June 11, 2015

How to Install Screens in your German windows

It’s officially SUMMER! 
If you live in Germany, then it’s time to open up those windows and turn on the fans.  This may also mean that your house now has a welcome sign for flies to come into your house! 
This is a big problem here due to most housing in Germany having gorgeous, wonderful, large windows that open nice and wide…however, almost no houses come with screens on the windows.
You may be asking why is this a problem?  Just turn on the A.C. you say?  Well, we live in Europe and in Europe; air conditioning is not really something that houses have.  If you want an air conditioning unit it costs a few hundred euros. 
My household lives off of fans and open windows and we are fine in the summer time.  It does get super-hot here,don’t get me wrong.  But, it’s bearable.
Have no fear!  I’m here to give you my #1 summer tip for keeping those pesky in bugs out of your German house.
At almost ANY German hardware style store (Globus, Toom, Hela, etc.) you can find inexpensive screens.  They come in white or black and a variety of different sizes (just remember they are measured in cm-so don’t make the mistake of thinking a screen will fit your size window if you measured your house window size in inches and then you grab a screen that is too small). 

The back of the box has simple instructions so you can get the idea of how to install the screen.  Each box comes with one screen, and the screen ‘tape’.
This screen cost me 199 euro (about $2.25)
Here are the steps:
Clean off the perimeter of the inside of your window-I use a Lysol wipe.  The reason you want to do this is to make sure to get any dirt and dust off the edge where you will be applying the screen tape.  This way the tape adheres well to the window.  Otherwise it will constantly fall down or come undone when you close and open the window. 

See how I'm cleaning the 'middle' of the window seal
***Make sure that you are cleaning off and applying the tape to the inside panel perimeter of the window.  If you apply it to the wrong part then you just bust out the screen every time you close it.  This will be clearer with my pictures and as you get further into the steps, so don’t worry). ***

Let the window dry.  The screen tape will not stick well if the window perimeter is still wet from wiping it down.
Meanwhile, unfold the screen and hold it up to the window to ensure it will fit the window opening.  It’s best if you leave about ½ inch extra on each edge.  This is because if the window is too taut and you shut the window sometimes the screen will come loose on an edge.
This is what happened when I didn't allow for some extra on the edges of the window and I made it too tight and then closed the window-it came undone.
If you install the screen with a little give, then you will NEVER have a problem.  Once you have estimated the size of the screen, if it is too big, simply cut the screen to fit the size of the window.  Just use a simple pair of scissors.  Super easy! 
Put the screen aside for the next step. 
Take your screen tape and remove a small section of the wax paper overlay. 

Notice the small flexible plastic 'teeth'
Do not unroll all of the screen tape or remove too much of the wax paper overlay or you will have a sticky mess.  Press the sticky side of the screen tape to the window perimeter that you previously wiped down.  Go a few inches at a time in order to make sure that it is a nice and neat (not a sticky mess) application.  Cut the tape to fit.
***This tape is a great little invention.  One side of it is sticky (this is the window perimeter edge) and the other has these little flexible plastic grippers on them (this is what the actual screen sticks to).
After the tape is installed all around the edge, it’s time for the last step-installing the screen.
press the screen to the plastic grippers on the sticky tape you just installed

This is super easy.  Just hold the screen up to the window opening and make sure to leave about ½ inch extra on all edges.  Press the screen to the grippers on the tape and voila!  Do this on all 4 edges.  Once again, make sure not to make the screen too tight.  If you have too much extra for your liking over the edges you can trim them off.  It’s all up to you.
Here's a picture of the screen I installed in my daughters room to illustrate the extra screen to ensure it's not too tight

That’s it!  5 simple steps to be bug free in the heat of summer. 
Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll help the best I can.
Prior to installing the screen
WITH the screen installed-you can barely tell it's there:)
 Happy Summer Everyone!


  1. Great detailed instructions. Thanks. Happy Summer to you, too.

  2. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


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