rescreening Questions

I plan to do some rescreening this week but I have a few questions first. This will be the first time rescreening for me and I want to make sure I get everything right.
I'm pretty sure that the screen frames are plastic and I read that I should use either a plastic or fibreglass screens with them. The problem is that I have several cats who like to lay in the windows and they keep tearing little holes big enough for bugs to come in. They also kind of push the screens out of the frames a little because they lay right against them. We also like to leave our windows open as much as possible in the summer and would like a screen that would block the suns rays. Anyone know of a good screen that can help with all three things? Also, where is a good, cheap place to purchase the screens? Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe's?
Oh, and I read that you should replace the spline but I read somewhere else that you can reuse the same one. Is that true? Can you reuse the same spline? And which store can find that in? What exactly am I looking for when I go to buy it? Is it in a windows section of the store?
Sorry for the stupid questions but I find it's better to ask around first before I go to the store. Sometimes those sales people don't know what they're talking about and you end up getting all the wrong stuff just because they're trying to make a sale. So thanks for any help you can give me.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote in

***snip***
I can't think of the name of the mfg at the momnent but there is a screening material made especialy for folks with animals. It is VERY resistant to cats etc... My sister-in-law used it at her house and her 3 cats have yet to damage it after 3 years. I hope someone here can come up with the product name or a call to your local hardware store/borg will help. Chris
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<SNIP>

www.petproof.com
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I replaced the screen on a screen door just a couple of weeks ago. It's a fairly easy job, but it takes a little practice.
The first thing you need to realize is that the chances of getting a perfect repair the first time are fairly low. Screen material isn't too expensive, so it's a good idea to buy some extra. The same goes for the spline - you can re-use your existing spline, but new spline is cheap.
Home Depot and similar stores will have screen repair kits that include the screening, the spline, and a spline roller. The roller tool is pretty essential to doing a good job and keeping the screening even.
As far as pet-resistance, there is screen material out there that is designed for use where pets are involved. In my experience, it's a LOT stronger than the standard screen mesh, but it's not invincible. If it gets scratched enough, it'll get torn.
For UV protection, I've never heard of a screen that provided any. After all, it's just a mesh full of holes - the sun's rays can go straight through the holes in the mesh. That said, the pet-resistant material is heavier and blocks a little bit more light, so it might help just a little compared to the regular material.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
George Wenzel
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On 30 Jun 2003 00:13:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Mike) wrote:

DIY Solar Screens:
http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1
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Mike,
You are absolutely right to ask first and buy later! I started my solar window screening project last month and had a similar experience at the hardware stores. Know one really knows the products very well. I finally found http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 . If you are lucky enough to get a hold of someone called Brandon, he can explain the differences and give you good advice on your project. So, I will pass along my experience and research with DYI solar screens and try to answer some of the question from this thread.
1.Heathcliff Bambino wonders if and how it is different from any other screen? Ameridan: The differences are significant! Normal screen material has a larger "MESH." The solar material is coated with a fiberglass (Super Solar) or Vinyl Coated Polyester (SunTex) and has a much tighter "MESH." This how the sun rays are captured and absorbed before passing through your window. After installing my solar screens, it look like you have put sunglasses on my widows and when the sun shines directly through them, you really notice how effective they are.
2.Mike wants to no were a good, cheap place to purchase the screens Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe's? Ameridan: Home Depot and Lows have the best prices for Super Solar but they only sale it in small quantities. If you need larger sizes, Suntex, Insect Screen, or Pet Screen, http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 is the cheapest I found. I got the feeling that they are a California group that is more interested in conserving energy than making a profit. In any case, they were well below the cost of any of their competitors that I found.
3.Maury says to "Get some extra screen, because unless you are God-like, you will not be happy with the first few attempts." Ameridan: Maury speaks the truth. Read what he says! He knows what he is talking about! I didn't need any extra material because I did not cut the fabric to size until I was happy with the results. It was easy to pull the screen material out and try again. I took a few tries, but once I got the hang of things, it was no problem. I found myself only doing two screens a day because pushing the spline into the screen frame was hard on my fingers.
4.I read that you should replace the spline but I read somewhere else that you can reuse the same one. Is that true? Ameridan: You can reuse the old spline material so long it is in good condition. However, the spline is so cheep, I am not sure it is worth fighting with the older spline.
5.I have several cats who like to lay in the windows and they keep tearing little holes big enough for bugs to come in? Ameridan: You want a product call "Phifer Pet Screen." It is a 16x12 mesh and is the best you can get for pet protection, but does not offer any solar protection.
6.Which store can find I find spline? What exactly am I looking for when I go to buy it? Is it in a windows section of the store? Ameridan: I found that the hardware stores carry spline material in their window and screen door sections. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you get the correct size. They are many different diameters of spline and you need the one that fits the spline grove in your screen frame. It you get the wrong size, you will find it very difficult to push the spline into the grove. The hardware stores usually only sell one size. 7.Joe writes, " To add to the advice on this topic, it is easy to over tighten the screening thus bowing the frames inward. To avoid this, cut some braces from stock thinner than the frame so they will lay flat on your work surface, one for width and one for height. Then as you roll the spline in place, the resulting tension should be just right. I've used this trick on very large screens successfully. Ameridan: I wish had read Joe's technique before I started my project. I did a lot of over tightening and need to make a lot of adjusting after rolling the fabric onto the frame. Joe's techniques sound like a good way to avoid over tightening and save a lot of time.
8.My experience has been that aluminum screening is much tougher, harder to tear, and longer lasting than the fiberglass stuff. Ameridan: I was told the same thing.
9.I don't know if you would be able to install it in your plastic frames. Ameridan: You might be able to install the fiberglass material, but it is unlikely that you will be able to install the Suntex material. It is much heavier.
I found that all most all professional installations of solar screen was with Phifer Suntex. (I use Black, Suntex 90%.) When I asked why, the answer was always that it lasted longer and did not fade as quickly as the other products on the market. In the final analysis, a local window screen company gave me an estimate of $4,600 for 19 windows. By doing it my self, it took me two weeks at 2 windows a night and $546.00 in material purchased at http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 . My only complaint with this company was the length of time it took to ship the product (8 business days) and they did not provide me with a UPS tracking number, but there customer service was fantastic. Also, it was easy to overlook this when I realized that I saved ~ $4,000. So, there is my 2 cents. If anyone has a different experience, I am very interested in hearing about it
Ameridan
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Generally the larger spline is for doors with screens, home depot sells pet screen, it lasts longer but not forever, the metal will discourage some cats and the heavy vinyl type works for passive pets...
wrote:

putty
cheap,
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Mike,
You are absolutely right to ask first and buy later! I started my solar window screening project last month and had a similar experience at the hardware stores. Know one really knows the products very well. I finally found http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 . If you are lucky enough to get a hold of someone called Brandon, he can explain the differences and give you good advice on your project. So, I will pass along my experience and research with DYI solar screens and try to answer some of the question from this thread.
1.Heathcliff Bambino wonders if and how it is different from any other screen? Ameridan: The differences are significant! Normal screen material has a larger "MESH." The solar material is coated with a fiberglass (Super Solar) or Vinyl Coated Polyester (SunTex) and has a much tighter "MESH." This how the sun rays are captured and absorbed before passing through your window. After installing my solar screens, it look like you have put sunglasses on my widows and when the sun shines directly through them, you really notice how effective they are.
2.Mike wants to no were a good, cheap place to purchase the screens Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe's? Ameridan: Home Depot and Lows have the best prices for Super Solar but they only sale it in small quantities. If you need larger sizes, Suntex, Insect Screen, or Pet Screen, http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 is the cheapest I found. I got the feeling that they are a California group that is more interested in conserving energy than making a profit. In any case, they were well below the cost of any of their competitors that I found.
3.Maury says to "Get some extra screen, because unless you are God-like, you will not be happy with the first few attempts." Ameridan: Maury speaks the truth. Read what he says! He knows what he is talking about! I didn't need any extra material because I did not cut the fabric to size until I was happy with the results. It was easy to pull the screen material out and try again. I took a few tries, but once I got the hang of things, it was no problem. I found myself only doing two screens a day because pushing the spline into the screen frame was hard on my fingers.
4.I read that you should replace the spline but I read somewhere else that you can reuse the same one. Is that true? Ameridan: You can reuse the old spline material so long it is in good condition. However, the spline is so cheep, I am not sure it is worth fighting with the older spline.
5.I have several cats who like to lay in the windows and they keep tearing little holes big enough for bugs to come in? Ameridan: You want a product call "Phifer Pet Screen." It is a 16x12 mesh and is the best you can get for pet protection, but does not offer any solar protection.
6.Which store can find I find spline? What exactly am I looking for when I go to buy it? Is it in a windows section of the store? Ameridan: I found that the hardware stores carry spline material in their window and screen door sections. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you get the correct size. They are many different diameters of spline and you need the one that fits the spline grove in your screen frame. It you get the wrong size, you will find it very difficult to push the spline into the grove. The hardware stores usually only sell one size.
7.Joe writes, " To add to the advice on this topic, it is easy to over tighten the screening thus bowing the frames inward. To avoid this, cut some braces from stock thinner than the frame so they will lay flat on your work surface, one for width and one for height. Then as you roll the spline in place, the resulting tension should be just right. I've used this trick on very large screens successfully. Ameridan: I wish had read Joe's technique before I started my project. I did a lot of over tightening and need to make a lot of adjusting after rolling the fabric onto the frame. Joe's techniques sound like a good way to avoid over tightening and save a lot of time.
8.My experience has been that aluminum screening is much tougher, harder to tear, and longer lasting than the fiberglass stuff. Ameridan: I was told the same thing.
9.I don't know if you would be able to install it in your plastic frames. Ameridan: You might be able to install the fiberglass material, but it is unlikely that you will be able to install the Suntex material. It is much heavier.
I found that all most all professional installations of solar screen was with Phifer Suntex. (I use Black, Suntex 90%.) When I asked why, the answer was always that it lasted longer and did not fade as quickly as the other products on the market. In the final analysis, a local window screen company gave me an estimate of $4,600 for 19 windows. By doing it my self, it took me two weeks at 2 windows a night and $546.00 in material purchased at http://www.onlinesolarscreens.com/index.htm?catalog.htm&1 . My only complaint with this company was the length of time it took to ship the product (8 business days) and they did not provide me with a UPS tracking number, but there customer service was fantastic. Also, it was easy to overlook this when I realized that I saved ~ $4,000. So, there is my 2 cents. If anyone has a different experience, I am very interested in hearing about it
Ameridan
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