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Are DIY Solar Shades Worth The Trouble?


What Are Solar Shades?

Solar shades are roller shades created by using woven polyester fabric. This fabric is woven tight enough to act as a shield against UV rays while optimizing your views. If your window is overlooking exceptional scenic beauty outside and too much sunlight is entering the room, then solar shades will block the excessive glare as well as decrease the heat without barricading your view. They will stop the sunlight from damaging or fading the carpet, upholstery, artwork, and hardwood floors. Solar shades also help to save on your energy bills. With many options available, picking the right one based on your requirements depends on the direction the window is facing and on what features you consider essential. Their functionality is determined by the Openness Factor of the fabric or the amount of open and/or closed space in the material and its color.

Dark Color Solar Shades

Dark-colored solar shades possess the ability to exceptionally control glare by decreasing the sunlight entering the room. Fabrics barring 95% of the light control glare outstandingly and absorb a certain amount of heat at the window. Dark-colored solar shades are optimal for applications where glare control and passive solar warming are expected.

Light-Color Solar Shades

Light-colored solar shade fabrics are very helpful in heat reflection and allowing more light to enter the room. A fabric that blocks 85% of the light is an outstanding option for offering more light in places where small windows are present, and in living space that needs a brighter and lighter ambiance.

How To Make DIY Solar Shades

There is a large range of materials that can be considered for making solar screens, and also solar shades are easy to design and develop for house use. Here are a few simple steps for creating your own DIY solar shade fitted to a wooden frame:

Making a Solar Shade with a wooden frame

  • Firstly, note down the width and the length of your window frame which will be the main criteria for your solar shade size.
  • Then, based on the measured size, cut the wood frame. Ensure that each wood ends are cut at an angle of 45-degree. Use a protractor for the exact measurement of the frame edge angle.
  • Using a hand saw, cut along the edge that is marked. The wooden pieces should then be arranged in the shape of a rectangle. However, make sure that you remove any rough edge produced while cutting before applying glue.
  • To stick the wooden ends together apply the carpenter’s glue between them. For rigid fastening, use a staple. Assemble the lengthier sections and then fit the assembly into shorter sections for ease of insertion.
  • For installing a crossbar, ensure that the crossbar fits into the screen width. Then, clip all sides of the frame and install it into the frame. The clip should fit tightly into the crossbar.

Cutting of Solar Shade

  • Mark the frame outline on the solar shade material based on the wood frame measurements.
  • Add 1-2 inches to the measured values on every side of the frame such that the solar shade can be inserted into the frame’s grooves.
  • Cut the shade based on the required size following the outline marked on the shade.

Inserting Solar Shade onto the Frame

  • Place the solar shade over the rectangular frame. Fix the shade onto the frame’s grooves. Ensure that the screen’s spline groove is facing out. 
  • Start with the uppermost central part and fasten it to offer you anchorage for pulling the remaining sides. Pull the solar shade’s lower part towards the middle section of the frame’s bottom part. This end should then be attached to the frame and ensured that it has a tight fit.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining solar shades. Trim out the extrasolar shade at the frame’s edges. Remove any excess shade on the edge at the back of the frame.

The Pros Of Solar Shades

  • The main feature of solar shades is their capability to decrease the sun glare by filtering the light while offering privacy. This ability of solar shades helps to reduce energy costs in the summer thereby, preserving the longevity of the furniture.
  • Additionally, filtering of UV rays implies healthier skin and less damaging sunlight. The solar shades are available in a wide array of shapes, colors, and designs, compatible with any window.
  • They are made of sturdy and water resistant material and can be great outdoor blinds to help protect your patio.

The Cons Of Solar Shades

  • In general, although solar shades are very effective in filtering light and UV rays, they are not real blackout shades.
  • They offer some privacy during the daytime. However, the house interior can still be visible through them roughly, especially when the lights are on. Also, due to the type of fabric used, they often give the window a less attractive and darker look when seen from the outside.

Bottom Line

With DIY solar shades, one can keep an enormous amount of heat out of their home, reduce energy bills, and create a more comfortable room during the summers. Large windows are the most suitable candidates for DIY solar shades as they bear the highest effect on solar radiation. However, sometimes it is hard to cover these windows completely without resulting in an ugly look in the process.

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