Outdoor blinds are popular and functional which helps to protect a home’s balcony or patio area against various weather conditions (e.g. heat and rain).

Have a look at our Buyer's Guide to help you make a more informed choice.

Introduction

Besides withstanding various weather conditions, outdoor blinds must be able to effectively protect against harmful UV rays. Outdoor blinds are a smart choice for balconies, decks, patios, and porches. These blinds promote privacy and protect against the sun and pests.

They can be easily opened or closed so families can enjoy their outdoor time without being overly exposed to the elements. A well-designed  blind can significantly enhance visual comfort and the well-being of homeowners.

Types

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TypeDescriptionProsConsCost(Avg)Idea For
Outdoor Venetian Blind External Venetian Blind

This type of blind features horizontal rows of slats. It can be lowered or raised and the slats can be tilted to let in more light.

Different from the indoor version, outdoor venetian blinds are made out of materials that are durable under different weather conditions and will usually feature guide rails at the side to prevent noisy flapping from wind.

  • Uniform look for both inside and outside
  • Elegant and sophisticated appearance
  • Excellent privacy control
  • Dust tends to collect easily on horizontal slats
Outdoor Bamboo Blinds Bamboo Chick Blind

Outdoor bamboo blinds are made from natural bamboo fibers and need to be specially treated (e.g.  with varnishes) to make them durable to various weather conditions.

Such blinds also come with a wind control system to prevent noisy flapping from wind or adding of a clear PVC backing sheet to prevent rain seepage.

  • Natural look and feel
  • Less durable compared to other options
  • Dust tends to collect easily between the seams and need regular cleaning
  • Loud noise due to flapping of fabric due to wind.
  • Weak rain protection
Outdoor Roller Blinds

Outdoor roller blinds use perforated fabrics which is a combination of PVC and polyester.

Perforated fabric helps provide protection from weather conditions like wind and rain or block out sun and harsh UV rays. And are less prone to flapping movements while allowing some wind to pass thru.

Wind guards (steel wires) need to be  mounted at the sides to reduce flapping movements during strong wind conditions.

  • Non view blocking - when outdoor roller blinds are drawn up, the outside view is not blocked. Wind guards are small enough and do not block most of the view.
  • Partial rain protection - Rain will still seep through gaps in between the blinds
    • Perforated fabric have openings which will still have water seepage under strong wind conditions
  • Loud noise due to flapping of fabric due to wind.
  • Partial privacy - Perforated fabrics are translucent and can be seen from the outside if the inside is brighter compared to the outside.
  • Fabric can fade/yellow due to weather elements and is challenging to clean the exterior.
Track-Guided Blinds Zip Blinds Zip Tracks

Track-guided blinds come with tracks on both sides and the blind’s fabric will move up or down along it.

Unlike cabled blinds which are exposed at the sides, tracks will seal those gaps and the blind's fabric will remain in these tracks. Thus providing an enclosed space.

For these blinds to move smoothly and securely along the track, the blind fabrics are usually attached to the side track by a small zip. Hence such blinds are also commonly known as zip blinds.

  • Complete enclosure with no gaps which prevents most rain or other objectives from getting in
  • Partial view blocking
  • Partial privacy - Perforated fabrics are translucent and can be seen from the outside if the inside is brighter compared to the outside.
  • Partial rain protection - Perforated fabric have openings which will still have water seepage under strong wind conditions.
  • Prone to wrinkling of fabric which is an eye-sore.
  • Fabric can fade/yellow due to weather elements and is challenging to clean the exterior.

Buying Considerations

  • Wind and Rain conditions - Objective of outdoor blinds are to protect us from the various outdoor weather conditions. While conditions are not extreme in Singapore, it would be enough to cause a nuisance for home owners if the protection is inadequate. If the location of where the outdoor blind is to be placed is having strong wind, then it is important to select a blind type where flapping is minimized. When raining and wind direction blows the rain drops toward the  blind, then rain seepage will occur. How much seepage would depend on the blind type. Hence a homeowner would need to consider this carefully.
  • Privacy - Always an important thing to consider but usually overlooked. Homeowners often think that after a covering install and privacy protection comes with it automatically. Truth of the matter is that while there is some privacy provided, it is not consistent throughout the day for certain blind types chosen. For blinds that feature solid slats, privacy is consistent all day and can be controlled. For blinds using perforated fabrics, privacy protection is minimal if the indoor is a lot brighter than the outside (e.g. during nighttime and indoor has a bright light turned on). This is due to the openings of perforated fabrics which makes it a breathable fabric.
  • Width restriction - Outdoor blinds can be installed in an area as narrow as 45cm for a manual system and 80cm for a motorised system. For anything narrower, it would depend on the vendor and blind type installed. For some, a fixed fabric panel can be installed, so that there is still protection from the elements but the panel will not be movable.

FAQ

Technical Terms

  1. Openness of fabric -  This refers to how tight the weave is, which directly reflects the amount of light that is let in through the fabric. A low openness factor means that the fabric is more tightly woven and there will be less light and rain through the fabric. Typical openness values are 1%,3%,5%,7%,10%.
  2. Motorised Control System – Are motorised remote controlled easy to use systems.
  3. Wind guards/Self Aligning Cord Guides – Are guides installed to your blind to ensure they raise and lower without skewing.
  4. Spline - The spline (zip) is welded onto the fabric and locks the fabric into the track. This helps keep the fabric taught and not allow it to wave around in the wind.
  5. Side Channel - They are installed along the sides of a shade to prevent light from entering through past the edges the fabric. Side Channel locks the edge of the fabric and Spline so they can freely move up or down along the channel.
  6. Head Rails/Pelmets - The uppermost part of your blind, it's where the control mechanism is located and where the blind attaches to the wall or ceiling.
  7. Bottom Bar/Bottom Rail - The bottom most piece of a horizontal blind. These are weighted to make sure the blinds hang straight. If your blinds have hold down brackets, the brackets are attached to the bottom rail.