Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What are the best blinds for a conservatory? - Buying guide

A conservatory on the home serves many purposes, choosing the right conservatory blinds is important if you are to get the most out the conservatory not just in summer but in winter. Let's take a look at the points to consider before you buy conservatory blinds. Fortunately given the advances in conservatory roofs, those hideous pleated insect traps that cost a kings ransom otherwise known as roof blinds are now out of vogue. In this article we'll concentrate on blinds for the windows in your conservatory.

Roller Blinds for Conservatories

roller blinds for conservatories
Roller blinds can look great in a conservatory depending on how you use them. If you have one roller for each "section" of window then you can create nice effects by raising or lowering the rollers to different levels as the sun moves during the course of the day. Rollers are available in a wide range of colours and fabrics at various prices.  Roller Blinds can be retracted fully for ease of cleaning. They are relatively light in weight and so won't put undue stress on the window frame onto which they are attached. 

The downside to roller blinds is that during the Summer months you may have them set at various heights but rarely will you have them fully closed. Come Winter when you want to close them for privacy and insulation reasons then you will notice that because they have been in full sun they will have faded quite badly. If you have had them slightly down, covering your top lights for instance you will now be left with odd looking and unequally faded blinds.  In addition, because most of us will have our conservatory windows and french doors open all during the warm season you will find that you get a lot of insect traffic and dust, insects have a tendency to get trapped in roller blinds leaving unsightly blood stains. 

Roller blinds suitability for conservatories:

Looks                    80%
Light Control         60%
Insulation               80%
Cost                       65%
Durability              40%
Suitability Score   65%

Roman Blinds for Conservatories

Roman blinds for conservatories
Roman blinds have changed considerably since they first became fashionable some years ago. Gone are the fussy home made wooden headrails and wooden dowel rods and in their place are modern aluminium headrails and fibreglass rods. Roman blinds have become popular as although expensive to buy made to measure, if you have sewing skills you can buy your fabric and then purchase cheap Roman blind kits that contain the headrail, rods and controls. Roman blinds are perhaps the best choice for insulation during the summer months. Because virtually any fabric can be used the choice is endless. 

The drawbacks to Roman blinds for conservatories however are many. Much like the Roller blinds they are like magnets for dust and insects. Even when fully retracted they have a deep stack height meaning that much of the window will still be covered which not only restricts your view but also makes cleaning difficult. Roman blinds are usually lined with a blackout fabric. Whilst this will bring light control benefits it also means that they are incredibly heavy. Most people these days have UPVC conservatories and although contrary to popular belief it is ok to fit blinds into upvc (see our article about fitting blinds to UPVC conservatories) you really don't want to start fitting heavy blinds into what is essentially just twin wall upvc. Roman blinds can look stunning in the home but as a conservatory blind they just don't fit the bill. 

Roman blinds suitability for conservatories:

Looks                    80%
Light Control         80%
Insulation               80%
Cost                       30%
Durability              40%
Suitability Score   62%

Venetian Blinds for Conservatories

venetian conservatory blinds
For clarification, we are discussing aluminium venetian blinds here, Real wood blinds simply aren't able to stand the intense heat and often quick changes in temperature that conservatory blinds are subjected to. Whilst we're on the subject PVC venetian blinds aren't able to stand the heat either. In fact, If anyone has chosen to fit these cheap pvc venetian blinds into a conservatory please swallow your pride and send us a photo like the one in this article that shows a melted plastic venetian blind. 

If you are looking for venetian blinds for a conservatory then aluminium venetian blinds are the ones to choose. Venetian blinds do look rather chic and even when not drawn up they offer superb privacy whilst still not impeding your view. They won't discolour and with the various devices available for just a few pounds from the likes of Betterware they are easily cleaned. 

Aluminium venetian blinds are quite light and so won't put stress onto the UPVC window frames to which they are fixed. The colour is anodised and so they won't fade in the sun. When fully retracted they have a medium stack height so cleaning should be relatively easy.  The choice of colours and even patterns of venetian blinds is quite breathtaking. See the full range of venetian blinds here.

Venetian blinds offer excellent light control, superb privacy and reasonable insulation. They aren't that expensive either. Perhaps a good choice overall when choosing conservatory blinds.

Venetian blinds suitability for conservatories:

Looks                    90%
Light Control         80%
Insulation               70%
Cost                       70%
Durability              100%
Suitability Score   82%

Vertical blinds for Conservatories

conservatory blinds - vertical blinds
Vertical blinds are always a popular choice for the conservatory and it's easy to see why. Vertical blinds offer excellent light control especially if you opt for blackout vertical blinds. The many draw options and controls allow for endless light control. insulation and privacy provision. 

Vertical blinds aren't too heavy and so again won't put undue stress onto the UPVC frames. We've already discussed the dust and insect problems in conservatories but depending on the fabric that you choose vertical blinds can be easy cleaned. You can even buy washable vertical blinds and will more than likely be able to find a conservatory blind offer for buying more than one vertical blind. 

Vertical blind slats will fade with time however unlike roller or roman blinds the fading will be uniform and not patchy. The one unique feature of vertical blinds is that in a few years time when the slats are beginning to age you can simply buy replacement vertical blind slats from as little as 50p each! 

Vertical blinds suitability for conservatories:

Looks                    90%
Light Control         80%
Insulation               70%
Cost                       90%
Durability              90%
Suitability Score   84%

The Best Blinds for a Conservatory

So to summarise, Conservatories are very demanding environments. It would seem looking at the above results that the best blinds for a conservatory would be vertical blinds or venetian blinds depending on your personal choice. 

Click the link to visit our online blind shop and see for yourself our range of vertical blinds for conservatories. Read one of our other articles if you're worried about fitting blinds to a upvc conservatory

ultimate conservatory blinds