How to Measure Your Windows
First, Determine the Best Mounting Method for Your Window
In order to use leaf springs, be sure you have a track or channel at the top and bottom of the window frame (or the left and right side) for the springs to wedge into. Alternatively, you can use leaf springs if you have a depth of at least ¼” of flat frame on the top of the window frame and at least a ¼” depth “floor” at the bottom of the window frame for the solar screen frame to sit on.
Second, Measure Your Window(s)
Click on the appropriate section below, depending on which mounting method you will use, to reveal the measuring instructions for that method.
Casement Clips - How to Measure
- In order to use casement clips, be sure you have at least ½" of flat window frame surrounding at least 2 opposite sides of the window (typically the left and right side, but clips can also be placed on the top and bottom).
- Measure where you want to place the turn clips - about 6"-8" from top and bottom on each side.
- Draw a circle where each casement clip will go - use a pencil eraser as a template.
- Width - measure from the inside edge of circle on the left to the inside edge of the circle on the right. Subtract ⅛" inch for clearance. Record this number as the width.
- Height - measure the entire height of the window frame and subtract ⅛" for clearance. Record this number as the height.
Leaf Springs - How to Measure
- In order to use leaf or tension springs, be sure you have a track or channel at the top and bottom of the window frame (or the left and right side) for the springs to wedge into. Alternatively, you can use leaf or tension springs if you have a depth of at least ¼" of flat frame on the top of the window frame and at least a ¼" depth "floor" at the bottom of the window frame for the solar screen frame to sit on.
- The following instructions assume your channel/tracks are at the top and bottom of your window.
- Width - Measure from the inside edge of the recessed area on the left to the inside edge of the recessed area on the right - be sure to keep the tape measure level and straight. Measure in multiple locations and note the smallest measurement. Subtract ⅛" for clearance. Record this number as the width.
- Height - measure from the top of the recessed channel on top down to the top of the bottom lip on the bottom channel/track. Subtract 1/16" for clearance. Record this number as the height.
3M Dual Lock - How to Measure
- Be sure you have at least 5/8" of flat, smooth window frame surrounding all four sides of the window.
- Width - Measure the window frame from the left outside edge to the right outside edge. Subtract ⅛" for clearance. Record this number as the width.
Step 2: How to Cut the Frames
After recording your measurements from Step 1, it's time to cut your frames down to the correct size.
- To cut the 2 horizontal frame pieces for the width, subtract 2 inches from the screen width you recorded in step 1. This will be the length of the horizontal pieces you need to cut.
- The reason we subtract 2 inches is because each corner piece is 1 inch wide. Since there will be 1 corner piece on each side of the screen, we need to cut our horizontal frame pieces 2 inches shorter than the total screen width.
- Example: If your total screen width is 36", cut your 2 horizontal pieces to be 34". (34" + 1" corner piece + 1" corner piece = 36")
- Cut the 2 vertical frame pieces the same way. Subtract 2" for each vertical frame piece. Example: If the screen height is 60", cut each vertical frame piece 58". (58" + 1" corner piece + 1" corner piece = 60")
- The best and easiest way to cut the frame pieces down to size is to use a mitre saw. You can also use a hack saw or similar. The aluminum frames are strong, but very easy to cut through with a powered saw.
Step 3: How to Assemble the Solar Screen
If you are using leaf or tension springs, insert them on one of the frame pieces (top side is recommended) by sliding a spring into each end of the frame piece.
Assemble frame using the corners provided. Be sure the spline channel is on the inside edge of all 4 frame pieces.
(Optional) Insert 2 pull tabs into the spline channel on the side of the frame opposite the springs.
(Optional) Add center bar/clips by sliding one clip into each side of the center bar and clipping the center bar into the desired position.
With the frame fully assembled, check to make sure the frame fits in the window before proceeding. If you need to make any adjustments to the width or height, disassemble the frame and trim the frame down to size using a chop saw, hacksaw or grinder.
Find a large flat surface and lay the frame down, spline channel (back) side up. If desired, tape down the edges of the frame to keep it in place.
Lay the solar screen on top of the frame. It does not matter which side of the screen is up. Be sure the screen overlaps the spline channel by at least ½” on all four sides.
Smooth out the screen to remove wrinkles and waves and place a heavy object (such as a gallon of water) in the center of the screen. This will help keep the screen tight as you roll it into the spline channel.
Roll the screen into the spline channel (without the spline) - start from the center of one side and finish that side, then move to the opposite side (use concave (non-grooved) side of the roller). Repeat this for all four sides.
Starting in one corner, roll the spline into the spline channel using the convex (grooved) side of the roller. Push spline into corners with flathead screwdriver; using the concave side of the roller, be sure all the spline is securely seated into the spline channel.
Trim excess spline using a utility knife.
Be sure there are no waves or folds in the screen before moving on to the next step. If there are, remove spline and screen and start over.
Trim excess screen using a utility knife by cutting just above the spline at a 45 degree angle.
Step 4: How to Install the Solar Screen
Click the appropriate method below to reveal the installation steps for that particular mounting method.
Casement Clips - How to Install
- Set the screen in place to be sure it will fit.
- Mount screen by screwing in turn clips using hex-head driver and self-tapping screws.
Leaf Springs - How to Install
- Insert the solar screen with the springs end in first and pop the opposite side in place.
3M Dual Lock - How to Measure
- Thoroughly clean and dry the window frame to ensure proper adhesion of the 3M Dual Lock Pads.
- Remove backing from one side of the 3M Dual Lock pair and attach to one corner of the back side of the solar screen frame.
- Repeat for all 4 corners and for any additional locations you want to add the 3M Dual Lock.
- Remove the backing from the 3M Dual Lock pairs that are now attached to the solar screen frame.
- Attach the screen to the window frame and be sure to push and hold for 15 seconds on each location where the 3M Dual Lock pads are attached.