What are the best outdoor blinds?
There are many types of outdoor blinds and the best outdoor blind really depends on what you are trying to do with the area that’s driving the requirement. The following are all variants of outdoor window blinds.
- Auto Sunblind or Spring blinds – have been around for many years and were traditionally covered in canvas product now being replaced with the mesh style products, which provide better light control and allow the window to breath. The mesh is also more durable in “wetter” winter locations. They can sit at different distances from the window depending on the location, 150mm, 250mm or 300mm at the lower section of the window.
- Straight Drop Blinds – very similar to the auto sunblind, however they normally have a manual winder to lower and raise the blind. Unlike auto-sun they drop straight down in front of the window, good for areas where there is a path that doesn’t allow a traditional auto sun blind to operate.
- Wire Guide Blinds – a more modern approach to the straight drop blind, but replacing the large metal sides with stainless steel wire. It has a more minimalistic look than the auto sunblind and straight drop blind. Also suited to areas which are close to the sea as the stainless wire is less prone to rusting than the traditional outdoor blind side rails.Pivot arm awnings – a more modern version of the traditional auto-sunblind, unlike auto sunblind there are just two large arms that pivot around a central location. Arms come in standard sizes and allow the window to be covered at different points. Ideally suited to modern homes or where an additional air gap is required providing better insulating factors as the air gap between the window and the blind is considerably more that any of the previous outdoor blind solutions. Also works well for covering wind out windows(awning windows)
- Patio blinds/ Cafe blinds, Verandah blinds – generic term for the traditional blind installed on decks and patios to provide wind and sun protection. Traditional patio blinds or café blinds allow the users to lower the blind to a nominated point and then lock the blind into place with “dog clips”, then the user puts tension on the blind by winding the blind back onto the tube. Patio blinds are the hardiest type of outdoor blind and can withstand heavy winds and can be left down for extended periods or time.
- Folding Arm awning – great for outdoor decks or outdoor entertainment areas, but can be used to cover large bi-fold doors/sliding doors that allow too much heat build up in summer. The folding arm awning allows for different pitch controls, or slopes. They project out at fixed widths in standard increments of 1.5m, 2.0m, 2.5m, 3.0m, 3.5m and 4.0m. They can span up to 14m in width in a single blind. The projection out will be constrained by the width of the blind.
- Hoods – Often fit over doorways or windows, traditional mounted above the window or door with a fixed projection, unlike other solutions they are not retractable, they do come in a variety of styles – Dutch hoods, French Hoods, Wedge Hoods, Bow Hoods.
External zip blinds, or ziptrack blind or alfresco blinds – these blinds enable you to cover in large entertainment spaces, unlike patio blinds they provide a total wind/rain weather block, and added advantage of keeping out the insects in summer months. They are also remarkably good at keeping the entertainment space usable in the winter months with the addition of an outdoor heater.
- External Roller Shutters – provide one of the best outdoor blind coverage options, reducing heat in the summer months and keeping heat in in the winter months. Roller shutters also assist in keeping noise out. BAL 29 and BAL 40 roller shutters are available.
- Retractable Roof – for pergolas, skylights, sunrooms, glass roofs, courtyards or custom-built structures. These awnings are available in a variety of mesh and acrylic fabrics, providing the ultimate protection from the sun. It’s a tensioned system that extends and retracts within fixed tracks. This system successfully brings year round comfort.
External Venetians – Unlike textile blinds, external venetians allow reflected light to pass through, resulting in light-filled working or living spaces and reducing the need for artificial lighting. They can stay down in pretty much all weather conditions and provide similar heat benefits to external roller shutters – keeping heat out in summer and helping to retain heat in winter.
What is a retractable blind?
All of the above examples are Retractable, except for the fixed French/Dutch hoods . They are either controlled by an internal spring, manual winding clutch or motorised system. Very cheap systems allow you to roll up with a rope, but we don’t sell these as the quality of the hardware is less than satisfactory.
How much are outdoor awnings?
The price for outdoor blinds depends on the size and style, your traditional auto-sunblind is the most economical solution in the market. These can last 20 years+ if looked after, with quality components and good fabric making the difference. The quality of some of the outdoor blinds found at large mass market hardware chains and online auction sites are not worth the money, they have low quality components from the internal tube and spring through to the fabric used to provide sun protection. We repeatedly get asked to repair some of the patio or alfresco blinds, but the quality of the materials doesn’t allow this to take place.
How much does a motorized awning cost?
All retractable outdoor blinds can be motorised. While the outdoor market was traditionally dominated by the European motor manufacturers, the Chinese made motors have caught up and in most cases surpassed the old European manufacturers, offering superior functionality with longer motor warranties and often better equipped to integrate with home automation systems. The Chinese motors are typically less expensive than the motors from the old European manufacturers, but don’t just focus on price as some cheap motors may not give the longevity and service that you are seeking. What you choose really depends on the size of the blind you want to control and how well the area will be exposed to weather. A good quality motor for outdoor use will be just under $300 dollars per blind depending on size and requirements.
Are awnings waterproof?
It all depends on the fabric and pitch of your awning. Even the mesh awnings depending on the style of mesh can be waterproof. Awnings can be covered in Mesh, Canvas or Acrylic and solid PVC. The solid PVC either clear or solid colour are totally waterproof. Canvas and Acrylic fabrics are just like a tent they can be water proof to a point, but water may eventually penetrate depending on weather conditions and type of fabric, Finally the mesh comes in two categories of openness with 95% being 5% open and the 99% being 1% open. The 99% is the most waterproof. In the vertical position all mesh is quite water proof however in a sloping use (such as a retractable roof) the water tension will provide the ability for water to run off but any interference with water tension, such as wind, will result in the mesh leaking.