Conservatory Blinds

What are conservatory blinds good for?

Decor - yes: Conservatory blinds can improve the look and feel of your conservatory significantly. In the evening especially conservatory blinds can take away that feeling of being 'watched' through the dark glass and make the room feel more like an addition to the home. Therefore, they can be an aesthetic improvement to the conservatory - simply looking great.

Direct Sunlight - yes: Conservatory blinds are also useful for reducing the effect of UV on other furnishings such as sofa's, chairs and tables or whatever else you have in your conservatory.

Heat Build-up - no: I would say from experience though that the one thing conservatory blinds are poor at is reducing the heat build up in the room. Of course it will depend on the location of your sunroom with respect to the sun but whilst they are good at keeping out direct sunlight I have found my blinds to be ineffective at stopping solar gain. They may reduce the temperature over having none, but its not enough and you may as well better spend your money on air conditioning or solar coatings than blinds for heat build up reasons alone.

Roller

These are like the blinds you will have in your bathroom or kitchen. They open and close by unrolling from the top usually operated by a cord at the side. They are cost effective for covering a large window area and are easy to fit yourself. They can have a metallised backing on them (facing outward) to reflect some of the sunlight back out. Whilst the can be tied down to keep them still in a breeze they do tend to billow if the windows are open a windy day. 

Roman

This type of blind are rolled or folded up at the bottom as the blind is raised.

Pinoleum

This type of blind are typically made of wooden slats. They are in fact a type of roman blind.

Pleated

These type of conservatory blinds are folded up like a fan. They are very popular and can give a modern look to a conservatory. I would say they are probably the most attractive form of conservatory blind though they are probably the most expensive as well. Pleated conservatory blinds are usually on wire guides which helps them keep their shape when they are being open and closed. 

Conservatory blinds: Personal experience

You don't have to use one type of conservatory blind in every window/roof panel of the conservatory. For my particular install we went for pleated in the roof space (which look great when closed) and roller for the windows (much cheaper). The pleated conservatory blinds have guiding wires on them which means they fit the Edwardian trapezoidal roof style, they are tidy and they stay close to the roof panels (whereas roller blinds would have hung down a little). I would say however, that the Edwardian conservatory roof blinds do not open very easily and when open look untidy due to the triangular shape of the roof.  

The roller blinds cover a large window area relatively cheaply. The roller blinds do knock with the windows open in a breeze but its hardly irritating. Now we didn't come up with this idea but rather the conservatory blind salesman suggested it (he also runs the company). Good price, good advice and not pushy - sold!

I would also add that I should have tried to supply and fit the roller blinds myself as its not hard at all. The pleated conservatory roof blinds are a specialist job and I'm really glad I didn't try it. Overall, they are a good addition to the conservatory but do not cool it enough and we now have air conditioning and two fans in there as well!

A safety tip for parents is that the cords that come with roller blinds can be quite long and they dangle down to the window ledge in the conservatory. My children like to shuffle along the low ledge and play with the cords. Of course a potential hazard is that they could fall off the ledge (only 2ft down) but get snagged in the cord and well, you guess the rest. I try to remember to tie them up after use or simply keep the kids out of the room.

How much will conservatory blinds cost?

The cheapest price I found on the web started at £680 for even a postage stamp size conservatory blind. This included at 'survey' of the conservatory, measuring it, fitting the blinds and a 5 year manufacturers warranty. On this particular site there didn't seem to be a linear relationship between price and blind area or length (at least not one I could see) but typical prices were a 3m x 3m conservatory costing just under £1000 to fit any type of conservatory blind. A 5m x 5m set of blinds set cost £2200 again with any type of blind (not electric though). Whether this online quotation service would be honoured or whether there would be some terms and conditions which became obvious at the 'survey' I don't know - but it gives you an idea of the lowest price you can expect to pay.

A second site rather than have an online quotation calculator listed several designs of conservatory along with typical dimensions and pricing for standard blinds for you conservatory. For example for a

Again these prices are estimates. Not a huge difference in price to the previous quotations, e.g. prices starting at about £1000 rising to about £2000.

UK Conservatory Blinds Costs: Disclaimer
Conservatory Blinds Type Conservatory type Fabric type Width (m) Length (m) Price
Pleated Lean to Solar Design 3 2.4 £780
Pleated Victorian Solar Design 3 3 £1750
PleatedEdwardian Solar Design 3 3 £1686
PleatedP shaped Solar Design 6.5 4.5 £3356
PleatedLean to Cellular 3 2.4 £750
PleatedVictorian Cellular 3 3 £1640
PleatedEdwardian Cellular 3 3 £1700
PleatedP shaped Cellular 6.5 4.5 £3300
PleatedLean to louvolite 3 2.4 £650
PleatedVictorian louvolite 3 3 £1360
PleatedEdwardian louvolite 3 3 £1400
PleatedP shaped louvolite 6.5 4.5 £2350
Roman Lean to Pinoleum Wood 3 2.4 £830
Roman  Victorian Pinoleum Wood 3 3 £1800
Roman Edwardian Pinoleum Wood 3 3 £1800
Roman P shaped Pinoleum Wood 6.5 4.5 £3300
Window blinds Lean to Venetian 3 2.4 £1250
Window blinds  Victorian Venetian 3 3 £1600
Window blinds Edwardian Venetian 3 3 £1550
Window blinds P shaped Venetian 6.5 4.5 £2400
Window blinds Lean to Pleated 3 2.4 £770
Window blinds Victorian Pleated 3 3 £890
Window blinds Edwardian Pleated 3 3 £820
Window blinds P shaped Pleated 6.5 4.5 £1220

Prices valid early 2007 

As can be seen from the above table the pricing for individual blinds is higher than before but gives some idea of the effect of the type of blind has on the actual cost to install it. Note the prices for the blinds in this case are for the roof blinds only. Ouch.

Beware though. There are some companies that will try and sell you blinds for a truly horrendous price. I got nervous when the price I was quoted for some additional motors on the blinds (£500 each) exceeded what I expected to pay for the blinds themselves. In the end I paid about £1700 for pleated roof and roller window blinds included fitting in a 3.5x3.5m conservatory compared to the first quote of £7000. This high price was from a major player in the conservatory blinds sector - so watch out!

Conservatory Blinds Conclusions

Conservatory blinds look great and make the conservatory feel much more welcoming. They reduce the amount of light coming in but do not significantly effect the temperature in the room. A good point to note is that you can mix and match types of conservatory blinds to different parts of the room e.g. pleated conservatory roof blinds and roller window blinds. This allows you to minimise cost and still achieve a good look. Get a few quotes and watch out for some companies trying to charge you simply ridiculous amounts of money for your conservatory blinds!

by Jonathan Pearson



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"Very helpful thanks for spending your time on this makes things a bit easier now for me cheers"

Russell

"Thank you, I have a man coming tomorrow to give us a quote, I feel now that I am armed and know what to ask him, and what to watch out for. Jean"

J Pinnington

"Wonderful information! So glad I came across this page, and just when I'm about to have a conservatory built."

K. Lewis

"Where can I buy blinds from for this amount? I have contacted 5 firms and all of the quotations have been between 6 and 8K. This is a complete joke as I can have a conservatory built for this amount. Could you please recommend some firms that will put blinds in my 3 x 4 metre conservatory for the price you quoted. Many thanks."

amanda thorpe

"A reputable local company will give you honest experienced advice as to which type of blind and fabric is best for you, and also fit the blinds with sufficient air gap between the glass so as not to damage the conservatory. The big national companies employ hard sell reps that will tell you anything to get a sale, and then dont honour their warranties if their are problems later on.A local company wants your recommendations. We were sold pleated blinds in a fabric that cuts out heat and glare by 90% and our conservatory is now much more usable in the summer and warmer in the winter too."

Kevin

"I found your comments very useful, thank you. I fully agree with what you say, buyer beware! Shop around and you can save a lot of money particulary if you use a local shop as we did. We went for pleated in the roof and vertical to the sides, looks great. "

Tom Johnson

"Thank you for this very helpful guide; now I am ready for my local blind fitter when he comes round!"

Jules

"Which type/style/colour of roof blinds should I go for, to maximize heat retention in winter, whilst minimizing heat absorption in summer?"

Steve

"External blinds do a much better job at cooling a conservatory.They do not have to be expensive if they are in the form of external shading - rather than electrically operated roller blinds in cassettes."

M Jackson

"This article is correct in saying that INTERNAL conservatory blinds will not reduce heat build-up. Only EXTERNAL shading will do that. I think you'll find that some external blinds, like Koalashade, are also considerably cheaper than the 'minimum' prices cited here."

Paul

"Thanks! Your impartial advice is great! It answered a lot of my worries about spending so much money."

S Lawrence

"The prices listed are quite realistic despite the post in 2007. I have a quote done recently by a company on pleated blinds and it is very close. This is indeed a very useful post for someone who never own a conservatory till now. Thanks a lot."

G .Yeo

"I use my conservatory all the time during the warmer months but have to shut it off during colder periods because it is just too cold and would be too expensive to heat. My question therefore: would roof blinds stop the warm air escaping in which case I could heat and use the room throughout the year. Or would I be wasting money having roof blinds to keep the heat in? Would be very grateful to get advice. "

Helga

"I use my conservatory all the time during the warmer months but have to shut it off during colder periods because it is just too cold and would be too expensive to heat. My question therefore: would roof blinds stop the warm air escaping in which case I could heat and use the room throughout the year. Or would I be wasting money having roof blinds to keep the heat in? Would be very grateful to get advice. "

Helga

"Thank you - I was looking for conservatory blinds and found this page most useful."

GM

"thank you for your handy tips and info very helpful indeed !!"

miss j.a bryan

"What about dead insects getting on to roof blinds? Is this a problem? Any cleaning tips?"

Al

"you get what you pay for. I bought the Solar Design blinds you mention and they have a special cording system that makes it easy to use and keeps the fabric flat when it\'s retracted. Very neat! The company I used was conservatoryblinds limited. "

cath

"Very helpful thankyou. Never having had a conservatory before you don't know where to start trying to price up blinds. Are you allowed to say where some of the cheaper but good companies are. I have already guessed the expensive one!!! If allowed please email me (Admin: Sorry I only know the ones in my area. My advice would be get some local firms in to quote) "

Debbie

"Hi, a point to note about getting blinds fitted that was highlighted to me is that some warranties become invalid if you 'physically or mechanically damage the product'. i.e. drilling into the UPVC frame. there are plenty of ways around it, but thought it was worth mentioning. thanks"

Andrew

"Thanks for having this website, I am considering having roller roof blinds for my conservatory and this information is helpful."

G Clements

"Hello I bought pleated conservatory blinds from Norwich Sunblinds, and find that after 4 years the little tags that attach each pleat to a narrow ribbon at right angles to the pleats have gone brown and are breaking. The blinds are now out of guarantee, so I am not too happy. "

Simon

"a really really useful sight, thank you very much"

l bothwell

"why would the conservatory fitter say that? sounds like nonsense to me. our conservatory gets to 50C on a very hot day with the windows shut and window blinds up. No doubt it is extremely hot in the roof area with the pleated blinds down and yet haven't has any problems - certainly not the glass exploding! I agree with Howard that we'e had double glazing get moisture in but that can be anywhere in the house and independent of location. Anyone else ever had any heat related glazing problems in conservatories that they can put down to blinds?"

Jon

"in 12 years i have never had a complaint about heat build up between glass and blinds and certainly never come across glass popping because of blinds it is usually the seal that goes between the double glazing and moisture gets in,but never heard any glazing company blame the blinds. If the conservatory is south facing what ever glass it is you will need blinds."

Howard

"My conservatory fitter has just told me not to have roof blinds as the glass used in the roof is specially designed to protect against the heat of the sun and should keep the room cool in summer and stop it from being icy cold in winter. Another reason is that the usual pleated blinds against the roof glass will cause too much heat build up between the blinds and the glass and so the glass will be liable to \\\'pop\\\' or explode. The conservatory manufacturers will not be responsible for replacing glass damaged by heat build up. BEWARE."

Maggie Collings

"I have a high ceiling lean to and have used an "outdoor" awning for the roof - bought in the winter sale and fitted. total cost fitted £200. Bargain and it looks nice."

Nina

"It is worth remembering that by fitting other blinds such as rollers on the sides of your conservatory you may be saving money on the original cost but it is bad advice if it is heat you wish to reduce. Pleated blinds will reduce heat dramaticly if you cover every pane of glass including sides, they are fitted correctly ie as tightlt to the glass as pos and all blinds are closed before the sun reaches the conservatory. Any heat already in the conservatory will remain in there. Yes this is expensive but do NOT be fooled into cheap corner cutting you are throughing money away. I am an expert in conservatory blinds and have been in the trade for 12 yrs"

Howard

"Many customers buy our Roller Blinds to fit in their conservatory. We are looking onto stocking blinds which can be fitted to the top panels of conservatorys - www.bruceblinds.com"

G Bruce

"brilliant i wanted a ball park figure without getting roped into a consultation. good to know how some market leaders will rip you off ! i have heard tho that the heat reflecting back to the frames can distort your pvc, something to consider when getting a quote."

diane

"Hi just a quick comment on Vicky's comment, if the heat reaches the blinds, then it's in the conservatory, the blinds cannot then send it back out! Reflective blinds will work to a small degree, but effectively you only reduce the light and UV that passes through the blinds. The radiated heat that reaches the blind, and is absorbed, is released as convected heat, i.e. it warms the air in the conservatory. This means that you will still get warmed up!"

Bob

"Hi there. Your page is very interesting and a good source of information for people. Thought I\'d just let you know though that there are \'heat reflective\' materials available to prevent too much heat build up in an area, namely conservatories. Might be worth mentioning??"

vicky








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