If you’re looking to buy a new set of blinds for your conservatory then one thing you’ll have to think about is the price. Conservatory blinds generally aren’t that expensive, but if you are buying for a large conservatory or don’t have a big budget you may not be able to get the ones you want. This is where knowing how to make conservatory blinds comes in handy as it can save you money as well as be a fun DIY project.
First of all, you need to decide on the kind of blinds you want to make. Blinds for a conservatory can come in many different forms but in this article, I’ll be talking about how to make conservatory roller blinds. There are other options though such as pleated conservatory blinds that may look better in your house depending on the existing decor.
If you’ve decided on a conservatory roller blind then the first step is to measure the size of your window. Make sure that you measure on the side of the window you are going to be hanging the blinds and leave a small gap for the mount of the blinds on either side. When you buy the material it is usually a good idea to buy extra to allow for mistakes.
Now that you’ve measured the size you can go and look for materials. This is where making your own blinds becomes exciting because you can choose the exact fabric and color that will look best in your conservatory. Keep in mind the color of the furniture you have in the conservatory already so you can get a style that matches. You can usually buy roller blind kits which include a roller mount to make things easier.
When you’ve got your kit home you should then put up the roller hardware by following the instructions. Once you’ve tried it out take out the actual roller but leave the mount up. Use the roller to mark on the fabric where you need to cut and leave a small gap on either side so that it will roll up and down without catching.
Once you have folded over the sides of the fabric and stuck them together to give a smooth finish you can then attach the fabric to the roller. Usually, you will use double-sided tape for this although you should check with the instructions of your kit. Once you have done this you only need to put the wooden dowel and the bottom of the fabric to use as a weight and you’re done!
Putting up a DIY conservatory blind is easier than you think and usually only requires you to use common sense. Once you have installed the blind it is easy to test it out and see whether there are any improvements you can make to make it roll more smoothly.
DIY Conservatory Blinds
If you’re a bit handy, and you don’t want to pay for a professional installation, putting up your own DIY Conservatory blinds may be an option worth considering.
The big benefits you’ll get from installing your own window blinds are, first and foremost, a warm glow of inner satisfaction (and perhaps the thanks and awe of other members of the household, who are less skilled at DIY than you are!). But if you learn how to make conservatory blinds yourself, you’ll also save a lot of money which, you can either put in the bank for a rainy day or use to add some nice conservatory furniture. Alternatively, you could use the money you save and put it towards paying for a nicer brand of conservatory blind than you could otherwise afford.
I’ve detailed three options below – which one you take will depend on how skilled you are.
1.) If you are very skilled at DIY, you could pick up all the necessary supplies at your local DIY store, and then build and attach blinds to your conservatory entirely from scratch. If this is an option open to you, I expect you will be able to save a lot of money.
2.) If like me, you are a mere DIY mortal, a Conservatory Blind kit is probably the best option open to you. Most reputable suppliers will be able to discuss your needs with you and supply you with a DIY kit that suits your needs, skills, and, hopefully, pocket. Everything you’ll need (tools excluded) will be included in the pack, and all you’ll need to do is install it, sit back, and enjoy your cool, glare-free conservatory. It’s not quite IKEA, but for most people, it should be doable. And, because you don’t need to pay someone to come round and do the work for you, you’ll get to save about 20% off the retail price of your blinds.
3.) If the cost is at an absolute premium, two of the cheaper options are to buy some soft muslin and hang at each window. This will diffuse the light just enough to be effective and, depending on the look you’re going for, can actually look quite nice. Alternatively, you can pick up reflective conservatory window film quite cheaply. These are applied to the inside of your glass conservatory roof and stop around 75% of the sun’s heat, and keep out over 98% of harmful UV rays while still allowing you to see out.
One final word of caution – installing conservatory blinds is definitely a do-able project, but it’s still not the easiest task. It’s not as difficult as, say, putting in fitted wardrobes all by yourself, but if you’re not sure of your ability (especially if you are installing conservatory roof blinds), then I would err on the side of caution when installing DIY Conservatory Blinds.
Conservatory Roof Blinds
The best way to keep the sun out of your new room is to install a set of Conservatory Roof Blinds. Also known as an awning, a roof blind can help to keep the place cool on even the hottest days, and they’ll keep out UV glare, leaving you able to use your conservatory all day long.
Traditionally, roof blinds are pleated fabric and are attached to the roof frame. The best are clipped on, which allows you to remove them easily on days when sunlight is at a premium.
Other people prefer flat blinds in their conservatories, and roller blinds may be a more suitable choice. Depending on your budget, a wide variety of roller blinds is available, with either manual or remote operation.
Roman and Pinoleum blinds are also popular choices and should be available from any good conservatory supplier. You can find more information about these by checking out some of the other articles on this site.
Recently though, a number of new alternatives have come onto the market.
Solar inserts are a great, cost-effective new invention that not only keeps your conservatory cool in summer but retains warmth through the winter. The reduced glare also means that your conservatory furniture won’t fade, and will last much longer. Solar inserts work best in polycarbonate conservatory roofs – they come as inserts that can be easily slid into roof cavities. We recommend Tec-Sun Solar Inserts or Polycool Solar Control as good, low cost, low maintenance choices.
Exterior roof blinds are another popular option. Sitting outside and on top of your conservatory (in much the same way as a porch awning sits over a door) they do more to keep out the heat, as they sit between the sun and the glass, stopping the glass from heating up in the first place. Conservatory awnings of this type are usually made of a durable, weatherproof fabric, and you can open or retract them either manually or remotely. Pretty much maintenance-free, these binds can usually be professionally installed within a day.
The final option is to do away with blinds and inserts altogether and install a polycarbonate roof. These are usually built into your conservatory at purchase, but can often be added at a later date – either installed by a professional, or by buying a DIY installation kit. Polycarbonate blinds do away with the clutter and maintenance that comes with traditional blinds, and as a result, are much better for your wallet in the longer term. We recommend the Insupolycarbonate Roof, developed by Insu and Polytec.
Overall, there is plenty of choices out there, and you can pick the perfect conservatory roof blinds to suit both your tastes and your budget.