Last Updated Dec 22, 2010 · Written by Craig Gibson
Retractable blinds and roller blinds are one of a bewildering array of window and door coverings on the market. Choosing which type or style to specify in your home is a combination of practical and aesthetic considerations. Blinds are invaluable for providing protection for the interior of your home from the harmful UV rays of the sun, as well as providing a level of privacy from passing traffic and insulating it to some degree. They also need to look good and integrate set against the rest of your decor.
Retractable blinds are mainly utilised outdoors, often in areas where sun, rain or wind is only a temporary feature. This may be the case for your patio, decking or other outdoor entertainment area. Retractable blinds are often specified with a retractable or folding arm, which allows them to be stored out of the way, while not limiting ambient light penetration at other times. It should be noted that any blind that is installed outdoors needs to be manufactured from a durable fabric or material that is tested for local conditions; otherwise its lifespan is likely to be greatly reduced.
Roller blinds are typically comprised of a durable fabric which is rolled on a tube, either by a spring activated mechanism or a cord. Both adjustment methods offer complete control in term of the adjustability of the blind. The fabric can be a solid material or a permeable one that offers partial privacy with some light penetration, and they can be installed indoors or outdoors. The major advantage of roller blinds is the shading and privacy they offer, together with the ease of maintenance; which makes them popular for specification in kitchens. They are also a relatively low cost option in the blind universe.
If you are looking for superior light management, privacy and ease of maintenance then roller blinds is the way to go indoors. Retractable blinds are more suited to an outdoor setting, and should be manufactured to a more durable standard. For added convenience and customisation options such as motorization and remote control are available for both types of blinds.
When specifying blinds for your home, make sure you determine which type is most practical, and choose according to your needs.