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Most homeowners install solar screens for privacy, as a layer of insulation, and to block the sun’s UV rays. They also help to keep out insects, birds, and dust when the window or door is open. So, if you’re thinking of installing these useful fixtures, knowing how much solar screens cost will aid you in your renovation.
In this cost guide, we will help you estimate the average cost of solar window screens and look at various factors that add to its overall cost. But first, it’s important to answer a question:
What are solar screens?
Solar screens, sometimes used interchangeably with the roller solar shades, are designed specifically to block UV rays and prevent too much direct, natural sunlight into an area.
Typically, these window shades are made from a mesh-like material that folds like fabric but looks like plastic. This material has holes to let some amount of sunlight in. You can attach this retractable screen to your windows from the outside.
Solar screens are one of the most inexpensive, temporary solutions to protect your house from the sun, its heat and glare, and also get some privacy. They are a great way to minimize sun damage in your house too.
How Much Do Solar Screens Cost?
To arrive at an average, your overall solar screens cost should fall between $110 and $480 per window or door. This amount equates to roughly $7.50 per square foot.
Let’s break the amount for you:
Material cost: $40 – $280 per window/door
Labor cost: $75 – $200 per window/door
Total solar screens cost: $115 – $480 per window/door
However, there’s more to it than an exact amount. The price of solar screens varies widely depending on the area you live, how large your windows or doors are, the number of screens required, the labor rate in your location, and a host of other factors. Let’s look at some of these.
Read more: An introduction to solar financing options
Solar screen cost factors
The shape of solar screens
The best part about these screens is that they are designed to fit any shape or size of windows. So, whether you have arched, hexagon, trapezoid, oval, or standard rectangular windows — solar screens can easily fit over any of those shapes. Generally, pricing is calculated by adding the width and height in inches.
However, the cost for the above-mentioned shapes, that are different from rectangular or square, will come with additional add on costs. Since these have to be customized, the prices go up.
Size of doors and windows
Your total solar screen cost will largely come down to your window or door size. The more square footage required, the more the cost. If you need pricing by size, a good ballpark figure is $5 per square foot for an average-sized window.
Do know that solar screens designed for doors will be more expensive than the standard-sized screens made for windows.
Solar screen material
The cost of the solar screens also depends on the type of screen fabric you want. Generally, these screens are made of special window screen mesh, mostly a polyester weave. Sometimes, they are made with the added durability of PVC coating.
For instance, Textilene® is designed to block up to 90% of the sun’s heat. It cuts out maximum glare while providing excellent daytime privacy. Basically, the more UV and infrared you block, the more you pay.
Not many people realize this, but solar screens come in varying ranges of light filtering and privacy. As these screens are made from a mesh with holes, the size of the holes determines the openness factor, or amount of natural light let in.
This openness factor starts at 1% and goes up to 12%. Here are some cost-effective popular choices:
- 1% openness solar screens look almost black from the inside. They grant complete privacy and keep the home cool. However, they hinder the outside view.
- 3% openness considerably reduces the dark color, while still providing almost complete privacy and sun protection.
- 5% openness is among the most popular as they still offer relatively clear views without direct sunlight.
Solar contractors charge more as the openness factor goes up. For instance, the kind of raw material they require for 12% openness will be more refined and costlier than say a basic 1%.
The kind of installation
Whether or not you hire a pro for installation will make a huge difference in the pricing. While a DIY project will be easy on the pockets, a job done by a professional window contractor will include hourly labor rates.
Having said that, we feel hiring a window contractor to install your solar screens will ensure a sleek fit and the best insulation.
The average time it takes to install solar screens is around two hours. The two-hourly cost of labor ranges from $75 to $246.
Apart from this, there are other installation costs that need to be borne by the homeowner. These are estimated after taking in all the measurements and visual inspection.
The installation will include a layout, mark, and drill mounting of the holes needed for the shade’s frame.
New solar screens or replacement?
There’s good news for homeowners who are looking for replacements. The cost to replace your solar screens is relatively inexpensive as compared to a new installation.
For a window solar screen of 36” x 42” size, the cost comes around $24. While for a 36” x 84” door solar screen, it’s $48 on average.
Other considerations and costs
- Added to the installation cost, there may be additional taxes and permit fees.
- Whether you want just a single screen installation or for the entire house, installers usually impose a minimum labor charge to cover five to ten example screen installations. Hence, it’s better to go for most of your doors and windows.
While there are plenty of door and window treatment options to choose from, solar screens and solar shades are a popular choice. They work well in different homes and locations.
To make the most of solar screens, install them in rooms that receive a lot of sunlight. Interestingly, most homeowners choose to put solar screens on their south-facing windows to ensure that these get the most morning light and sunshine throughout the day.
The best part is that solar screens are one of the most cost-effective ways to conserve energy. They are especially great for summer. Did you know, a well-installed quality solar screen could reduce electric costs for cooling up to 33%?
So, don’t let solar screen costs deter you from installing them. Trust us, they will end up being one of the most inexpensive solutions to lower your energy bills in the long run.
Read more: How to Choose the Best Solar Garden Lights? 7 Important Tips