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Choosing Outdoor Shades For A Screened Porch Or Open Patio

Outdoor Shades For Screened Porch
Image: photostock /
How do you choose outdoor shades for a screened porch or open patio? The right choice can enable you to maximize your family's comfort and use of this outdoor area. With proper planning, your porch, patio or deck can easily become the heart of your home during the summer months and can even be quite pleasant on sunny winter days.

Choosing shades for your screened porch or patio is a crucial part of your planning. Won't it be nice if your kids are eager to bring their friends home to enjoy these entertainment areas? Or inviting your neighbors for an enjoyable barbeque, irrespective of the weather? The best type of outdoor sun shades for your patio can help in a variety of ways. You can expect them to provide more shade, to help with light filtering, to give protection on windy days or to protect your porch furniture.

What To Look For In Types Of Outdoor Shades For A Screened Porch Or Open Patio

1. Atmosphere

Decide what type of atmosphere you would like to create with your outdoor shades or blinds. Should it feel earthy? Tropical? Light and airy? Warm? Sophisticated? Keep the rest of your furnishings such as patio furniture and even your deck tiles in mind. Try to coordinate your window treatments with these.

2. Level Of Protection

Ask yourself if you are choosing window treatments primarily to create the perfect ambience, or to provide protection from the sun, rain or wind. If dangerous UV rays are your main concern, you need to opt for a dense, robust material that has been chemically treated to withstand the onslaught of fierce sunshine for years to come.

If improving the level of privacy is your main goal, you can choose something cheap such as bamboo porch blinds. These can be adjusted according to your needs. Some even come with a fabric backing that ensures a higher level of privacy, but you might prefer the plain ones that let more light through or allow you to still enjoy seeing your garden.

Some of the options on the market can also help to keep your home cooler during the hot periods of the year, and warmer in winter. This may keep your electricity bill down.

3. Cost

You may have to decide on quality, cheap outdoor bamboo rollup shades. If you take good care of them, they can last for many years and are fairly easy to maintain. These are very useful if you have a screened porch.

If you have an open patio, you may be lucky enough to be able to consider more expensive options such as canvas or aluminum motorized, retractable awnings. These require a fairly major home improvement investment, but they will add great value to your home and can give the exterior a fabulous lift. An awning or two could in fact enable you to create an extra 'room', so to speak.

Another possibility is turning your open patio into a screened porch by making use of an awnings conversion kit. These allow you to add screen panels to the awning, in effect instantly turning your patio into a screened porch. One of the benefits of this option is that this don't leave you with a fixed enclosure. You can simply put the screen up when necessary. One example of this is the Sunsetter Screen Room.

4. Durability

Remember that your blinds or shades must be strong enough to withstand a scorching sun, wind and rain. Some types of blinds may need to be removed during the stormy winter months, if you have an open patio. Make sure that canvas has been treated to be mildew resistant. There are also special UV ray fabric treatments that will help with durability.

Wood blinds such as basswood blinds may have to treated from time to time. Make sure that your budget allows for this. Vinyl can be quite long-lasting, but many folks prefer something more natural looking. Bamboo porch blinds remain a popular choice as they are eco-friendly and provide warm, natural looks. They are great if you want a tropical feel. In spite of the fairly low price tag, they can be durable and are easy to clean.

Happy shopping for outdoor shades for your screened porch or patio!

From the home remodeling desk of Rika Susan