Grand Designs Buyer’s Guide To External Shading

External Shading Systems

The August 2016 version of Grand Designs magazine (out now), based on the popular C4 TV programme Grand Designs provides a 3 page feature on external shading, looking at the different types of systems on the market, benefits of each, typical costs and most importantly key considerations when thinking about external shading for your property.

Our very own Director was interviewed for the article and this is the advice he had for readers:

1. What are the most common mistakes people make when installing external shading?

Specification; typically being 1. the wrong type of shading system for the requirements, 2. dimensions of the solution to ensure adequate shade year round, and 3. the quality of both the mechanism (hardware and drive system) but most importantly the material – which is actually doing the protecting. It has to be said that much of this is down to poor advice from ‘so called’ external shading specialists, who don’t have the knowledge or expertise to provide expert advice on the right shading system type, appropriately sized of the right grade for the application and requirements.

2. What materials should you use?

The hardware should be of polyester powdercoated extruded aluminium which is both corrosion resistant and durable along with being maintenance free. The fabric, which typically accounts for 80% of what is visible of an external blind system and actually does the shading, ideally will be for a traditional awning a solution dyed acrylic where the colour is dyed right through to the core along with offering outstanding dimensional stability, so does not stretch or tear and treated with a nano technology coating to generate a self clean effect ensuring dirt simply washes off the material.

3. Do they require maintenance?

Other than cleaning to keep them looking like new which can be a spray with a garden hose and for stubborn marks a wipe over with a sponge soaked in warm soapy water, external blinds do not require any other maintenance. Joints are typically self lubricating and motors are concealed within the fabric barrel hidden inside the cassette mechanism. 

4. Can you tell me if you require planning permission to install them?

Generally speaking, in the majority of applications, external shading systems do not require planning permission. If the property is within an area of outstanding natural beauty, conservation or greenbelt area then planning permission would need to be sought. When installing modern pergola louvered roof structures that provide external shading along with all weather protection, these would normally fall within permitted development rights so again no permission is required. If in any doubt you should always check with your local planning authority.

5. How much does shading cost?

This really depends on the type, size and specification of system, however, generally speaking they start at around £1,500 for a roller blind mounted externally in front of glazing up to on average £4-5k for the most common external shading system, a motorised folding arm patio awning and then for a modern pergola louvered roof system with the various options these come in at around £15,000 – £20,000. There are ‘cheap’ external shading systems in the market that have attractive low price points but these are a false economy as they don't meet any quality standards, are not suitable for the UK climate and won’t provide the function they were purchased for.

If you’d like to find out more about Caribbean Blinds premium range of external shading systems that offer a superior specification to any other on the market, all coupled with a service that is second to none and knowledge & expertise you just won’t find elsewhere, speak to one of their experts today on 0344 800 1947 or complete the quick enquiry form here.

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