Home and Family

Home improvement superhero – sorta

May 4, 2023

Our back screen door needed some help. The screen on the upper half had holes all through it. And no, not just the natural holes in the screen, extra holes. Larger holes. And three years ago, Murphy tore through the screen on the bottom half and we just … never replaced it. In the summertime I leave the large door open and he goes in and out at will. Unfortunately, flies, mosquitos, a bird and also a chipmunk have also come in and out at will.

This year I resolved to not be zoombombed by flies while I work, so it was time to fix the door.

Last weekend I ordered a screen replacement kit and replaced the upper half screen. The most satisfying part was pulling the old rubber spline that held the old screen in out from the screen door’s groove. I used those yellow handled pliers below and almost pulled it all out at once. If you’re the type of person who thrills to videos of people using a zip tool to pull clogs and hair from their drains, you’re going to LOVE screen door spline removal.

our old screen being removed from the door.
So satisfying.

And then it was time to lay the new screen across the door and secure it by pushing the new spline into the groove. I would like to (lie and) say I did this on the first try, but I pulled the screen too tight and the frame bowed inward. When we went to put it back into the door, there were gaps on the long sides.

I had to pull the spline back out, which was much less satisfying. The second time was the charm and we have a good upper screen.

For the lower half, I wanted to keep Murphy’s access in and out without letting the local fauna in and out as well. I purchased a Magic Mesh Screen door and trimmed it down to cover just the bottom half of the door. It was also too wide, which I solved by folding each side inward two inches and hot gluing it to itself. It could have looked better, but the uglier part is facing outside and not inside.

Here’s the final result!

my screen door, once again a barrier to flies, mosquitos, birds, and chipmunks.

It took Murphy a few days to push his way in and out of the magnetic screen (he is smart, but he is not brave) and now he’s a pro. It’s great to hear the magnets click closed behind him.

I urge anyone who’s able to take on a very low-stakes home improvement project like this one because you’ll feel every emotion in the space of one hour and wind up feeling like a million bucks.

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