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How To Choose A Fiberglass Window Screen

Updated on August 7, 2011
Phifer Insect Screen
Phifer Insect Screen

Choosing the right window screen can make a difference in the appearance of your home and how long the screens will last. When purchasing screen, you should buy those manufactured in the United States. They may be a little more expensive, but they are made and look much better than those made in foreign countries. Currently, there is only one company in the U.S. that makes screen. Phifer Inc., located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been making screen since the 1950's. Screens are available in many forms. You can do-it-yourself by purchasing screen from retailers such as The Home Depot. These stores carry all of the supplies you need, including re-screening kits. If you plan to purchase new windows, many of them include screen. I used Pella Windows in my home and the screen looked great. In this article, I will focus on replacement screens and how to find the best screen for your home.

Fiberglass vs. Aluminum Screen

The first window screens were all made of aluminum. Aluminum screen is very durable but they do have their drawbacks. The first problem with aluminum screen is that they are not flexible. This type of screen is difficult to roll into a frame and once the screen is damaged, it can not be fixed. Things like small holes or tears really stand out and can not be "hidden" from view. Over time, you will notice a discoloration of the screen.

Today, the screen of choice is made of fiberglass. This vinyl coated screen is very flexible and do-it-yourselfers find it very easy to work with. Rolling it into a frame is very easy! Fiberglass screen is typically available in two colors, charcoal and silvergray (originally made to look like aluminum). Fiberglass screen is also available in a variety of meshes to fit your needs.

Where To Buy Window Screen

When you are ready to buy insect screen for your windows, your first decision is if you want to roll your own screens, purchase pre-made screens or hire someone to do it for you.  I believe you should attempt to try it on your own.  Its easy, fun and can save you money.

The first step is to measure your windows to see how much screen you will need.  Visit your local hardware store, such as The Home Depot or Ace Hardware.  These stores stock many rolls of screen or can order what you need.  Their sales associates can help you pick what you need.  You can also visit screen manufacturer's websites, like, to browse available screen options.

Phifer Insect Screen

I believe that Phifer is the gold standard when it comes to screen.  The company has over 50 years of experience making screen (and of course it is made in the USA).  They still make both aluminum and fiberglass screen (Phiferglass screen).  As I browsed through their website, they have several different types of screen, including a less-visible screen, BetterVue and UltraVue.  These new screens perform like traditional screen, but they are made with smaller strands of fiberglass so they are less visible. 

Replacing A Window Screen


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