Outdoor Blinds Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor blinds are fundamentally a heavy duty and weather proof version of an indoor roller blind. They have heavy duty mesh fabric, rust proof metal parts and a gearbox or a motor to raise and lower the blind. They are built using larger tubes (the tube is the part the fabric rolls on) with indoor blinds having tubes around 44mm in diameter and outdoor blinds 78mm.

Outdoor blinds almost always have some way of preventing the blind from moving during light wind.

Note for ‘Retractable Blinds’ also known as Folding Arm Awnings please follow this link

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.

All prices below assume a basic sunscreen, privacy or PVC fabric.

  • 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.

No. Outdoor blinds should be retracted when unattended or during hig gusty winds.

A headbox (or pelmet) is a covering over the top of the blind that encapsulated the tube, brackets and most of the control mechanism. A pelmet protects the blind fabric from sun and dust and prolongs the life of the blind.

A cafe blind is a term used to describe clear PVC blinds used in outdoor areas in restaurants and cafes. They provide a barrier to breezes and make outdoor heating more effective.

Most outdoor blind systems will span to 5000mm. Past that point tubes and other components tend to increase in size bringing greater cost. 6000mm is the largest most systems will go to.

For basic cleaning, soapy water and a soft bristle broom can be used. Once clean, the blind can be hosed off and allowed to dry before retracting. If an outdoor blind gets mouldy, solution dyed fabrics can be hit with mild bleach – check with the manufacturer before using bleach.

This a subjective question! As a disclaimer, Blindmotion sells, manufactures and installs the Hunter Douglas Alpha product which we have found to be excellent. Other noteworthy brands are, in no particular order: Acmeda Zipscreen, ZipTrack, Uniline and Helioscreen.

Generally no unless they are total blockout or clear PVC. Screen blinds certainly reduce the amount of rain getting into outdoor spaces but they are not chosen soley for this purpose.

Yes absolutely. Outdoor blinds can be motorised with remote control or connected to a home automation system.