We recommend that you do some research about motorized patio screens or manual crank solar screens. Your research will help you to understand what is going to provide you with the best solution for your needs. Some questions you should get answers to are:
Is this for new construction?
Is this for retro-fit?
Which of these is most important visibility, sun, or insects?
Where do we mount the screens?
Where does the electrical mount?
How much electrical power is needed?
What type of screens do I need?
What is the difference between insect screens and solar screens?
Do I need to have tracks with a zipper system?
What is the pricing for motorized compared to manual and does it fit my budget?
We work with builders and their clients to provide a motorized patio screen solution. When working on a new construction project we will quote the project from the plans if it calls for motorized patio screens. Or, an owner may want motorized patio screens added, in that case we work together with the builder to provide a solution. Once the framing is complete we will come out and install U-channels. This way the screens tracks will be recessed into the brick or stone. Electrical is coordinated with the builders electrician and placed next to the motors. Close to the end of the project we will come out and install the screens and show you how the remote works. We typically don’t install manual crank patio screens on new construction since most people are trying to seal off their patios from insects. This is not possible with the manual crank patio screens. They are for solar protection only.
This gives you a good view of the motorized screens after they have been installed. Brick is left out so the installers can maneuver the roll of solar fabric into the bracket. The finish carpenters will build a removable box that will cover the roll and cover where the brick is missing. This also helps you to see how the tracks are recessed into the stone. The stone is finished to the bottom of the header. Between the motorized screens up above the column is typically where the electrical outlet will be placed. This will all be hidden from view once the box is finished.
Here you can see how the Somfy motors and the solar fabric roll is hidden behind the access cover. The cover is built so that it can be removed to access the motors, if they ever need to be exchanged or maintenance is needed in the future. This is the advantage of having motorized solar screens installed during construction. Everything is built in and makes a nice custom finish.
Retro-fit solar patio screens are installed after construction. An owner will call or email us that they are interested in motorize solar shades(motorized screens), so we will come out and look at their patio to see if it is possible to install patio shades. In some cases we may only be able to install with stainless steel rods instead of tracks if their is stone. The reason is that it takes a great deal of grinding to fit the tracks which increases the price dramatically. Stainless steel rods don’t seal of from the insects just solar. Electrical is done by an licensed electrician. If attic access isn’t possible, then electrician will run conduit. The fabric roll is contained within a powder coated housing instead of a custom made box used in new construction.
What is important, Sun, Insects or Visibility?
When deciding the type of retractable shades you are looking for you will need to make a decision on Sun, Insects and Visibility. If you want the best visibility you will need to go with Insect screen, which will provide protection from the insects and give you great visibility. However, you will have no solar screen protection. The best compromise is to go with a 90% UV solar screen. Visibility is very good, and you get great solar protection and insect protection. You can go with a 95% UV solar screen and get awesome solar protection, insect protection, but good visibility. When we come out we will show you samples and you can make a decision on which will work best for you.
Where To Mount The Screens?
In new construction it is always on the inside of the header. In retro-fit it depends on the construction. It may be that it can be installed on the inside, between opening, or on the outside soffit. Sometimes where the solar screens will get mounted may have a bearing on obstructions to the screens coming all the way down to seal off the patio. So, your options may become limited in some cases. Most of the time we will try and get you as much patio space as possible. In the images below you will see some obstructions in one image and a real nice soffit mount with no obstructions, giving as much patio space to enjoy as possible.
If you are in new construction the builder will provide the electrical. In a retro-fit if there is access in the attic for the electricians to run electric for the Somfy motors. They will put an outlet next to the motor. If there is more than one solar shade getting installed we will coordinate so two motors can run off of one outlet. Each motor uses only 3 amps.
Types of Screens?
You have Insect screen, 90% UV solar screen, 95% UV solar screen. Insect screen keeps out the bugs, but has no solar protection. 90% UV provides 90% protection against UV rays. 95% UV provides 95% protection against UV rays. Solar screens can also provide a reduction in your homes energy costs. The colors vary depending on the type of screen you decide on. Black or Brown is used 90% of the time, because it provides the best visibility.
How Does the Zipper System Work?
The motorized screens have a sonically welded zipper on both sides of the fabric. This zipper goes down inside the track and guides the solar shades down while holding them in place as they move through the track. If you decide to use manual crank shades, you will not have a zipper system, it will be stainless steel guides.
Pricing for motorized screens can vary depending on your project. These are custom made for your patio. You can contact us by phone or email and we can discuss the pricing. Manual crank screens are going to be less expensive than motorized and they are limited to only solar protection at this time.
Fabric is 10 years
Motors are 5 years
Labor is 1 year