Aluminum Mesh Screen Fabric - Installation Question

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

A big question - like how to do it.
No spline system like big box stores sell - don't like the vinyl cover pieces that snap over. Altho it all looks really easy to install. Our porch needs painting and so we will need to replace screening. (aluminum mesh material)
Original porch had the fabric stretched around and then the mesh staples in place every few inches. Stapled seams covered covered with cedar (same wood as rest of porch).

It is all painted and now time to screen. Hubby got fibermesh, it is very soft unlike aluminum and hard to stretch drum tight to staple. Also, I'm reading won't last as long as the aluminum and impossible to repair if needed. So will get the aluminum and take back the unopened rolls of the fabric but wondering -- when installing -- is it best to staple along the top rail of the opening being covered then pull tight and staple along the bottom rail (horizontals) and then do the sides ( verticals)? Or, is it better to staple up along one side, pull tight across the opening and then staple the other vertical .... After the two upright sidws fasten along the top rail and finally the bottom? I would say the largest opening ( length) is is about 12 foot wide and maybe 5 feet high. I figure not good to pull on the diagonal. THANKS ahead of time. Don't want to crease or wreck the aluminum mesh-- as it is I have to go to war to get him to return what we have but I don't want to be doing this again in 4 years. The aluminum is in great shape after 12 years --- just could paint the slats because the builder put the screening in front of what needed to be painted. ;o(

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Sorry I'm so late seeing this post. Window treatment bus. for 30 years plus have done aluminum screening repairs around home.
Always staple horizontal surfaces first-pull gently to one side-pull firmly to opposite side and should be drum tight.
Hope this helps for future reference.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Not to late all supplies sitting there still waiting. 2 new grandchildren and fixing nursery ( s) and baptisms etc etc + trip to PA to help out for a month, etc etc made the late spring and summer weekends fly. To clarify: If horizontals first.... How can pull to side??? The horizontals are the tops and bottoms. If verticals stapled on one side - then can pull to the other vertical. No?

Imagine a perfect square made of 6 foot lengths of wood. Call top length North, bottom is South, right side is East and left side is West. Where do I place first staple? Comprising the "square" --north and south lengths are horizontal and east and west are vertical. If I staple along the north horizontal heading left to right (west to east) - how can I pull? Do you mean just one staple placed at intersection of north and west.....then pull screen all the way to intersection of north and east and put another staple....and then go back and staple all along north securing as I go?? Then do the same along bottom. Thanks ahead for taking time to answer. Sorry if dense.

Yucaipa, CA(Zone 10a)

Hi missingrosie!

I also need to replace some screens on my windows too. I've got a fairly good idea on how to do it, but none the less, I made a copies of the pages that I needed for this project. Since I've got outside 'neighborhood' cats that like to "climb" on my screens, I'm going to use "cat screen" specially made for this reason. I also have my own inside cats and can't open one of my windows right now, due to a large hole in the screen. The hole is big enough for one of my smaller cats to put her head through.

Anyway, when I get around to this project, I'll be using the spline tool and the rubber cording to keep the screen mesh on the window. They sell the kind of cat screen that I need at Home Depot. Just thought I'd add my 2cents worth. I notice your thread comment is almost a year old, so hopefully you've been able to master your project. :) Take care!


Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Two small 10 inch by maybe 36 rectangles over the front and back screened doors are all that remain. Both intact but the old screen is fiber and charcoal colored and the new is metal for clarity and darker. We gave up trying to get the screen up and tight enough. It was a real mess for us! So we bought the tracks, (installed them one, two, three) the spline tool, and the rubber cord...and we never looked back....!! The great thing is the cedar trim boards that covered up the previous stapled screen edges fits perfectly over the tracks (they are black and the porch is white) AND this time we screwed the trim pieces in place so if a screen is ruined (ah la Cooper the neighbors horse (ok BIG dog) then no prying out nails...just unscrew the cedar trim pull out cording replace screen mesh and spline it in. Tight as a drum! Good luck with yours. We downloaded the video. There is a video for traditional installation without tracks too.

Ps you can order longer bulk cord and wider screen mesh via the catalogue at Home Depot. They will call you when it comes in and it is less expensive than buying those little packs.

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