How to Install Retractable Outdoor Blinds

Choosing to install outdoor blinds can make an outdoor area more usable while boosting the environment inside your home too. Blinds are the perfect, easy to implement solution to block out the glare, light and heat of summertime sun. Should you opt for the retractable style of blind, it will allow you to shade yourself from the hottest afternoon sun while giving you the option to enjoy the evening breeze with just a pull of a cord.

Outdoor retractable blinds come in a variety of materials & shades. Certain materials may require specialised installation, however, most blinds can easily be installed by you or a professional. Retractable blinds are available in as many designs and styles as you can imagine: blackout blinds, cellular blinds, cordless blinds and roller blinds, offering extra privacy effortlessly.

Installation is simple for most basic outdoor retractable blinds made of canvas, bamboo, wood, or nylon. Follow the steps below to learn how to install your own blinds.

Installation location

Before you start the installation process, you’ll first need to choose where exactly you are going to hang your blinds.

Popular placement for retractable blinds is:

  • On the edge of patios/decks/porches from the ceiling. This is perfect for customising the shade of your outdoor alfresco area.
  • On the building’s exterior. Put your blinds on south or west-facing windows if you want to get extra shade indoors.
  • On your screened porch. Outdoor blinds can be installed on either the exterior or interior of a screened porch to provide shade and wind protection.
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Installation location

Material considerations

After deciding on your blind placement, the next step is to decide what material best fits your needs and budget. The most common types of retractable blinds are canvas, nylon, or timber.

Depending on where you’re putting your blinds, some materials are better than others – wood retractable blinds are generally more expensive and less hard-wearing than canvas or nylon retractable blinds. However, few materials have the rich look and lasting quality of timber. Whatever material you choose to go with, make sure you know how it’ll stand up to the elements before you commit to installation.

Before purchasing any blind, measuring for size is imperative. Most outdoor blinds come in 6-foot-long (height) sections in widths of 4, 6, or 8 feet. If those sizes don’t work for you, it is possible to get them custom cut to size through the manufacturer or through the store you are purchasing them from.

When measuring, make sure you measure where they will actually hang – on the outside of the window or patio for an accurate measurement. There can be a 3 cm to 6 cm variation between the full outside measurement and the measurement you would get from inside the rails or window. A reputable blind installer will make sure to take the correct measurements so your blinds fit your area beautifully.

Blind mounting tips

Gather your tools

Before you’re able to install your blinds securely and safely, you’ll need to make sure you have the right hardware. The hardware required to mount your blind is simple: three (sometimes four, for longer blinds) picture hooks and inverted V brackets – your blind provider should be able to help you find the proper tools you’ll need.

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If you want an all in one kit, some stores sell retractable blind mounting kits, including all the hardware you’ll need to successfully install your new blinds. Some outdoor blind types come with an integrated aluminium mounting rail for easy installation; if that’s the case, you mount the rail to the hardware and take measurements for the width of the rail.
Make your mark

Make your mark

Now that you’ve gathered the tools you need, it’s time to start installing your blinds.

Mark with a pencil where the end brackets will go and then a third mark in the centre for the middle bracket. If you feel you need a fourth bracket for extra support or security, then mark even spaces to mount to brackets in between the ends.

Check to make sure that all the marks are level with a carpenters levelling tool. If they aren’t level, adjust the marks until they are. This small step is crucial since the marks where be where the blinds will be hung when they are installed – crooked blinds won’t be as effective and if the brackets aren’t lined up, the blinds might not sit right, possibly preventing proper function.

Once the marks are levelled, install the picture hooks securely for the brackets to hang from.

The last step is to hang the blinds on the picture hooks by their brackets and recheck to ensure they are level. If the blinds aren’t level, remove them, level the brackets, and rehang the blinds.

After they are properly hung, check that they operate by unrolling and retracting the blinds to ensure they function the way you want them to.

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Up and done!

Congrats! You’ve installed your blinds – time to sit back and enjoy your shade!