Complete Guide to Outdoor Blinds, Awnings and Shutters

Spending time outside is a staple of our South African culture. Whether “braaing” outside, letting the kids play outside or relaxing on the patio. Regardless of how you’re spending your time outside, one thing always changes and that’s the weather.  You either need sun protection in summer or shelter from the wind and rain in winter.

What to consider when choosing new outdoor weather solutions

With so many types of outdoor products on the market, it can be difficult to know which is right for your home.

To start the process of finding your perfect outdoor window furnishings, we recommend writing a list of things you want from your area. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Do you want to create a shaded area, or would you prefer to completely enclose your space?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you want your coverings to be permanently fixed in one place, or would you prefer to have retractable blinds or awnings?
  • Do you live in a windy area?
  • Do you want the convenience of electric outdoor blinds (also known as motorised blinds)?
  • Are you looking for blinds for a balcony, patio area or a veranda?


Outdoor blinds


These are one of the most popular options to choose from when installing outdoor window coverings.

Outdoor blinds can:

Be installed on the outside of your windows, providing additional light control inside your home
Enclose an outdoor area, such as your patio or balcony
Provide additional protection from the elements all year round.

Let’s get into the types of outdoor blinds available.


Café/Patio blinds

These are a custom outdoor blind offering, allowing you to completely transform your outdoor entertaining area. These blinds are suitable for both residential and commercial use and are a great option for your home. Café blinds are typically made with a PVC window offering you year-round protection from the elements as well as from any unwanted insects but allowing a view.


The most popular patio blinds are made of an imported fabric available in a myriad of colours, that not only allow a view but a larger degree of sun protection.


Motorised outdoor blinds


Our outdoor products can be powered by a motor controlled using smart devices rather than traditional manual blind gear and handle. These blinds connect to a Smart Hub device that sits in your home and can connect to several sets of window coverings. From this device, you can pair your smartphone or a smart home device such as Google Home or Alexa to control your blinds.

Outdoor motorised blinds are great for adding convenience to your outdoor space, creating a safer area for kids and pets to play in. Another benefit is that they can be controlled within your home, so when the weather is bad, you can lower your blinds without having to brace the elements.


Outdoor awnings


These are an effective way to create shade or coverage over an outdoor space. They tend to sit out over a space, and depending on the type you choose, they can be stationary, or can fold in towards your house so they aren’t in use all the time. Awnings can also sit on the outside of your windows and provide additional shade for rooms in your home needing the additional blockout of light.



Retractable awnings


Also known as Folding arm awnings these are a type of awning used as an extension of your roof, to provide additional protection from the weather.

These awnings are supported from your house’s exterior walls, giving it additional strength in enduring heavy downfalls or bouts of strong winds.



Outdoor shutters

Outdoor shutters are similar to the ones you’d use inside your home however, they have been made more durable to withstand the elements. Typically, they are made from a PVC plastic or aluminium.

There are a few options for shutters. Some can be used on windows, whereas some can be installed as sliding doors to enclose an outdoor area.


Frequently asked questions about outdoor blinds, awnings, and shutters


Should I create an enclosed or open outdoor area?

One of the first things to think about when you’re creating an outdoor entertaining area is whether you want to create an open area, or whether you’d like it to be an enclosed space. Creating an enclosed space with window coverings is an easy way to add an extra room to your home without a costly renovation. It’s also perfect for allowing you to entertain all year round, without the hassle of relying on good weather.

If you’re just wanting extra shade, adding a few awnings will do the trick, depending on the size of your space.


How to create privacy for your property?

Having privacy is so important, particularly if you have a swimming pool, want to protect your children, or just want to keep any enquiring neighbours at bay. We have numerous options you could consider.


How to care for outdoor window coverings


To improve the lifespan of your outdoor window coverings, there are many ways to take care of them. Some of these include:

  • Folding away your awnings when they’re not being used.
  • Making sure your blinds or awnings can withstand the weather conditions where you live. For example, do you live near the coast?
  • Buying a product online that has not met the basic requirements will lead to inferior coverage and possible damage to your home and family.
  • Ensuring you’re cleaning your window treatments regularly. By doing this, you’re removing the potential for any build-up of grime, dirt or mould that might be living on your blinds.

Will outdoor blinds protect my outdoor furniture?

Outdoor furniture faces many weather conditions. They see extreme heat in summer and heavy downfalls in winter. Having Outdoor blinds is one way you can reduce some of the impact on your furniture to help it last longer.

Outdoor blinds and awnings create a barrier from the sun, reducing some of the direct sunlight and UV rays hitting your furniture. For fabrics, if not protected, they’re going to start fading over time, and for the frames of your furniture – especially anything made from rattan, are going to weaken and compromise the structure.


Some outdoor blinds, such our Rialto blinds, can protect your furniture all year round as they create an enclosed outdoor space either on your patio, veranda or even a balcony area.


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