Replacement Screens vs. Replacement Windows

We built our house almost 7 years ago, and unfortunately, we went cheap on our windows. We ended up with single hung vinyl windows (made by Binnings). The windows themselves are not too bad, although it is obvious that they are far from top of the line.
The bigger problem with them is the screens. They are not durable. They have plastic tabs on the sides that are always breaking, and they do not sit tight along the edges, providing little protection against smaller insects.
We have since found out that our model of window is no longer manufactured, which makes getting replacement screens and windows impossible.
We would really like to get more durable screens for these windows, but not the same brand. Are there such things as generic screens that can fit windows? Is it possible to get screens specially made for windows? The other option we have talked about is replacing all of the windows to go to a better brand.
Any recommendations on how to choose the less expensive option: replacing the screens entirely? Or should we just invest in better windows?
THANKS
-- Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Jim - living in a northern climate also with cheap-o builder's windows (single pane ALUMINUM) single-hung (front) and sliders (sides and rear) I sympathize with your plight. Bought this house from 2nd homeowner who said windows never came with screens either.
I put off replacing the windows until 4 years ago. I did practically everything else, new roof, new electric, paver driveway, pool, landscaping, cedar decks, you name it, I did it.
It wasn't until I replaced the old windows with brand new wood interior, vinyl clad exterior, double hung tilt-sash Andersons that my house finally felt like a home. Up until that point it was like living in a cardboard box. The old windows were horrible. I kept 4 sliders for my shed and can't believe that's all that once stood between my heat and the outdoors.
IMHO, anything you spend on custom sized screens (any good screen/window shop can make new screens for your windows to fit perfectly) is throwing good money after a bad decision.
If you even suspect you're headed for a full (quality) window replacement in the future, then you might as well do it NOW so you can enjoy them, the comfort they provide, and the fuel savings NOW instead investing all that money later in order to sell the house.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim wrote:

you take one of the screens with you to the hardware store and let them see what you have and you buy the screen, the spline, and the frame material and make your own screens.. been doing it for the past 30 yrs. since the house was new...... then changed over the Solar Screens covering all the window... makes it look real nice, never did have the windows open much,, always had the a/c or the heat on in the winter....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Round_Hill snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jim) wrote in message

Two options I can quickly think of:
1. Get storm windows with built-in screens. This gives you better insulation and the screens you want. 2. Get screens made to fit the window openings. I've used a franchise operation named Screen-Mobile, they might be where you are, but if not, I'm sure you can find some similar operation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Round_Hill snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

snip
I have screens with the same problem as yours. I caulked them around the edges with some GE silicone caulk last spring. Held up through a windstorm w/110 mph wind (insurance adjuster's estimate from inspection of other damage, like neighbor's barn blown away). Of course, if you want to remove the screens periodically for some reason, this might not work for you, but I found it simple and cheap.
steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Round_Hill snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jim) wrote:

In the world of hardware, nothing is ever impossible. A real bitch maybe, but never impossible ;)
If you don't have much problem with the windows themselves (other than minding every now and then that they're kinda cheap), consider taking the whole screen frame assembly to your nearest Ace/True Value hardware store and see what the cheerful employees in charge of screen replacement/repair might suggest to keep out the little critters.
AJS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.