Purchasing outdoor blinds isn’t something that most of us would do on a whim. They aren’t exactly an impulse buy like a pack of lollies or a magazine. Or, at least they shouldn’t be.
If you’re someone who enjoys outdoor living and entertaining and you’re looking to make your alfresco spaces more versatile all year round, then outdoor blinds are a fantastic solution. Especially when you make the right purchase choice.
Your outdoor blind choice is one you will look at everyday so choose wisely. If we make the wrong choice or we keep replacing our initial choice and changing our mind every few years this has the potential to get costly.
So, like with any important purchase, it’s essential to think about our needs. When you’re considering an outdoor blinds purchase it will serve you well to consider your needs, do your homework, get some advice, plan your purchase and then buy!
What to Consider BEFORE you buy outdoor blinds
So, you’re thinking this is the year to invest in outdoor blinds. Great. But, where on earth do you start?
Define your specific needs
Before you open your laptop or visit the local blinds supplier, the absolute best place to start is to consider the motivations for wanting to buy outdoor blinds in the first place. What are your unique needs AND your priorities? When you walk out into your backyard or on to your patio, glance out at your pergola, balcony, deck, or verandah, what is it that’s missing? What’s the requirement these outdoor blinds need to fill? And, what are actual needs vs. wants?
Is it increased sun protection for the kids you’re after? Are you constantly fighting with the wind or rain on your patio so you just stay inside? Is the alfresco area too hot? Too cold? Is there too much glare? Do you need to expand outdoors to create more living/entertaining space? Do you need more protection from the elements for your outdoor furniture? Or is your inner “decorator” just itching to venture outside and add new design elements to spruce up a tired outdoor space so that you’ll actually use it?
“Being clear on your specific need(s) is key, as it will help you to make the best purchase decisions.”
Other considerations at this stage include when and how you use or will be using this space. Consider any other design elements you may want to add in addition to your blinds – are you buying a pizza oven or adding an outdoor lounge suite? You may even want to give some thought to the types of blinds, how long you expect them to be in place, the budget you have in mind and the specific needs of your location, site and climate. And if you’re really keen, take some basic measurements and sketch out your ideas for what might work.
Time to do some research
Now that you know the problem you’re solving, it’s time to consider the alternatives. And, alternatives there are!
This is a good time to enlist the advice and guidance of the blinds experts. They can help you to determine whether what you need is patio blinds (also called café curtains), verandah blinds, retractable blinds, or maybe awnings and shade systems are a better alternative.
Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
What types of outdoor blinds are available?
When you need the privacy and shelter, but still want light, external verandah blinds, available in an expansive range of colours, offer the perfect compromise between protection and visibility.
They also help to protect your furnishing and carpets by guarding against harmful UV rays that can cause premature fading and deterioration.
Retractable blinds are the perfect window solution when you want the highest sun-screening protection. They effectively block out up to 80% of the sun’s damaging UV rays. All materials used in our retractable blinds are water resistant and colour fast and they come fitted with locking brackets to prevent the blinds flapping in the wind. These blinds can easily be hidden neatly away when not in use.
Patio blinds/café curtains
These are durable clear or tinted PVC plastic (also called patio binds or cafe blinds) blinds for around the perimeter of you entertaining area. They join together to form a barrier between you and the elements, resisting wind, rain and glare.
You’ll want to look for those that offer the highest durability possible with double-stitched, fully reinforced zips and precision welded seams.
Further considerations when it comes to choosing patio blinds include the amount of tint available, the optical clarity, durability, cleaning requirements and warranties
And then there are awnings and shade systems to consider:
Folding Arm awning
This retractable awning comes with a folding arm extension mechanism that extends your decks, patios, and outdoor areas by acting as a fabric roof. You can use a folding arm awning when you need it, and tuck it away in its compact slimline headbox when you don’t. These come in a variety of colours and sizes
Pivot arm awnings
A retractable drop arm awning (sometime called a pivot arm awning) offers great looks and effectiveness and its spring loaded arms stabilises it against winds.
It’s suitable for verandahs, doors and upper floor windows, offering heat, glare and UV protection. Its design also allows for the opening of most windows and doors to maximise airflow and let the house breathe.
External window shade blinds
This blind covers your windows for effective sun protection, deterring heat and harmful rays. With the neat, slimline headbox that is small in size, window shade blinds are big on sun protection offering a simple yet effective solution that can also save on energy bills.
External alfresco blinds
This is a vertical tensioned screen that acts as the ultimate sunshade and windbreak. Protecting semi-open spaces such as verandahs, balconies and pergolas, this screen protects areas from direct heat, glare and UV rays as well as most wind and rain elements. With a choice of fabrics, including see-through fabric, alfresco blinds allow natural light to filter through and permit air movement.
With its clean looks and superior ability to protect against the elements, this vertical drop system offers a number of solutions from one blind.
External zip lock blinds
Similar to a verandah blind but it provides a gapless insect screen as well – giving your verandahs, pergolas, balconies and windows protection from both the sun and pests.
The blind zips an external screen into hidden side channels on windows and sliding doors to provide a gapless insect screen and a total light control system. The zip lock blind system is designed for maximum sun protection with minimum visual impact to the exterior building. The tensioned system is wind resistant in every position and is retractable for easy control of your interior climate.
Retractable fabric roof
This awning acts as a retractable roof for pergolas, skylights, sunrooms, glass roofs, courtyards or custom-built structures. This awning, available in a variety of mesh fabric, provides the ultimate protection from the sun, but still allows natural light to filter through.
It’s a tensioned system that extends and retracts within its fixed tracks. This system successfully brings year round comfort.
Seek professional advice
“A blinds professional can guide you through the large selection of options, sizes and colours available, making finding exactly the right blinds and look for your outdoor space a much simpler process.”
Most reputable blinds suppliers will offer you a custom measure and quote service where they send their experts to your home, they measure the area and then prepare a detailed quote based on your choice of blind. If a supplier (online or otherwise) doesn’t offer this service, you may want to consider going elsewhere.
So when you’re considering your next outdoor blinds purchase, it’s important to define your needs, consider your options, get the information and guidance from the experts that will help you to make the very best choice given your needs. And, don’t overlook the benefits of dealing with blinds professionals – they’re knowledge and guidance will be a tremendous help during the research, decision making, purchase and installation process. Heck, they’ll even show you how to use and clean them properly.
You’ll probably be looking at the results of your outdoor blind purchase decisions every day for years to come, so take the time to make it a good one!
About Sola Shade
With its modern lines and sleek designs, Sola Shade has stunning solutions for outdoor protection from the heat, glare and UV rays, whilst minimising the impact from the wind and rain. Inconspicuously designed and using the latest in technology, Sola Shade’s external screen range retracts unobtrusively away into a neat slimline headbox. Fitted with beautiful high quality see-through screens & blockout fabrics, Using Sola Shade external screens with a see-through fabric ensures that your views are unobstructed, whilst permitting both natural light and fresh air to filter and circulate through. Create a cool living environment over summer, add winter warmth, protect your furniture and interiors or just enjoy the privacy.
Why buy your blinds from Sola Shade?
- Quality – We use the best products suited for Australian conditions.
- Installation – Quality & Care with all our installations.
- Warranty – Each product is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Guarantee – Our guarantee is that we’ll get it right.
- Choice – Huge range of products and fabric to suit any room style.
- Locations – There are three great showroom locations.
- Aussie-owned – Sola Shade is a fourth generation Australian family business