is the time to tidy up that outdoor area, and look to repair and clean your patio or pool enclosure. Donít let bugs and leaves spoil your relaxation. Take out the toolbox, or pick up the phone, and you can be lounging around worry free in no time.
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