How Much Do Solar Screens Cost to Install?
$120 - $480
$120 - $480
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated August 17, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
The average solar screen costs $300 per window, including labor. Most homeowners pay between $120 and $480 per window. Expect to pay more for larger windows such as floor-to-ceiling, custom screens, or certain openness and density levels.
Solar screens effectively lower your energy bills, especially if you live in a warm and sunny climate. These mesh screens reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home, keeping it naturally cooler and providing better insulation. They also offer more privacy than traditional window screens.
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Several elements impact the cost to install solar screens, ranging from the size of your windows to the screening material you choose.
Where you live impacts the cost to install window screens. If you shop around, you'll find a better deal in states with more competition and a comparatively lower cost of living, with prices between $50 and $100 per screen. These tend to be hotter climates.
In colder climates and places with a higher cost of living, you could pay as much as $130 per screen due to a lack of competition, higher demand, and a higher cost of living.
Generally, the more windows you want screens installed on, the more you'll pay overall but the less you'll pay per screen. Many contractors have minimum job fees to make a call-out worth their time and to account for minimum labor hours, travel time, wear and tear on their vehicles and tools, and profit. While installing a couple of screens can run you $100 per screen or more, having a whole home fitted can reduce the cost to between $50 and $70 per screen.
Size is the other most influential cost factor. The bigger your window type, the more solar screen material you need and the more you'll pay per window. An average window measuring 36 by 60 inches may cost as little as $55 for the materials, while a large window that’s 60 by 72 inches can cost $80 or more.
The type and color of the material determine how much you'll pay for the screen fabric. In general, light screens reflect the most light and heat, making them more efficient and costly. Darker fabrics have a different aesthetic that some people love, but because they usually let more heat through, they cost less per square inch. The typical range is $2 to $8 per square foot, with lower-quality, thin, uncoated dark mesh priced at the lower end of this range and high-quality light, dense, PVC-coated mesh at the upper end of the range.
Keep in mind that you'll see solar screen fabric with different percentages. The higher the percentage, the more screen material there is, the smaller the holes in the mesh, and the more heat they block. In fact, 80% is the typical rating, meaning it blocks around 80% of the heat and glare that would normally make their way through the window. This percentage is popular because it blocks enough heat to make most rooms tolerable without completely blocking light and the view from the window.
The other common option is 90% fabric, which is very effective at blocking heat and light, but some people find it too dark. However, it's favored in particularly hot climates. You can get solar screen fabric as low as 65% or as high as 99%. The greater the percentage, the more material the screen uses, so the more it costs. A screen with 99% blocking capabilities can cost twice as much as one that only blocks 65% of the light and heat.
The openness factor refers to the size of the holes in the mesh and the light filtering and privacy capabilities. Unlike the solar blocking rating, the openness factor runs from 1% to 14%. A 1% screen looks solid from the inside, while a 12% screen is super-fine, lets more light through, and hinders the view less. A 5% openness value is popular because it offers a good compromise between light filtering and allows a homeowner to enjoy the view from their window.
The cost based on the openness factor is the reverse of solar blocking costs. A basic 1% screen fabric costs up to 50% less than a fine, refined 12% fabric. This is because the base material for a high-end 14% screen is finer and higher-quality than that required for a functional, budget-friendly 1% screen.
The cost of solar screens for windows is about $4 to $5 per square foot but could cost as much as $7.50 per square foot or more. However, the more screens you install on your windows, the lower your per-square-foot costs.
The costs for solar screen installation are broken down into materials and labor, with labor making up about 70% of the total price.
Most solar screens by themselves range from $40 to $280 per window, or $160 on average, not including labor. Screens made from more durable mesh will cost more.
Solar screens come in many colors. Darker screens like black or brown make it easier to see out of your window, but lighter screens bring in more natural light. There isn’t a noticeable price difference between darker and lighter versions.
Labor costs around $75 to $200 per window, or an average of $140. How much you'll pay for labor depends on the job difficulty and whether the window installer near you is installing new screens or repairing or replacing old ones. Repairing or replacing existing gridwork also increases labor costs.
While most homeowners can install solar screen mesh over their windows, professional window treatment companies make installation both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
If you don’t get the proper fit, you won’t get the full benefits of a solar screen. If you hire a local window screen replacement pro, the costs will pay for themselves in about one to two years.
Solar screens are a type of mesh that prevent too much sunlight from entering your house. They adhere to either the outside or inside of your windows, significantly reducing glare and lowering your home's temperature. Solar screens also provide extra privacy since you can see out your windows, but outsiders can't see inside.
Solar screens insulate your home better than other types of screens and window treatment costs when properly installed. In hot and dry states like Texas, Nevada, or Arizona, they help cool your home naturally and lower your energy bills up to 33%.
Most solar screens have a life span of about 10 years. However, this can vary depending on the climate, installation quality, and screen type. Solar screens in direct sunlight will begin to fade after three years. Proper maintenance can help extend the life of your solar screens.
Solar screens are better than paying for window tinting because they can help keep the interior of your home cooler by blocking the sun's heat, while window tinting isn’t as effective at blocking out the sun's heat. Solar screens also protect your furniture and flooring from fading due to the sun's UV rays.
No, solar shades don't keep the cold out. Solar screens work by blocking sunlight, effectively making the windows in your home more energy-efficient, but they won't help to keep your home warmer in cold weather. Although there may be less sunlight coming in to naturally warm the space during colder months, solar screens provide an extra layer of insulation for your windows, helping your home retain its interior temperature better.