I received the attached pictures from a residential customer I did an inside/outside and clean screen for late last week. She told me she had a complaint to make because she had several screens that were bent after I put them back into her windows, and wants to know if I am able to fix them. Although she put some of the screens back on herself, I replaced most of them. These are the standard Anderson clip in screens. She has blinds that make it impossible to take out or reinsert her screens without using some torque and “bending” them over the window crank. In one case, the window crank came off so that the screen could be replaced more easily, but in the other cases, they had to be muscled out and back.
I don’t remember any of the screens looking like this when I took them out or replaced them, but I was on the 3rd job of the day and last job of a 3 week, 7 day per week jag and was pretty wiped out from the heat and sun, so anything is possible. From the pics she sent me (5 attached here and 3 more I’ll attach is a separate post), it looks like some have a dent that must have been made taking it out while others have a dent that must have been made putting it in. Some of then also have varying degrees of “lift” of the bottom frame piece off the sill.
I have a few questions and hope that some of you can give me some good advice on what to do next.
Was there any way to remove and replace screens like this and avoid the problems shown? I often deal with these screens in houses that have blinds or window treatments that have been installed that make it impossible to get the screens out easily.
Now that the “dents” are there, can the be repaired by “pinching them” back into shape with pliers? Even if that’s an option, I’m not sure how to avoid re-damaging them when taking them back out and putting them in unless there’s a solution to the first question.
if pinching them back into shape isn’t going to work, do they need to be taken to a screen repair place and have a new bottom piece put on? That’s probably going to cost more than I made on the job (I charged $258 for the whole house). Do I run the risk of re-damaging them by putting them back in for her or make her put them back in after they are repaired?
How would you handle this in terms of communicating with the customer? I don’t want an unhappy customer. How would you deal with this in the future to avoid the problem, and how what would you say in this situation to respond to the customer?
five measly screens brand new would cost about $90, still even if it were $150 to replace those 5 screens I would do it in a heartbeat.
you cant unbend those screens once they bend like that.
you should have removed the crank lever instead of trying to force the screen over it, that is your problem. I have done the same thing before while removing the screens out of pure laziness. the only reason i didnt get a complaint was because when i put them back i flipped it over so the bent side was on the top and un-noticeable and it was still snug up against the frames to keep the bugs out.
You need to decide now at the very start of your venture as a business owner that you will provide complete 100% customer satisfaction. If you keep that in mind on a daily basis your business will grow.
replace them for free, unless you know for sure that you did not bend them. but the fact that you came on here for advice tells us that you are not sure if you caused the damage or not, which then again tells me that you did not notice it was existing damage before you arrived so it had to be you that damaged it so once again…replace it for free.
Chalk it up as lesson learned. Those handles are removable to allow clearance and should have been included in the quote. Anderson has proprietary screens so may have to send them to the manufacturer or local company she got the windows from to repair. Never force anything. If they are the screens that she replaced herself you need to have that discussion with her.
Yeah lot of good advice. When that screen starts to bend you’ll have a little give and then the thing breaks like those pictures. Then you can’t do anything about it and there’s no warning to tell you to back off.
When I run into this there’s two ways to go:
Take the time to pull down all the blinds/treatments. This can be a pain, but sometimes it’s the best way.
Crack the window out and do both sides from the outside. This can be a pain if it’s a multistory house.
I appreciate all the suggestions so far and have already made arrangements with the customer to pick up the damaged screens and replace them. Another lesson learned just from thinking about the responses and reflecting on other situations I routinely encounter is that I am going to carefully inspect all screens and window grids before removing them and show any existing damage to them before I touch them. Especially when I have found screens that all appear to have holes or are bent, I’m not going to assume the customer is aware of the condition they are in beforehand, as I have sometimes done. I am also going to have to make a decision about what to do up front about window treatments and blinds that I couldn’t see from outside when I gave them the estimate that included screen cleaning.
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What I do on screens I can’t remove or don’t want to remove (like sliding door screens) is use a really wet mop and mop the screen. Every inch needs to get wet and then towel dry.
I’ve stopped removing the sliding door screens because they can be a pain to get back on and sometimes they need to be adjusted and I don’t want to be on the hook for adjusting the door. My procedure for these screens is to slide it to the fixed door side, clean the sliding door side, mop the heck out of the screen, and then towel the screen door while sliding it over a few inches at a time to the clean side. The results are great and I don’t have to fight taking it off and putting it back on.
Wow! That stinks. Sorry you had that happen. That is a whole lot of force to do that. I know, because I grew up in a house with those screens and used to remove them nightly. Never did that damage to them. Personally, I doubt you did it. But, you also didn’t notice it, so your on the hook for it. Life lessons are tough sometimes.
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