Outdoor Shades and Blinds for Your Sunroom, Porch, and More
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get ready to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the warmth, sunshine, and longer days. There’s nothing quite like spending a relaxing evening outdoors, breathing fresh air and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells that nature has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to have a porch, sunroom, or another outdoor space where you can relax, dine, and entertain with friends and family, then it’s a good time to revitalize your space so that you can enjoy it even more.
Outdoor blinds and shades are the perfect addition to any outdoor living area where you spend a lot of time. Most of us delight in having guests come over for dinner and drinks or hosting family gatherings and birthday parties out on the porch. However, one thing that often prevents us from enjoying our outdoor spaces, especially in the summer months, is the lack of privacy and protection from heat, bugs, and exposure harmful UV rays from the sun. By adding outdoor window treatments to your home, you’ll be able to create a space that is cool, comfortable, and protected for you and your guests.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the benefits of adding blinds and shades to your outdoor space, the various options available on the market today, and how to choose the right coverings for you.
Benefits of Outdoor Window Treatments
When it comes to shopping for blinds and shades, most of us focus on indoor window treatments. However, more and more people are discovering the benefits that outdoor blinds and shades provide.
First and foremost, they are one of the easiest and least expensive solutions for keeping your outdoor space cool. Not only do they keep your porch and patio from baking in the sun’s heat, but they also offer significant protection from dangerous ultraviolet radiation while you’re outdoors. They’re also incredibly useful for keeping the inside of your home cool as well. By preventing heat from the sun from entering the home, outdoor blinds and shades can make a huge difference in keeping homes cool and reducing energy usage.
In other situations, outdoor window treatments can provide privacy and give a space a more intimate feel so you and your guests can enjoy outdoor gatherings and parties without having to worry about peering eyes.
While moisture, staining, and dirt are the most obvious threats to outdoor furniture, you should be cautious of the sun as well. Just as the sun’s rays can cause damage to the skin, they can also damage anything else that is exposed to it for too long. If you have furniture in your outdoor space or inside your home near a window, outdoor blinds or shades can help protect them from photodegradation, the process of color fading and damage caused by prolonged sun exposure.
Other benefits of outdoor window treatments include that they help keep pesky bugs out, reduce the amount of glare that gets through the windows, and add a touch of style and beauty to your outdoor living space.
Types of Outdoor Blinds and Shades
When it comes to the types of blinds and shades available on the market for outdoor use, there are a variety of options to consider. Two of the most common types are roller shades and solar shades.
Outdoor Roller Shades
Outdoor roller shades are some of the most popular options for outdoor spaces. They help prevent sunlight from radiating into a sunroom or enclosed patio and offer a sleek and beautiful look for your space. They also provide you with privacy, comfort, and greater protection from the sun. You’ll be able to control the amount of sunlight that gets into your outdoor space, keeping you cooler and more comfortable when you want to enjoy spending time outdoors during the hot summer months.
When shopping for outdoor roller shades, choose one based on the location of your porch or patio. If you know your outdoor space gets a lot of sunlight, make sure you select roller shades made from a low-openness fabric that keeps your space safe and cool. For outdoor living areas that receive a moderate amount of sunlight, choose a dark-colored fabric to block illumination.
Outdoor Solar Shades
Another option to consider for your sunroom, porch, or patio are solar shades. Must like outdoor roller shades, this type of window treatment shields your home from outside heat, keeping your space cool so you don’t have to run a fan or your HVAC unit, making your home more energy efficient and reducing your monthly utility costs.
When it comes to selecting solar shades for your outdoor space, the type of fabric you choose plays a huge role. You can select from the different ranges of transparency for a better view or enhanced privacy based on your specific preferences. Lower percentages offer much better privacy and protection from the sun, while higher percentages allow you to have a much clearer view of the outdoors.
We offer a selection of roller and solar shade options at varying openness levels, from Solar Screen Roller Shades at one percent and three percent openness to shades at 10 percent openness. No matter what type of outdoor blinds or shades you choose, it’s best to customize them based on your own specific requirements.
How to Choose Outdoor Window Treatments
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of adding outdoor window treatments to your space and introduced you to some of the most common blind and shade options for outdoor use, it’s time to decide on a new set for you. When shades and blinds for your outdoor living space, there are a few things to consider.
How do you want to use them?
First, you’ll need to ask yourself why you want to add window treatments to your outdoor space and what purpose you want them to serve. Do you want to protect a new set of patio furniture? Are you trying to improve the privacy and security in your backyard? Are you trying to create a more comfortable space for your friends and family to enjoy? Your answers to these questions will help you whittle down your options.
Consider your climate.
Next, consider the climate. If you plan on using your outdoor space year-round, then you’ll need to think about the weather conditions and how they’ll impact your space. If you live in a region where it gets very hot in the summer, then you’ll need to protect yourself from the sun’s rays and annoying glare.
In the winter months, consider how you’ll protect your space from the wind and rain. There are many outdoor window treatment options available that perform well in a range of climates, so don’t limit yourself to choosing blinds or shades that only work well during specific times of the year.
Selecting a material.
The type of material you choose for your outdoor blinds or shades is closely associated with the climate you live in. For example, PVC fabrics are perfect for protecting your space from the wind and rain. When closed, they still giving you a clear view of your backyard and allow natural light in, but on hot summer days, they can make your space too hot to enjoy.
Mesh fabrics are most often recommended for outdoor spaces because they offer the best of both worlds. Not only can they block out the sun and the heat in the summer, but they can also keep out chilly winds and rains in the winter months. Another popular option is canvas, which offers UV protection and can withstand the elements.
Ease of operation.
When it’s cooler outside, there will be times when you want to open up your outdoor blinds and shades to take advantage of the sun’s natural light and warmth. However, if you want to stay outside after dusk or when it starts to rain, then you’ll probably want to close them for protection from the elements. This is where the ease of operation comes into play when selecting outdoor window treatments for your home.
We all appreciate how frustrating it can be to try to open and close blinds and shades using cords, ropes, and pulleys, especially when the weather changes and we want to adjust our coverings quickly. Fortunately, there are many different control options available, from beaded chains to cordless controls that are safer for homes with small children and pets.
Buying Outdoor Shades or Blinds
Once you’ve decided to buy outdoor shades or blinds for your home, the first step is to measure your windows. The process for measuring your outdoor windows for shades or blinds is no different than any other type of window covering. Decide whether you want an inside or outside mount, and then take that into account when you measure your windows.
Using a measuring tape, a pencil, notepad, and highlighter, measure the height and width of your windows and jot these measurements down for later. Next, you’ll need to choose whether you want a chain roller or cordless operation. The easiest way to decide is to look back at the measurements you wrote down.
Smaller windows (less than 24 inches wide) and larger windows (more than 72 inches wide) may require chain rollers for easy opening and closing. Otherwise, cordless outdoor window treatments will work fine and offer you a cleaner and sleeker design.
Then, you’ll need to select a fabric and openness value. Remember, a low-openness level will block out more sun than higher levels, so keep that in mind when you’re considering your options. From there you can choose from a range of neutral colors, including ivory, white, chocolate, charcoal, and other options such as lift side, roll direction, and valance.
When you’re ready to complete your order, make sure you have the correct measurements handy so that you can provide these to the manufacturer who will then create your custom window treatments exactly to your specifications. After you place your order, all you have to do is wait for your coverings to be shipped.
Once your new outdoor window treatments arrive on your doorstep, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. If you aren’t sure or don’t feel confident installing them on your own, then you can ask a friend or hire a handyman to help you. Once installed, you’ll be able to enjoy your new shades all summer long.
With temperatures already starting to warm up, now is the right time to start thinking about having outdoor blinds or shades added to your outdoor space. There are so many reasons to add these window treatments to your home. If you enjoy relaxing outdoors and entertaining guests and family, and you think your space could benefit from the comfort, privacy, and style that these window treatments will provide, then it’s time to start shopping.