Window screens make windows more versatile, keeping out insects and providing an extra measure of security. Many new windows these days come installed with screens.
However, older homes with original windows and apartment windows usually don’t have screens. Or you may have a screen that needs to be replaced. There are several options when looking to purchase a new window screen as well as certain considerations to take.
Where to Find Screens
The most obvious place to start looking for screens is a home improvement store or local hardware store. If your windows are a standard size and you want a basic screen, you can likely find what you need at one of these stores and at a decent price.
If you have a specialty window or screen store in your area it will have a much bigger selection of both sizes and shapes of screens as well as different material types. The salespeople at specialty stores are also more likely to be able to assist you in making the right purchase and offer instructions on how to install the screens.
Also look for screen repair shops. These are usually small stores, but have the materials to make a custom window screen that’s the exact size you want, although your choice of screening material and frames may be limited.
Another option is to look for window screens online; this opens up the possibilities considerably, but you will have to decide what you want without professional input as well as deal with shipping and installation yourself.
Before even beginning to shop for window screens, though, you should make sure you know what you want. Measure your windows to make sure you get the right size. Write down both the width of the window and the height you want the screen to be.
If you are replacing a screen, take the old one with you to the store to get a perfect fit. If you have nonstandard windows that are either oddly-shaped or are smaller or larger than most, you might have to find a store that will custom-cut a screen for you.
Decide the type of screening material you need, as well as how small the screen mesh should be. The smaller the mesh, the more effective it will be at blocking insects. Most insects will be kept out with lightweight screens, but pets might not be kept in.
Weather is another consideration, as high winds can damage screens that were not built to withstand them. Think about what sort of look you are going for as well, and decide whether the screen being visible is a concern. Nearly-invisible screens can cost more but give you a better view outside, so the trade-off may be worth it.
Window Screen Costs
Once you have an idea what you are looking for, start comparing window screens either in person or online. Look for quality versus cost while keeping your criteria in mind. A screen that will fall apart quickly is not worth the money, but you do not need to overspend.
The screening material will be a large factor in its cost. Fiberglass and aluminum are the two most common materials and are also generally the least expensive. Specialty screens, such as those made to hold up against pets or block against harmful sun rays, will cost more, but they can be worth the investment. Heavy-duty material, such as bronze or steel, is also more expensive.
When purchasing online, be sure to factor in the cost of shipping. Some sites will offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount or during a promotional period. Check whether the site adds on sales tax as well.
If you are making a large purchase for a renovation project, it can pay to seek out or wait for a sale before buying. Otherwise, just compare costs among different stores or sites if you can.
Don’t forget to find out the store or website’s return policy before making a purchase as well, because no matter how well you measure, there can be mistakes or unexpected complications. Window screens that end up not fitting in your windows will be a waste of money if they cannot be returned.