Today Henrietta writes:

I need to find outdoor solar screens for my parents. They have a gazebo like area off the side of the house that they would like to start enjoying. But the problem is that the area gets a lot of sun coming in from the side and then it can get really hot and uncomfortable out there. Can you think of an outdoor solar screen solution that would be easy for my parents to operate and come in 10 or 12 feet wide? They need to see out but still get protection from the heat and sun, is this possible? Thank you for your time.

Henrietta, yes this is possible! You just have to know where to look. I’d suggest checking into SunSetter EasyShade Outdoor Solar Screens.

The SunSetter EasyShade Outdoor Solar Screens unroll up to 7 feet in height and come in a range from 4 to 12 feet wide. These are not custom solar screens, but they are made at an increment between 4 and 12. There is a manual version with a hand crank and a motorized version. While the motorized version is about $200 more expensive, you may want to seriously consider it due to your concern about this being easy to operate for your parents.

Just to help give you a closer idea of price, if you were ordering a motorized version of the 12ft shade, it would cost around $650.  While these are not the most expensive solar screens available, I have noticed that they’re definitely not the cheapest either. You’ll find cheaper solar screens at home improvement stores that will simply raise and lower on a cord, but be warned that the larger the size, the harder it is to raise and lower.  And this is why I have suggested SunSetter them over other such brands.

Outdoor Solar Screens

As I said above, these solar screens are not custom so you won’t have a lot in the way of the options. There is only three colors available: Desert Sand, Cream and Charcoal, with a choice on the color of the headrail in Cream or Bronze.  If you take my advice and go with the motorized option, the motor is not run by a battery and you will need to plug them in. Luckily the power cord is a generous 12ft and if the area is on a patio you shouldn’t have any problem finding a long-term or temporary solution for power.

The motorized solar screens block 90% of the “sun, wind and mist.” By contrast, the manual ones only block 80% of the same. Either of these options should dramatically reduce the heat and sun that makes the patio area unusable for your parents. Especially as the weather continues to heat up. And if you’re concerned about how the shades will look during the time they are not open, don’t worry the headrail is compact and slim so they won’t be an eye sore.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!

Written by Amanda Hartley