There are 4 types of outdoor blinds:
- Straight drop or just plain old ‘Outdoor Blinds’: These are basic blinds that have a set of brackets, a tube, some way of raising and lowering and optionally a system to tie the blind to the ground to prevent movement like straps or clips. They’re an effective low cost option.
- Cable guide (or ‘wire guide’): As the name suggests, these blinds are guided by a stainless steel cable that runs from the topof the blind to the bottom of the blind’s travel. The advantage of the wire guide is that it allows the blind to be stopped at any position with the cables preventing the blind from blowing about in the wind.
- Side Retention System: These blinds are also known by product names such as ZipScreen® and Ziptrak® . The fabric of the blind has a flexible zip welded or sewn into the sides. The zip runs in a channel at each edge of the blind. Side retained blinds have a number of benefits: flat looking fabric, exclusion of dust and insects, enclosure of outdoor areas and total privacy.
- Deep channel: These look like a zip sided blind but don’t have a zip. Instead they run in channels at the edge of the blind. They’re a lower cost option, however they don’t exclude insects and can be blown out of the channel in light winds.
- For a basic rope operated straight drop 1200mm X 1200mm approx $580 fitted.
- For a basic cable guide without a headbox (cassette), gearbox operated 3000mm X 2600mm approx $1500 fitted.
- Add a headbox to the above blind for approx $220.
- For a channel guide blind without a headbox 3000mm X 2600 with a gearbox approx $1600 fitted.
- For a top of the range Zip sided blind 3000mm X 2600mm with a fully enclosed headbox, gearbox control and crank handle professionally fitted, approx $2300.
- Motorise an outdoor blind for approximately $330 plus electrician costs of about $140 per connection.
Motorising roller blinds is achieved by mounting the motor to the control side support bracket and into the control end of the blind top tube. The bracket end of the blind remains stationary while the main body of the motor is smaller than the inside diameter of the top tube and is fitted inside the tube without being engaged with the tube. The other end of the motor is fitted with a drive wheel that is engaged with the inside of the tube and rotates when required to raise and lower the blind.
Motorised blinds are powered by either mains electricity or by batteries contained either inside the motor or housed in an external battery pack.
From our experience in installing 1000s of motorised roller blinds, our advice is this:
- Unless you simply can’t get power to the blind location, ALWAYS look at hard wired blinds as your first option.
- Only use battery motors where hard wired motors are completely impractical.
- If you’re building a new home, run the wires now.
- Charging blinds is a really silly idea. Who wants more devices that need charging? Seriously no one does.
- You need more of them when doing larger installs (10 or more blinds) because they don’t have the same power to drive linked side by side blinds.
- Battery motors are a throw away item and a ‘time bomb’ that will require replacement at some point in the not too distant future. This may be fine if you’re selling the home… But if you plan on staying put then factor in around $300 per blind to remove, replace and re-program the new motors.
- Hardwired, mains powered blind motors have a long service history, are a reliable item that lasts in most cases 10 years or more and are a simpler machine than battery powered motors. Because of this they give much less trouble.
This depends on the home and the level of difficulty in getting the wiring through cavities and wall spaces. We advise to allow around $150 per location, which in some cases can run 2 blinds.
If you’re doing a new build or extensive renovatons, t’s a good idea to plan for motorised blinds and get the wires run before plastering to save costs later on.
Yes. Motorised roman blinds use a regular roller blind tube and motor.
Folding Arm (Retractable) Awnings
Folding arm awnings are not intended to be used as shelter from rain.
Although a folding arm awning will cope fine with light, short showers of rain, leaving a folding arm awning out during prolongd heavy rain can cause puddling of water. As the puddles grow in size, the weight is prone to bending the arms of the awning causing significant damage.
A basic but good quality open style folding arm awning with manual crank operation, 3000mm wide with a 2500 projection will cost around $3750 including GST fully installed into a solid structure.
A full cassette style folding arm awning, motorised, 3000mm wide with a 2500 projection will cost around $5650 including GST fully installed into a solid structure.
A folding arm awning has 3 main parts:
- The tube, which like a roller blind, allows the fabric to roll up.
- The outer bar, which the fabric is attached to. This extends out when the awning is deployed.
- The arms, which a folding arm awning has at least 2 of. They are attached to the body of the awning at one end and the outer bar at the other end. They’re spring loaded so when the tube unrolls, the outer bar is pushed out by the arms.
Once the awning is deployed, the arms hold the awning out. To retract, a crank or motor is used to roll up the tube, which requires enough force to over the spring action of the arms. Larger awnings with many arms are always motorised due to the force required to retract them.
Despite being a long established window covering, curtains are unlikely to ever go out of style.
- Curtain fabric is always available in new, up to date colours, so finding current fabric is always possible.
- There are literally 1000s of different curtain fabrics to choose from, so there’s always something to match your interior.
- Curtains are incredibly useful in controlling light, providing privacy and insulation.
- Curtains are simple yet elegant; fabric, thread and tracks combine to create a magnificent thing of beauty that will always look appealing.
Definitely. Curtains reduce echoing from the inside while softening noise from the outside.
Consult the care label – in many cases curtains can be washed in the washing machine.
S-Wave curtains lack the gathering, bunching or pleats across the top that conventional curtains have. The top of the curtain is attached to wave tape that the hooks attach to. The track has carriers attached to cord that ensures even spacing; when closed, the heading of the curtain forms an ‘S’ pattern along the top which is continued to the bottom, creating a wave effect through the curtain.The curtains stack back neatly, and it’s a look that suits both contemporary and traditional interiors.
Plantation shutters are not considered a blockout product. This is because the design of the blades allows light to pass through gaps even when closed. Plantation shutters certainly make a room dark, however if used in bedrooms, we recommend using plantation shutters with a blockout product such as a roller blind or a curtain.
Generally yes. There are many frame styles and options to clear handles and to fit around tricky window frames. Shutters can also be made to fit the shape of round or other not so square windows. If you have something out of the ordinary, we can certainly take a look and see what is possible.
Yes absolutely. The best option for sliding doors are sliding plantation shutters. Sliding shutters have the panels mounted on runners that are either support the weight of the shutter at the top or bottom. They’re usually configured to match the doors they are fitted over in terms of the number of panels and the sliding options.
Yes they can be. The motor is fitted to allow the remote tilting of the blades. The motors are battery powered, reasonably priced and should be expected to last around 5 years.
The answer is yes but it depends…
Not all architectural styles are suited to plantation shutters (although most are) so if there’s any doubt, it’s best to get interior design advice.
When matched to a home’s interior, shutters look beautiful and are practical, so they certainly add more value than they cost.