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I am building some new window screens for a couple of the windows in our house.

I am debating whether to use a 5/16" thick frame or a 7/16" thick frame. By my measurements, our windows can accommodate a frame thickness of up to 9/16".

In reality, does this thickness actually affect the strength and durability of the screen? The 5/16" frame is slightly cheaper. Are there good reasons to spend the extra money on the 7/16" frame?

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The larger frames (7/16"+) are sturdier when it comes to the screening of the frame (less tendency to bow inward when pulling screen material taut) and are generally sturdier due to larger/stronger corner inserts.

More important than frame dimension is the type of frame construction. You want frame material that is at least .020 aluminum, and you want mitered corners with aluminum corner inserts (as opposed to the cheesy plastic corner inserts designed to be used with straight-cut frame stock). Also, assuming fiberglass, I recommend 18 x 14 screen mesh versus lame (but commonly supplied for profit margin reasons) 18 x 16 mesh.

I feel that you should use the biggest and strongest frame material that your windows will accommodate mechanically and aesthetically.

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  • Thanks! I will take your advice on doing the mitered corners instead of the square corner inserts. Oct 11, 2020 at 0:49
  • What do you think of this screen frame material? It is 0.040 mil thick, 1-1/4" wide, and 7/16" deep. I think it is designed for patio screen doors, but it will fit in my window. Oct 11, 2020 at 3:43
  • Specific product recommendations are discouraged here, but that is good heavy screen frame stock. The only thing better would be extruded aluminum (as exposed to roll-formed), but that stock is better than what you would get if you hired the job done. Oct 11, 2020 at 4:29
  • Thanks! I really appreciate your help. Oct 11, 2020 at 5:32

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