Choosing the right outdoor blinds for your needs can be tricky. There are various factors to consider, such as weather conditions and location.
What Type of Outdoor Blinds Are There?
Blinds have become an increasingly popular window and screen door covering over the past few years, with consumers spoilt for choice. They vary in style, material and function, with suppliers able to advise on the best suited to your needs. Here’s a look at the current options available.
Also known colloquially as ‘café blinds’, these are made from high-quality, durable PVC plastic that gives your outdoor living space protection from bad weather conditions. The PVC is clear, allowing for light filtration while the material prevents your outdoor area from getting wet, when it rains as well as providing wind protection. This form of PVC outdoor blind even has SPF protection of 20 or higher. When it comes to stacking the blinds, there are often levers, ropes or pulleys with some form of connective material to keep the blinds in place when they’re lowered. There are just so many benefits to PVC outdoor blinds!
- Outdoor Roller Blinds
Even within this form of outdoor blinds there are subsets of blind options, depending on your particular needs.
These are semi-translucent, allowing sufficient light while also blocking out the harmful UV rays. If this is placed over a door, you will have to roll it the entire way up before opening and closing the door.
This laidback option is well-suited to a seaside home, allowing light in while blocking wind and UV rays. These protect outdoor furniture from the sun, cooling the space when it’s hot, and warming the space when it’s cold. Because they’re semi-translucent, there isn’t a sense of confinement and the view isn’t restricted.
Another option is the shearweave which is a product imported from Australia, offering great wind and sun protection. Like the bamboo blinds, the shearweave keeps the space wonderfully cool on hot summer days, and warm up the space when it cools down. Although they do not block the rain totally, they will dissipate the rain and act as both a fire and algae retardant.
A leading solution for outdoor coverage is the zip screen, a specially-designed system that includes tracks which locks the fabric in, preventing insects and unwanted light entering. Zip screens are outdoor blinds that can be easily retracted and set to remain at any level. They provide a high reduction of solar penetration, a high resistance to wind, and effective protection against all other elements.
- Plantation Security Shutters
External plantation shutters are another really stylish solution that are great for outdoor areas without compromising the home’s aesthetic. These are wonderful for weather protection and privacy, working well on patios and balconies, as well as for indoor window treatments.
- External Venetian Blinds
These slatted blinds can be tilted at any angle to adjust the light flow. There are generally stainless-steel cables or slimline extruded aluminium rails which guide the slats. They prevent heat and light from entering when they’re fully shut, and assist in blocking wind and rain. The slats themselves are often made from durable aluminium so won’t need replacing any time soon.
- Wooden Outdoor Blinds
These are a really appealing window covering solution with a much earthier feeling. Wooden louvre blinds can be raised or the slats adjusted, depending on your light and privacy requirements.
What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Blind?
A reputable supplier will be able to give you some really useful insights into the best outdoor blind for your weather needs, but here are some elements to consider.
1. Decide on the Budget
When budgeting for outdoor blinds, you’ll need to incorporate the cost of materials, design and installation. Unless you’re really good with home DIY, it’s best to rely on a professional to install the blinds.
2. What Are the Reasons?
You need to prioritise your reasons for investing in blinds in the first place. If it’s weather protection, you’ll need a much more hard-wearing design and material. However, if you’re wanting light reduction, thermal control, and privacy, then you’ll need to match up the available options with your home style.
3. Consider Your Climate
If your home is located somewhere with extreme weather conditions, whether it’s heat, rain or wind, then this will be a major contributing factor to the type of blind you’re likely to get.
4. User Friendliness
When the weather starts turning or you’re suddenly being swarmed by insects, you don’t want to be fumbling with ropes and levers that are difficult to use. Check with the blinds’ supplier about the ease of use, because you will be opening and closing the outdoor blinds on a regular basis.
5. Check for Durability
Because they’re constantly in the elements, the blinds need to be made out of really durable material that won’t require you to replace them often. They might be a bit more expensive, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Cheaper quality blinds will likely battle in extreme weather conditions, resulting in fading, warping, cracking and tearing.
6. Personal Style
The home design and aesthetic will also feature in your choice of blinds. If you’re looking for something more rustic and natural, then you might want to go for wooden or bamboo materials, otherwise there are sleek modern design options such as zip screens.
7. Easy to Clean
Modern fabrics are incredibly easy to clean, requiring just a simple wipe down. However, cheaper fabrics can suffer from mould build-up and stains. Check with the supplier what the maintenance requirements are before buying.
Are Outdoor Blinds Waterproof?
This obviously depends on the type of blind as the material and designs differ, however, you can get waterproof exterior blind options to protect you and your furniture from the rain. PVC blinds are the best bet in terms of waterproofing your outdoor space, while material like shearweave and bamboo will dissipate the rain.
Do Outdoor Blinds Reduce Heat?
Yes, they do! The majority of outdoor blind materials are specifically formulated to reduce heat, making your outdoor space much cooler on hot summer days.
There is an exterior blind solution that matches every home style and functional need. Simply consult with industry professionals on the available range and choose a blind for superior outdoor comfort.