A conservatory can be a wonderful addition to any home; it can give you extra living space, a playroom for the children, or a relaxing garden room. It will act as a link from the house to the outside space, improving your lifestyle and adding value to your property.
The furnishing and the interior should play an important role in the planning and design stage of the conservatory, not only to help you create a consistent overall style, but also to help keep you in budget.
Blinds can be one of the larger expenses when it comes to the inside of the conservatory, but good blinds can have a big impact on the look of the room, and how enjoyable the room is to use; particularly during very hot spells in the summer.
Why use conservatory blinds?
Blinds in a conservatory serve a number of purposes and in the majority of cases will be a benefit. They will improve the look of the conservatory and may be integral to the design and the style you are trying to create.
They also give a feeling of greater privacy and security when they are closed, especially at night when it is dark outside and the glass simply looks black.
Blinds will also block out a great deal of direct sunlight. Although the main reason for having a conservatory is to take advantage of the extra heat and sunlight, it can become overbearing during very hot weather.
Closing the blinds will reduce the direct sunlight and make a more comfortable atmosphere, while helping to protect your furniture from fading caused by UV light.
It is worth noting that although blinds are great for blocking light, they are not so effective at blocking heat, and will not greatly reduce the temperature.
Rather than looking for very expensive heat reduction blinds, your money may be better spent on a suitable ventilation system to allow the heat to escape.
What styles of blind are available?
There are several different types of blind available for use with conservatories, you can fit any of them by yourself, or have them fitted by a professional installer if you prefer. Some of the common styles include:
Roller blinds are often used in bathrooms and kitchens, and are very simple blinds. The length of the blind is rolled around a roller at the top, and the blind is opened and closed by a drawstring, usually to one side. Some roller blinds are available with a reflective backing to block out extra sunlight. These are one of the easiest types of blind to fit, but may need to be tied down at the bottom to prevent them from billowing too much when the window is open.
Roman blinds are made with a sheet of material which is folded and attached to wooden batons. The fabric folds up from the bottom as the blind is raised. Roman blinds can also be bought with a reflective backing to block out the sunlight, and provide a more traditional look for a conservatory.
Pleated conservatory blinds consist of a piece of material which is strung up along wire guides. The material is folded several times, and when the blind is raised, creates a concertina effect. These can be one of the most expensive types of blind, but are also very popular due to their modern look.
Pinoleum blinds are a type of Roman blind, but use wooden slats rather than material. Made from durable wood such as bamboo, the slats are drawn together, similar to a folding roman blind, as the blind is raised.
Roof blinds are much more common with conservatories these days, as they help to block out direct sunlight and make the room more comfortable to use.
Many of the same styles can be used for the roof as the windows, such as roller blind and roman blinds.
A well chosen conservatory roof blind can really add to the style and visual appeal of the space.
However, solar inserts are also available for use with polycarbonate roofs, which block excess UV light and heat on the very hot days, but allow more light through on dull, cloudy days.
Exterior Conservatory Roof Blinds
It is also possible to buy external conservatory blinds. The advantage of exterior conservatory blinds is that they block the sunlight before it goes through the glass and therefore keep your conservatory even cooler than the internal blinds.
What do blinds cost?
Quotes can vary considerably when it comes to conservatory blinds, so it is worth getting several for comparison. Speak to some local installers about their service, and ask if you can see any local examples of their work.
The type of blind you choose, and the materials used will also have a big effect on the price, but on average you could expect to pay anything from £1000 – £2000 to have blinds fitted in a 3 metre x 3 metre conservatory.
Bear in mind that the more difficult the installation, the more the blinds are likely to cost to have fitted. If you have a simple contemporary conservatory, the blinds should be relatively straightforward to install. If you have a traditional style conservatory with an unusual shape, or a P shaped or T shaped conservatory, the blinds are likely to be more expensive.
The prices above are for side blinds only, and if you opt for roof blinds, you could add anything from £1500 – £2500 to the cost. Fitting blinds in a conservatory can be a big factor in the overall cost, and is not something that should be overlooked when planning a budget for the conservatory.
If you are building a conservatory, you should think about what type of blinds you are going to fit, and include them within the plans and the budget. You can spend several thousand pounds on conservatory blinds, and it is important to factor this into the overall cost.
There are a variety of different designs and styles of blind, from simple roller blinds, to traditional roman style blinds, to modern pleated blinds.
Each type of blind will benefit a conservatory by blocking out excess sunlight, making the room more comfortable and enjoyable to use, while helping to protect furniture from fading and deterioration caused by direct sunlight.