JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tech Tips for DIY's: Mounting Screws

Tech Tip for the Do it Yourselfers
What kind of screws we as professionals here in Austin TX use (when needed) to screw on our Solar Window Screens.

Question :  Mounting Screws.  What kind of screw to use when screwing on a solar screen to a window's metal frame, a wood frame window or wood trim around a window. 


Answer :  There are two screws we use, we use a self-threading Tek Screw and a Wood Screw with 1/4" nut heads.  We use 3/4" and 1" lengths.  The 1/4" nut heads are just a personal preference, as our drills are stocked with 1/4" nut drivers.  Tek screws are only used for screwing into metal.  When screwing into plastic or wood, you would always use a wood screw.  A Tek screw has a sharp bit on it to bore out a hole (basically pre-drill a hole) into metal, which is imperative unless you want to try to pre-drill with drill bits all your holes.  Anyhow, with a Tek screw you would hold the screen in place and simply screw the tek screw through the screen's frame right into the window's metal frame.  If you are screwing into plastic or wood, you would ALWAYS want to use wood screws.  You would never use a Tek screw when screwing into plastic or wood because you don't want to pre-drill (bore out) a hole.  A wood screw will by force and pressure make it's own hole as it's being drilled in.  This is what you want when you mount to plastic or wood.  You want the screw to fit into the plastic or wood  as tight as possible, which means no pre-drilling.  I emphasize this becasue I have seeen SOOOO many times where novice installers have screwed screens to the wood trim around a window using Tek screws only for where those screws were screwed into to become a weak spot over the years and the screw no longer held into the wood, thus the screw and the screen will easily come out. 

For the Self Installers out there ...
"Never use Self-Threading Tek screws when screwing into wood.  I see all over town installs where people have screwed into wood using Tek screws and now the screws have come loose due to rot. Only use wood screws when screwing into wood." 

At JoshHobbs.com we install Solar Screens in the Austin TX area.  At JoshHobbs.com we do not ship or sell our solar screens for self-installers and we only install the screens that we build.  To learn more about our solar screen services and to get installed pricing, please visit our website at  
JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services 


J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) + Underwriter(s) 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Multiple colors of Solar Window Screens on a home?

Question :  Can I mix and match a solar screen order from you using different colors?  For Example, Can I order Stucco solar screens for the front of my home and the Chocolate solar screens for the rest of the windows of my home? Will this impact my price, will this still be one order thus will I still receive your quantity discount?  How will it look to mix and match different colors of solar screens on my house?  How about mixing frame colors?  Some of my windows would look better using the brown frame while some would look best using the white frame. Can I order solar screens from you for my home's windows with a mix and match of frame colors?


Answer :  Your pricing will not be impacted if you mix fabric and/or frame colors on the same order.  if you have 500" of Stucco and 500" of Chocolate, it's a total of 1000".  Our Quantity Discounted Installed Solar Screen Pricing is based on location.   As long as it's all for the same house / commercial building (the same location), then it's considered one order.

Austin TX Installed Solar Screen Pricing

Having different colors of solar screen fabrics on one house in our opinion does not look good.  We suggest that you use one color of the solar screen fabric for your entire house.  Now, we have installed the solar screens on a person's house whereby they have had a separate utility shed or swimming pool cabana. whereby then you could absolutely get away with using two different colors of fabric.  We just did an install last week as matter of fact that had a swimming pool cabana next to it that we put a different color of fabric on than what they had on the house. 

Different colors of the framing - no problem.  No problem mixing frame colors.  You can absolutely use different frame colors on the different windows of the house / commercial building.  For example around the glass of a swing out patio door.  If you are using the chocolate fabric color, you may want to use the brown frame (depending on the look you are going for).  For instance I am now building screens for a customer that has white framed windows whereby I am using white framing for the solar screens, but she has two side light windows that are wooden framed, and the wood is painted a champagne color.  So, we will frame the two screens for those Windows using our champagne framing.  If we did white framing, the white would stand out against the champagne painted wood.



Learn more about our Austin TX Solar Screen Services at  JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services 


J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) + Underwriter(s) 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What does the grey solar screen look like?

Question :  What does the grey solar screen look like?  What kind of exterior would the grey solar screen look good with?



Answer :  The grey solar screen is not a dull version of the black (charcoal), it's almost got a hint of light blue to it.  From our website, order a Free sample kit and you can see the grey material first hand.  It's not a color we use to often, but when it works, it works :)  Here's a picture of a home that we solar screened here in Central Austin whereby we used the Grey Solar Screen Fabric w/ White Frame.



To learn more about JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services please visit our main page at JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services 

And also be sure to visit our subpages which are chaulked full of valuable information to learn from -

Pictures (Pg1), Solar Screen Services, Austin -TX
Customer Feedback (Pg1), Solar Screen Services, Austin -TX
Questions & Answers, Solar Screen Services, Austin -TX
Videos of How We Install, Solar Screen Services, Austin -TX
Contact, Solar Screen Services, Austin -TX


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Solar Shade Screens for ALL my Windows "Now or Later" ?

Question :  Should I just put solar shade screens on the windows that I know are getting the most sun?  Should I try solar shade screens on a few windows now, and then solar screen the rest of my windows later?  Is it better to solar shade screen all the windows that I think I may need solar screens for now? I don't know how effective / how well the solar screens will work, I am thinking that I should try a few now and if I like them, do the rest of the windows later, -is this a good idea?


Answer :  We all the time I get asked should we do all our windows, or just shade part of the house.

Yesterday we visited two homes that we solar screened last summer. Last summer both of these homes were partially solar screened because each of the customers only chose to do some of their windows instead of all of them. Well, now we are going to build solar screens for each of the rest of each of these home's windows. The homes are owned by two completely different people, no relation. I was astounded. Two homes in one day. I had no idea until I pulled up to each of these homes that they were previous installations (customer’s home's that we had already worked on). This happens often! Far too often people call us back to finish the rest of their house. We try to tell people that it SOOO much better to do all the windows you think you will ever have a need for solar screens for now. - Now, because if you solar screen all your windows now, you will get to take advantage of our quantity discounts.


The other thing is that people will say that they want to try the solar screens on a few windows to see if they work. They work, yes, they definitely work, so get them now and just be done with it :)  It’s this that happens so often, that people say they want to try a side to see if they work, then we hear back from them saying they worked so well, we now want to get the rest of the windows done.


Also, consistency and aesthetics play a huge factor.  You want your property to look good right ?   And then there's the privacy factor.  The privacy factor is HUGE, and it's something you know nothing about until you experience it with the solar screens.  People call us back often saying the same thing, "we don't need solar screens on these windows for shade, but we LOVE the daytime privacy we get out of them".  The thing is this, the solar screens through us just don't cost all that much, our pricing is so low, why not just do all the windows, save by taking advantage of the quantity discounts and be done with it :)


Learn more about our Austin TX Solar Screen Services at  JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services 


J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) + Underwriter(s) 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Solar Screens for Dormer Windows, Attic Windows

Question :  Should I put solar window screens on my dormer windows, the windows that lead into my attic?  Is there a benefit to putting a solar screen on a dormer window, a window that leads into my attic?

Answer : Yes, for two reasons;

1) If the dormer window is located on the front of the house, and you are putting solar screens on all of the other windows on the front of the house (like shown in this picture), you absolutely want to screen the dormer window for a clean consistent look.  It would look odd if you put solar screens on all the windows but the dormer window.  So yes, for a consistent look you would want to screen all the windows including the dormer window.

2) Putting a solar screen on a dormer window is a huge benefit.  To keep the attic cooler, you will want to shade the sun that gets through the dormer window with a solar screen.   So much sun gets through that dormer window into the attic causing the attic to get that much hotter.  By shading the dormer window with a solar screen, you are considerably cutting down on the heat being generated by that of the direct sun.  Putting solar screens on the dormer windows of your house is a great idea!  




Learn more about our Austin TX Solar Screen Services at  JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services 


J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) + Underwriter(s) 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sun Control Fabrics for Solar Screens (a.k.a. Solar Shade, Sun Screen, Sun Shade Fabrics)


Question : What makes up a good sun control fabric?  How many different solar shade fabrics are out there that one can make solar screens out of?  What are the differences between the different sun screen fabrics?  What sun shade fabrics are better than others?  Are there different colors of sun control fabrics? What sun screen fabrics last the longest in the direct sun?  What solar shade fabric will fade the least in the direct sun?  What solar screen fabric is the strongest, that's the most durable, that's the most pet resistant?

Answer : We are "HUGE" fans of Phifer's Suntex Sun Control fabric line.  The Suntex sun control line comes in a 70%, 80% and 90% weave.  The 70% weave currently only comes in Black.  The 80% and 90% weave are available in Black, Chocolate, Stucco, Grey and Beige as shown in this photo. 






















Phifer Suntex Sun Control Fabrics















You can go to Pictures, Solar Screen Services - Austin, TX to see many houses, homes and commercial buildings that we have installed our solar screens on that display these various color options. 


The Suntex Sun Control Fabric is extremely strong and durable.  So strong, I guarantee you that you can not rip or tear it with your bare hands.  It's 'the one' line of the many sun control fabrics out there that I have personally seen over the years that lasts the longest from the harsh direct sun we endure here in Ausitn Texas during our long hot summers.  All over town here in Austin TX I get a chance to see old solar screens, old solar screens that have been installed over the previous years by our competitors, and I can say with 100% certainty that the solar window screens made out of the Suntex sun shade fabric by far holds up the best. 

Alternatively, I have to admit that the Phifer Super Solar sun control fabric is not bad, it holds up in the direct sun very well, but it is not pet and hail resistant like the Suntex line, it's an entirely different sun shade fabric, and it only comes in the 90% weave and two color options.  Simply put, the Super Solar sun screen fabric is yesterday's model.  

The Suntex sun shade fabric is so strong it is pet resistant, now that's not to say that pets can't tear it up, it is to say however that the Suntex sun shade fabric is super durable and very resistant to abuse.  The fabric is made out of yarn with a PVC coating around it. 

When you see the Suntex solar shade fabric first hand, you'll appreciate its quality.  In fact, if you live in the Austin TX area we will for free send you one of our solar screen sample kits.  From our website http://www.joshhobbs.com/ you can order for free our solar screen sample kit so that you can first hand see how strong the Suntex sun screen fabric actually is. 

The Suntex Sun Screen fabric was first manufactured by Phifer as a fabric to integrate into the construction of outdoor furniture.  Interestingly, we see it on the patio's of people's houses quite often.  We always get a kick out of walking up to a person's back patio seeing furniture made out of the Suntex fabric. 

I can't stress enough how SUPER strong the Suntex Sun Control fabric is. 

The key to a good sun shading fabric is that you want one that will withstand the test of time.  Anything in the direct sun will fade and wear on you, especially here in Austin Texas where the sunny hot days are long and brutal. For your solar window screens, you will want to use the best sun shade fabric that you can.  And that's the Phifer Suntex sun control fabric.

We sadly see on people's houses all of the time degraded solar screens that customers tell us are only 3 years old that just look horrible.  It's such a shame, I feel for these people.  Sadly, a shady solar screen company will bid a job based on him making the highest profit margin he can, whereby one of the things he will do to cut those corners to make that higher profit margin is to assemble his solar screens out of the cheapest lowest end fabric and framing materials that he can.  It saddens me to see this.  Consumers rely on the expertise of the professionl they have hired to do the job.  These type of unscrupulous companies do this at the end-result expense of durability and longevity.  It's sad, because often at the end of the day, the consumer won't know the difference, leaving the light to be shed on these shady companies years down the road when the customer starts to see their solar screens fade, degrade and wear. 

This is not how we operate, we only use the industries highest-end materials "period" to assemble our solar screens with.  The materials I use for your assemblies are the same I have used for myself, on my own home as shown in these two pictures.  




You can find our installed cheap solar screen pricing on our website at 
Solar Screen Pricing

By using a far superior product we will often come in under most everyone elses bids much less than our competitors do with their cheaper materials.  We are not greedy, we are smart about about are work, thus we can be extremely 'effecient' which is a savings we pass along to you. Compare our published pricing and you'll see for yourself.

We see jobs all over town that we did many years ago that look just as good today as they did back then.  That's saying a ton about our solar screens.  Actually, we refuse to build solar screens out of anything but the Suntex sun control fabric.  When we do government contract work for example that has a low installed government fixed rate, we refuse to stoop to the low practices of using inferior products to increase our profit margin.  We will always absorb the loss (difference in cost).  We all the time bite the bullet and chalk up the manufacturing cost difference to use our high-end Suntex screening.  I refuse to use an inferior product.  I know better and will not concede integrity and quality for a minimal profit. 


J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) & Underwriter(s)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Solar screens for side-by-side windows

Question :  Can a solar window screen (aka sun shade, sun screens) fit over multiple windows mulled together?  If I have what looks like one window from the inside of my home, but it's actually two windows side-by-side, will you make one solar screen to fit over both of the windows, or will it be two solar window screens, one for each window?   How about if I have a rectangular window and a 1/2 circlewindow above it, will you make one solar screen to fit over both windows, or will you make a solar screen for each window?
Answer : The simple answer is that each window takes its own solar screen.  We do not fit a single solar screen (aka sun shade, sun screen) over multiple windows. 

Here are some pictures of mulled together windows, windows that are put together that can look like one big window from the inside, but are actually multiple windows.  You will always know that they mulled together because the windows are separated by framing.  Each and every window will have framing going around it, therefore if you put two windows together it's obvious that it's more than one window. 

To learn more, please visit the question and answer that we have posted on our questions and answers page that discusses this topic.  Solar Screens for side-by-side windows

Shown in this picture are 4 windows w/ 4 solar screens,
one being a 1/2 circle window.
* Each window takes its own solar screen *

Shown in this picture are 3 windows w/ 3 solar screens.
* Each window takes its own solar screen *

A great way to see solar screens installed on the many different kind of side-by-side windows is to look at our pictures page of our installed solar window screens (a.k.a sun screens, sun shades)  Pictures, Solar Screen Services - Austin, TX 

Learn More from JoshHobbs.com Solar Screen Services

J P Hobbs, Inc - Sponsor(s) & Underwriter(s)