Types of external roller blinds - part 1
Today, almost every owner of a newly-built or renovated house decides to install external roller blinds. Roller blinds guarantee better thermal insulation, protect against noise and excessive sunlight, and provide greater privacy and security. There are many different solutions available on the market, so that everyone can choose something based on their needs and budget. In this article we have gathered for you the most important information about external roller blinds to help you make the right choice.
Advantages of external roller blinds
Protection from the sun's rays is definitely one of the most important advantages. Everyone likes gentle rays of sunlight coming through the window, but in the summer, when it's hot, this can be very burdensome. Excessive radiation also makes it difficult to work at a computer or watch television.
Maintaining the right temperature in the home. Roller blinds help maintain the right temperature depending on your needs. In summer, they protect against excessive heat and create shade. In winter, they prevent rooms from cooling down and keep the heat inside.
Silence and intimacy. Roller blinds are great if you live in a noisy part of town or have neighbours nearby. Roller blinds can muffle the noise a bit and protect you from nosy neighbours peeking through the windows.
Improved security of residents Some roller blinds are burglar-proof and will better protect your belongings from thieves, who usually choose windows as the entry point.
Basic types of external roller blinds
External roller blinds can be divided into 3 types based on their installation method: surface-mounted, incorporated and top-mounted roller blinds. Each solution has its advantages, which are worth exploring before making a decision.
SURFACE-MOUNTED ROLLER BLINDS
Surface-mounted roller blinds are one of the popular solutions chosen for modern buildings, but also for older buildings. Surface-mounted roller blinds can be installed at any stage of house construction and also after its completion. It is not necessary to plan these in advance. The system is suitable for places where it is impossible to incorporate the roller shutter box, e.g. in a house with a finished elevation or in a property where the size of the insulation is smaller than the size of the roller shutter box and the investor does not plan to incorporate the box.
Exterior surface-mounted roller blinds can be installed in three different ways.
The first way is the recess installation, where the dimensions of the outer recess of the window are considered the overall dimensions. The advantage is, of course, the ease of installation, since the guides are screwed to the window frame and the control mechanism is drilled inside. Another advantage is that the roller shutter box is hidden in the recess, which improves the aesthetics. The disadvantage is the reduction of the window recess, which results in less sunlight entering the room.
Problems may also arise if the window frames have been too tightly built up when the building was insulated, in which case it may be necessary to use the 'on the wall' mounting system.
Installation on the wall is more difficult and access to the window opening from the outside is required. It is important that the measurements are taken properly, and in the case of an insulated façade, the dimensions of the insulation should be added so as not to mount the guides to the polystyrene foam. An advantage of this method is that the full recess of the window is retained and the amount of sunlight is not reduced. However, there are a few downsides. The first is aesthetic, as the roller blind protrudes from the wall. It is advisable to pay attention to the durability of the profiles as this installation method reduces the strength, so it is recommended to choose stable profiles. The last disadvantage may be the higher cost, as some companies, due to the character of the installation, add a separate surcharge for the installation of roller blinds.
The third installation method is "window frame guides, box mounted on the wall". This type of installation is most often chosen by investors when the size of the roller shutter box is larger than the thickness planned for the building's insulation.
In the case of surface-mounted roller blinds, apart from the mounting method, we can also choose the shape of the box.
The most popular is the traditional SK(square) box, bevelled at 45 degrees. This is the cheapest solution. In addition to the standard box, we also have semi-circular (box made of aluminium sheet, ideally suited for installation in window recesses) and circular(box made of extruded aluminium and SKO-P made of aluminium sheet, perfectly suited for façades).
In addition, we can choose from a wide range of colours, including wood-effects. Which guarantees great visual possibilities.
Incorporated roller shutters
Incorporated roller blinds are the most frequently chosen solution in new buildings. In this case, it is important that the decision to install them must be taken already at the stage of construction or possibly replacement of the window joinery. Incorporated shutter boxes are installed after the window joinery has been fitted, but before the insulation. It is important to plan your investment in advance in order to enjoy aesthetically pleasing and invisible boxes. The box for the balcony shutter is approx. 18cm, therefore if the insulation polystyrene is not at least 20cm, it is necessary to prepare the lintel properly in the shape of the inverted letter L. The window frame must then be moved back in relation to the wall.
As at every stage, proper measurement is important here too. The incorporated roller shutter box is installed on the outside of the window under the façade surface, which makes it invisible.
The roller shutter box can be accessed from the outside for maintenance or servicing, so that the privacy of residents is not disturbed.
Aesthetic considerations, i.e. incorporating the roller blind into the façade, is one of the most important advantages of the solution, but not the only one. Incorporated roller blinds also provide excellent thermal insulation, as the installation method does not interfere with the building structure and does not cause heat losses. This solution is dedicated to passive construction. A good solution is to insulate the lintels.
An undeniable advantage of incorporated roller blinds is possibility to use an independent mosquito net, which will effectively protect us from unwanted insects. Incorporated roller shutters can be made of foam-filled, plastic and extruded profiles.
Top-mounted roller shutters
The third type of external roller blinds are top-mounted blinds. Top-mounted roller blinds are a solution which also needs to be planned in advance at the joinery design stage so that it can be fitted properly. This is because the shutter boxes are installed together with the window joinery. This type of roller blind is installed directly on the window and then set in a specially prepared recess. Therefore, when preparing the openings for the joinery, they should be automatically increased by the size of the roller shutter box. The top-mounted shutter system is recommended for passive construction. Top-mounted roller blinds usually have inspection or service access from the inside. Nowadays, there are also roller shutters with access from outside the building, guaranteeing greater freedom in interior design, as any renovation works will not interfere with the interiors.
The biggest advantages of top-mounted roller blinds are their reasonable price as well as easy installation and comfortable use. Top-mounted blinds are manufactured from high-quality PVC, a material with very good thermal insulation properties. Roller-shutter curtains are available in many colour variants, thanks to which we gain enormous possibilities in matching the curtain to the building façade. They also provide great protection from the sun, wind and noise.
The downside of this solution is that there is little inspection access, which will make work such as fitting an electric motor more difficult. The disadvantage is that the height of the window recess has to be reduced by approx. 20 cm to create space for the roller shutter box, which limits the amount of sunlight entering the room.
The installation of top-mounted blinds is also possible in an existing building if you decide to replace the woodwork. However, remember that the joinery must be reduced by the size of the box.
Types of boxes in roller shutters.
Burglar protection in external roller blinds
The installation of external roller blinds undoubtedly increases the safety of household members. The presence of roller blinds in itself increases the time and difficulty for a potential burglar to get into our home. Roller blinds also deter attempted break-ins in many cases. However, it is worth noting that not every external roller blind is an anti-burglary roller blind. If you want to increase the level of security, you can order additional accessories such as locks or bolts, which lock the roller blind in a closed position (manual control) or self-locking hangers (automatic control).
Mosquito nets for external blinds
When deciding to install external roller blinds, it is worth considering fitting them with an additional mosquito net. A mosquito net integrated with the roller blind can be lowered independently of the roller blind, providing effective protection against insects.