Buying Conservatory roof blinds – 12 questions to ask yourself.
This conservatory roof blinds buying guide gives you the questions you should consider, the reason for the question and then the answers you come up with should enable you to be better prepared when you are talking to potential suppliers and will ensure you select the most suitable blinds that meet your particular requirements and budget.
Why do I want blinds?
Is it to reduce heat and/or glare, increase privacy, retain heat in the winter or some other reason?
Knowing why you want blinds will ensure you ask the right questions and should allow a potential supplier to suggest the best possible solutions
Do I want to reduce heat and /or glare?
If heat gain or glare is an issue you need to resolve then conservatory roof blinds will be the answer as most of the heat and glare enters a conservatory through the roof.
The type of conservatory roof blind, pleated, roller or Pinoleum is probably not as important as the fabric used. To reduce heat gain or glare the fabric must be of a solar coated type.
Do I have a problem with privacy?
If you want to increase the privacy in your conservatory then it is most likely that side window blinds will achieve this unless you are overlooked from above by a neighbour. If you are overlooked from above then any of the roof blind options will be suitable.
Is heat loss in the winter of concern to me?
To reduce heat loss in the colder months then roof blinds would be the solution particularly when using one of the honeycombe pleated fabrics which trap air in the fabric cells so providing an insulation barrier to prevent heat loss by up to 50%.
How often am I likely to open and close the blinds?
This may seem like an odd question but it can have a bearing on the most suitable type of blind, the size of the blinds and method of operation of the blinds. If you are going to open and close the blinds daily you really want as few blinds as possible and although we would generally recommend one blind per roof panel, sometimes it can be possible to cover 2 or more roof panels with one blind so reducing the number of blinds.
How often you are going to open and close the blinds will also have a bearing on the method of operation. Lots of roller blinds with cords and cleats or pleated and Pinoleum roof blinds with manual pole operation could be time consuming to open and close. If you can’t avoid lots of blinds then maybe motorisation could be the answer but then cost might start to become an issue.
What choice of blinds do I have?
Conservatory roof blinds are available as roller, pleated and pinoleum.
Roller blinds are available with solar reflective fabrics to control heat gain and glare and can be one of the more cost effective choices but can look a bit untidy with all the cords and pulleys that are sometimes required. Pleated blinds are also available with solar reflective fabrics, can be manufactured to all the shapes and sizes generally found in conservatories and are neat, unobtrusive and simple to operate by means of a pole.
Pinoleum blinds are not as popular as the roller and pleated roof blinds but they offer a much more natural looking option and are ideal for conservatories of wood construction. They tend to filter the light more than block it and can have a solar coating on the back of the Woodweave.
Am I happy for holes to be made in my conservatory?
If making holes in your conservatory is going to be a concern for you then there is currently one system of roof blind that can be fitted without the need to drill holes and screw fittings to the conservatory roof.
The system is a pleated blind system called Perfect Fit International which is fitted by means of brackets which are slid between the conservatory roof frames and roof glass and the blinds are then attached to these brackets.
How many blinds am I likely to need?
Generally we would recommend 1 blind per roof panel. Exceptions to this would be if there are any particularly small roof panels that would be impractical to cover with a single blind or if it is deemed necessary to cover 2 or more roof panels with 1 blind due to budget constraints or for operational reasons.
How much should I budget for my blinds?
A very rough guide of cost for standard roller or pleated roof blinds would be £150 per blind and for Pinoleum or Perfect Fit International pleated blinds it would be around £200 per blind.
However, there are many factors that will affect the final cost including type of blind, fabric choice, number of blinds, method of operation, whether the blinds are shaped or rectangular, additional features such as anti-fan and what warranties are offered.
How should I compare Quotations?
You will probably want to get quotations from at least 2 or 3 suppliers. When comparing your quotations, it is important to try and ensure you are comparing like for like to ensure you are getting a true idea of the cost. Make sure the fabric specification is the same or very similar, the quantity of blinds is the same, do all the quotations include pleat retention and check that the guarantees are same. Ideally make a list of all the features you want and then check each quotation includes the features on your list.
If one quotation seems to be considerably less than the others, ask why. Something could be missing or very different to what the other quotations are offering. Likewise, if one quotation appears to be considerably more, it might we worth checking if it isn’t for a much more expensive fabric which when taken into account actually makes the quotation the most competitive.
What can make a difference to the cost of my blinds?
The main factors which can affect the cost of your blinds would be:
Fabric – fabric can make a huge difference to the cost of your blinds. Fabrics are generally price banded depending on their manufacturing cost and the difference between the price bands would be typically around 10%. So, for exactly the same quantity and quality pleated roof blinds that are costing £1500 in a Band B would cost around £1650 in a Band C and as much as £2200 in a Band F fabric.
Quantity of blinds – Combining roof panels so that they are covered with one blind can reduce the quantity of blinds to cover the roof and therefore reduce the cost but sometimes this can be a false economy. Making the blinds bigger to cover more than one roof panel will reduce the flexibility of light control, could make the blind less stable, reduce the effectiveness of the pleat retention system and make the blind difficult to open and close.
What guarantees are available for blinds?
Guarantees can vary from 1 year to a lifetime. Some will be parts and labour, some will be parts only, some will need you to return the blinds to the supplier, some will be an onsite guarantee meaning the supplier will attend site to rectify any problems.
Guarantees can vary wildly and generally if the supplier is also the manufacturer of the blinds then the guarantee period will be longer and the time for repairs to be affected will be shorter. A minimum guarantee for conservatory roof blinds should really be a full parts and labour, onsite guarantee for a period of 5 years.
Marla Custom Blinds have been manufacturing and installing conservatory roof blinds for more than 20 years and hopefully these 12 questions will allow you to make a more informed decision when selecting roof blinds for your conservatory.