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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 Central 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 don’t 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. This is despite the fact that with a few simple considerations, anyone can achieve the results they desire. That does not mean anyone can go out back and rescreen their entire pool enclosure (Please DO NOT try this, and certainly don’t say it was my idea!). What I mean is that 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 doesn’t mean that every repair is off limits.
First let us consider your skills. If your reading this because you’ve never done a home repair yourself, and you want to give it a go and get something under your belt, unfortunately I don’t 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 $80-$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’ve decided you will go forward with you’re repair, now you must evaluate what needs to be done. If you have a single screen panel that is torn and needs to be replaced, you will need to remove the old screen and install new screen. Measure the opening and purchase the new screen material (sometimes called screen mesh, insect mesh, or pool and patio screen) and tools to install it with. Before installing the new screen, always make sure all debris is cleared away from the opening and you have removed all obstacles from the work area. [Check back later for articles on details of how to install new screen] If you have multiple panels that are damaged, the process is the same, only you will need more material, and will want to set aside more time to spend installing the new screen. You should also remove the old screen from only one panel at a time, so if you run into any delays, you can leave the remaining panels to be repaired at a later date. If you are ready to rescreen an entire enclosure, it is always easiest to work in large stages. These will include gathering new material, removing all old screens, cleaning and prepping the entire enclosure, and installing the new screen. If you are not experienced installing screen, you could expect a small porch (apx 8’H x 12’W) 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’ve deciding to take on your repair project yourself, check back for future posts covering specifics of installation techniques. If you think you’re 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. Don’t 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.
You can contact Screenologist Inc. for all of your screen enclosure needs. Central Florida 407-788-7419 Greater Tampa Area 813-223-3484 or Toll Free at 888-322-7419
Visit us on the web www.Screenologist.com
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