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All You Need to Know About Outdoor Blinds prior to Installing One

Image from Linearconcepts

The balconies or PES (Private Enclosed Space) are an extension of your property, one where you can soak in the sunlight, basking in the romantic moonlight or spruce it into a beautiful garden as a personal outdoor sanctuary that you can truly call your own. Nevertheless, the rapidly shrinking floor area is driving the homeowners to come up with creative ways to convert them into usable spaces. Hence, one of the most popular ways to do that is to use the outdoor blinds.

Image from Hunker

Do you know?

Turning the balcony into an enclosed area is prohibited, under the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) guidelines. The regulations state that balconies are not to be enclosed with either walls or glass panels since they are meant to be semi-outdoor spaces. Therefore, the permitted balcony screens must be able to be drawn open and allow for air ventilation at all times, even when the screens are fully retracted. As for the PES, it also has to comply with the guidelines to ensure that it remains as an open and semi-outdoor area adjacent to the property. Hence, the fencing for the PES must not exceed 1m in height. Nevertheless, a privacy screening wall of 1.8m may used in between the PES, which is next to each other. Full height separating walls between adjoining PES may be allowed if they are to meet Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD)’s requirements.

Design: Collective Designs

What are outdoor blinds?

Outdoor blinds are physical, non-permanent and flexible structures that enclose the balcony either partially or fully to provide privacy while acting as a shade and keeps out the harsh weather elements to keep the balcony cool and dry. The blinds also prolong the furniture and balcony decking from damage due to the UV, heat, rain and wind. In order to withstand the hash weather elements, tougher weather-resistant materials are used to fabricate outdoor blinds. The type of materials used also help to differentiate the outdoor blinds from the indoor blinds.

Design: Collective Designs

Why are outdoor blinds useful?

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Design: DISTINCTidENTITY

Outdoor blinds are extremely cost-effective, practical and functional solutions to:

#1. Extend the living space

Outdoor blinds help to keep you away from the tough weather conditions. Here, you can enjoy the living space in al fresco style without having to worry the weather elements since the outdoor blinds are made to be weather resistant. Aside from being shielded from rain and wind, they also offer protection from the harmful UV rays, which can cause premature fading and deterioration in outdoor furniture, keep out some unbearable heat when the sun is at its best. Apart from keeping the UV rays and regulating the temperature and sunlight, the outdoor blinds also regulate the amount of light streaming into the area so that you will not be affected by the intense sun glare too.

#2. Protect your privacy

Outdoor blinds help keep your personal activities away from prying eyes. Since our urban concrete jungle getting increasingly compact, it is inevitable that your outdoor area will be within the sight of your neighbours, the occupants of the neighbouring block of flats or condominiums. Hence, the outdoor blinds help you to relax with total comfort and privacy as you perform your morning rituals in your pyjamas or enjoy your romantic dinner for two.

#3. Respite from insects, debris and dust

Outdoor areas are exposed and vulnerable to insects and debris over time. Therefore, the outdoor blinds help to keep the insects from invading the balcony and PES, especially at night. With the rise of dengue in recent months, it is even now more important to keep mosquitoes away from your loved ones too. In addition, less effort can also be spent on keeping the area and the outdoor furniture clean.

Image from Simple-interiors

What are the types of outdoor blinds available?

There are many types of stylish yet functional  URA-approved outdoor blinds available to cater for your needs and budget. The easiest way to categorize the outdoor blinds is the way they are installed. The outdoor blinds generally come in 3 types:

#Type 1. Free hanging outdoor blinds

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Design: Story of Us

Free hanging outdoor blinds offer protection against weather elements such as UV rays, sun and rain. They provide adequate privacy too, and the most common materials for free-hanging outdoor blinds are made of waterproof bamboo or plastic.

Pros
Cheapest and easiest to install and remove.
Many designs and materials to choose from.

Cons
Offers little or no protection against strong wind, insects, debris and dust.
Not as lasting as wire or cable guided outdoor blinds.

Cannot be kept in place, will flap, wrap or even fracture when there are strong winds.

#Type 2. Wire or cable-guided outdoor blinds

Image from Balcony blinds

Wire or cable-guided outdoor blinds are installed with weights at the bottom to ensure that it stays in place. Some cones with a lock mechanisms to secure the blinds in place. The wire or cables are usually made from weather-resistant materials such as stainless steel or aluminium.

Pros
Cheaper and easier to install and removed, as compared to the track-guided outdoor blinds.
Offers more weather element protection than free hanging outdoor blinds.

Can be adjusted to any vertical position and can be kept in place.
Can also be motorized for extra convenience.

Cons
Not insect, debris and dustproof.
More expensive than free hanging outdoor roller blinds.

#Type 3. Track-guided outdoor roller blinds

Image courtesy of Ziptrak

Track-guided outdoor roller blinds can easily roll up or down, guided by a spring-loaded tracking system from inside. They have locking mechanisms to lock down the blinds securely so that they do not warp even in strong windy conditions.  The most popular track-guided outdoor blind is ZipTrak which comes in 1% to 5% openness.

Pros
Offers most weather element protection than free hanging outdoor blinds.
Can be adjusted to any vertical position and can be kept in place.
Insect and debris proof due to its no-gap design.
Can also be motorized for extra convenience.
Offer the most wind resistance.
Most durable.

Cons
The most expensive to install or remove.

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Image from Todacharmosa

4 Tips for choosing the right type of outdoor blinds

#1. Intensity of usage

If the balcony or PES is heavily used, it is worthwhile and cost-effective to invest in a good quality track-guided outdoor blind.

#2. Facing

If the balcony or PES is west facing, it is facing the full blunt of the afternoon sun. To keep out the blazing sunlight and glare, you should consider getting at least wire or cable-guided outdoor blinds, which allow you to adjust the amount of sun that streams in the area.

#3. Strength of the wind

If your property faces the sea or is located on a higher floor, which is unobstructed, chances are that strong winds will flow through your home. While the windy deposition makes your property cooler, it is a nightmare when it is monsoon season. Choosing a good quality track-guided outdoor blind, which is wind resistant helps to ensure that your balcony or PES is not drenched during heavy rain.

#4. Ease of operation

Working with ropes and pulleys can be exhausting and difficult for the elderly or younger children. Consider motorising the outdoor blinds at the click of a button, so that it is easier for them whenever they need to open or close the outdoor blinds.

Design: akiHAUS

 

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