How to measure and install your windscreen
A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Windscreens
Measure & Label
- 100' non-strech tape measure for long fence segments
- 16' or 25' tape measure with a metal blade for gates and transoms
- Your court diagram
- Something to write with
- Secure your measuring tape
Do not simply hold the measuring tape up to the fence or measure along the ground. This can create slack or cause your measurements to be inaccurate. Hold one end of the tape securely to the beginning point of a segment and pull the tape tight to the end of that segment.
Measuring with only one person
If only one person is measuring, use a hook or carabiner to secure your tape measure to the outside of the tension bar so that you won’t need anyone to hold that end. Pull the tape measure tight to the outside of the next tension bar. Note the length, and then subtract 3”. This creates a measurement that subtracts the width of the tension bars.
- Pick a starting point and measure clockwise
Identify an easy-to-recognize starting point, like a gate or corner post. Start taking measurements at a terminal post, and continue to the next terminal post. Work clockwise to keep your segments in order for purchasing and installing.
Label as you measure
Label each segment on your court diagram as you measure. Include the segment name, and its length and height to the nearest inch.
- Measure the inside area of the fence
Measure the length from inside tension bar to inside tension bar. The windscreen is installed between the tension bars. Your measurements should not include the width of the tension bars or terminal posts.
When in doubt, opt for a slightly shorter measurement
It’s better to measure a segment an inch too short than an inch too long. Windscreens stretch and exact lengths may vary during manufacturing. If a segment is too long, it won’t have smooth coverage and may sag or look unprofessional.
- Keep your segments under 60’
For ease of handling and installation, a windscreen segment should be no longer than 60’. If a section of your fence is less than 60’, one segment of windscreen can cover it. For longer fence lengths, break the windscreen measurements into two or more segments that are no longer than 60’ each.
Joining two segments
When the fence length is longer than 60’, you’ll need two or more segments to cover the area. Use a line post as a starting or stopping point. The two segments should meet at a natural breaking point in the fence (the line post), which gives a cleaner look than joining the segments at a random point in the middle of the fence mesh. Do not include the width of the line post in your measurements. Leave a roughly 3” gap (the width of the line post) between the pieces so the you can attach them on either side of the post.
- Measure the inside area of the fence
Measure the height of your fence from the bottom of the top rail to the top of the bottom rail.
- Leave room for air flow when ordering
A windscreen height is generally shorter than the height of the fence. For instance, a 10’ fence will usually have a 9’ windscreen. Typically, the windscreen is installed with space at the top and/or bottom of the fence to allow wind flow through the screen.
- It’s okay to fully cover short fences
For fences shorter than 6’, you do not need to leave as much room for air flow. Measure the height between the top and bottom rails and use that number when ordering.
Gates & Transoms
Like other segments, the width of a gate should be measured from inside tension bar to inside tension bar. The height of the gate should be measured from the bottom of the top rail to the top of the bottom rail.
The width of a transom should be measured from inside tension bar to inside tension bar. The height should be measured from the bottom of the top rail to the top of the rail that’s over the gate opening.
Use your small tape measure for gates and transoms
The metal blade on your small tape measure will make it easier to measure gates and transoms, which are overhead.