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A Few Important Tips for Choosing Exterior Blinds and Shades

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Exterior blinds or shades can be used for porches and outside of windows, for light and temperature control and to protect your home against storms and other potential damage. Choosing outdoor blinds or shades can mean sifting and sorting through many different options, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. To make the right choice for your home, note a few important tips you'll want to remember.

 Direction of roll

The direction of the roll refers to whether the shade will roll behind the top casing or in front of it. Having it roll behind the casing means it will sit closer to a window so that you get maximum light protection; the gap between the shade and window is very small so less light will pass through. However, if you're adding blinds to exterior windows that have outside handles, hinges, and the like, you may need a roll that goes in front of the casing. This will allow it to sit away from the window so that the window hardware won't get in its way.

Lift system

For exterior blinds and shades, you want to consider a continuous loop lift system. This is when the chain that opens the blinds or shades is in one continuous loop; you pull on one side of the chain to open the blinds and the other side to close the blinds. This is unlike standard cords that get longer as you pull on them to open the blinds. Using a continuous loop system outside will mean no long cords that can get caught in the wind or that might sit too close to the ground and get dirty or damaged.

Openness percentage

You might think that the darker a shade or set of blinds, the less light that will pass through, and that lighter blinds will always allow more light through. This isn't always the case, as the openness of the blinds or shades is what really affects the amount of light you'll get. Openness refers to the weave pattern on shades and blinds; the more open the weave, the higher the openness percentage, and the more light that will come through the material. A blind or shade can be very light in color but have a small openness percentage, so that it allows virtually no light through the material, whereas even black blinds or shades can have a high openness percentage. Note this factor when making your choice rather than opting for a certain color alone.