3 Things to Consider When Choosing External Blinds or Window Shades

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External blinds and shades that are attached to a pergola or porch frame are a great addition to any outdoor area, as they provide privacy from neighbours, a bit of sound insulation, shade from summertime sun, and protection from overly cool or very warm breezes. These fixtures can also block some smoke from your grill so that it doesn't drift to a neighbour's home, which they might appreciate! When you're ready to shop for any external blinds or shades, note three things you don't want to overlook, so you know you get the right choice for your patio or deck area.

Ease of use

Blinds that work with cords and pulleys are often the least expensive, but they're also the most cumbersome to use. The cords can shred or get stuck, jamming the pulleys to the blinds actually fail to operate. It can also be difficult to get all the blinds at the same height when they all work on cords and pulleys, creating an uneven look around your exterior space.

Consider how often you would need to open and close your blinds; if you like morning and evening sun but know you'll need shade from midday heat, you'll be opening and closing the blinds repeatedly throughout the day. Choosing corded blinds can then mean constantly getting up to adjust their height. If uneven blinds are unsightly to you, this can then detract from the look of your outdoor space. To avoid these hassles, invest in motorized blinds that work with a push button or remote instead.


PVC blinds are very durable and easy to wash, but PVC will hold heat and can make your outdoor space too hot during the warmest summer months. If you rarely sit outside during the day and only use the patio space after dinner, this may not be an issue, but for those who enjoy being outside when the weather is its warmest, choose a mesh fabric instead of PVC. The fabric won't hold heat and the mesh will allow for air circulation, keeping your outdoor space comfortable even during summertime.


While blinds and shades are meant to be functional, you don't want to overlook their appearance. Blinds with slats can seem very natural and work well to add some style to your outdoor space. However, those slats can create a busy and cluttered look across very large windows or a large pergola. Shades are flatter and can offer a neater appearance for those who prefer something cleaner and simpler.