Everything you’d need to know about blockout blinds is right here on one page. Scroll up and down to your heart’s content or hit the nav bar links below to go direct to the answers to your most pressing questions. Learn what to ask suppliers to ensure you’re getting lasting quality blockout blinds. Find warranty details, how to measure and install like the pro’s, how to operate correctly and how to care for your brand new blockout blinds. When you’re ready hit ‘Get A Quote’ and submit your width X drop dimensions. Whether you’re a DIY type or require check measuring and professional installation, you’re catered for here – Ryan.
No Frills – Premium
see fabric selector
2–4 weeks + delivery
Residential & Commercial
3000 *(see FAQS)
Acmeda Components / Reputable NZ Fabrics
One of the attractions for blockout blinds, as a popular window coverings choice, is that they are low maintenance and super easy to operate. With few and robustly built parts there’s not much to go wrong with blockout blinds and operation is as easy as pulling a control chain; blind goes up, blind goes down. Pick the manufacturer well, one that uses proven quality fabrics and high-grade components, and your blockout blinds will last and last; durable and reliable, up and down, again and again.
You can get your blockout blinds as DIY through us delivered anywhere across New Zealand. Or have us check measure and professionally install for you; whichever you’d prefer. We cover most main centres if installation is required or know how to find recommended local installers in most cases. If going the DIY route, read on and you’ll find all the tricks and tips to do it successfully yourself. Blockout blinds are easy to install and we’re here to help at any stage if needed.
Once we have all the necessary details and the green light from you; your blockout blinds usually take 3–4 weeks to manufacture (the 'no frills' range is 10-15 working days). Plus 1–4 days freight depending on where you are in NZ, and whether we’re installing, or you are. Well made blockout blinds; ones that will last years to come, have not been rushed in manufacture. See the ‘key questions to ask’ section above to make sure you’re ordering lasting quality.
When it comes to blockout blinds, the fabrics to choose from here are in the hundreds. All the fabrics we offer, without exception, come from reputable New Zealand based fabric suppliers with well proven track records in supplying lasting quality. Beware of rip-off, often Chinese sourced, fabrics that aren’t designed for our NZ UV conditions and just don’t last. With fabrics that range from plain to textured to designer, with thermal backing or not, blockout blinds can blend in or make a statement. Fabric choices can also be made with your budget in mind; from the cost conscious to those that want to create an in-home experience. Don’t be overwhelmed; use the fabric selector to filter by fabric name, hue, design, price, lead time or backing type or a mix of any of these criteria. And you’re always welcome to ask me for guidance toward choices based on your needs.
By following the steps below with calm collected focus you’ll measure correctly every time. Transforming some people from that state of measuring anxiety to one of higher level tape-measure boss. Guaranteeing blockout blinds that have been measured perfectly every time. Whether you need ‘inside the reveal’ instructions or ‘outside the reveal’ instructions, these are available as pdf’s below. The most common approach, 'inside the reveal', is described next…
With your trusty tape measure in hand, measure the width of the reveal in which your blockout blind will be going. Best practice is to measure the width at three different heights and take the lowest measurement. This makes you read the tape measure 3 times and allows for any indiscrepancies in your window frames. Measure the width near the top, in the middle, and near the bottom. This takes the ‘measure twice, cut once’ to a whole new level. Be sure to hold the measuring tape level and measure from inside edge to inside edge (wood to wood) of the window reveal. To make it easier, especially on the wider windows and doors, bribe a family member to help with promises to make their favourite meal. It’s the smallest width measurement in millimetres you’ll need.
When it comes to measuring the drop of the blockout blind we aren’t nearly so fussy. The blockout blind is always made with extra fabric in the roll. That being said, it’s never time to get complacent – hold that measuring tape perpendicular to the sill, read the tape correctly, and transpose those crucial millimetres with accuracy. No one likes crying over mis-measured blockout blinds.
Hit ‘Get A Quote’ and enter your blockout blind measurements as width X drop in millimetres (mm). If you are getting us to check measure at some point or you’re DIY and want a quick price initially just enter approximate dimensions for now. Exact measurements will be required before proceeding with any orders.
With the following instructions you’ll have your blockout blinds installed, easily, in no time. Three easy steps ensure they are installed like the pros. For the most part blockout blinds are installed inside the window reveal, which the following instructions outline. For installing blockout blinds outside the reveal, and other more specific install variations, these are all below as downloadable PDF’s. Let’s get your blockout blinds installed…
The usual suspects for any great blockout blind installation are appropriate screws, the corresponding screwdriver or if you’re super handy, a power drill, again with the correct bit to drive those screws in. You might also need a 2mm drill bit, pencil and tape measure for next level accuracy, and a step ladder for getting up in the zone at some windows.
Now, limber up and unpack your fresh new blockout blinds.
So you’ve limbered up and are feeling positive; time to place and fit the all-important blockout blind brackets. Each blind has two brackets – one male bracket for the chain control side of the blind, and one female bracket for the pin end (or non-control end). Hold the brackets in place, in your window frame, where they are to be fixed. Think about the desired depth of the blockout blind within the reveal, the fall of the blind fabric, and position the brackets so the blind will miss any handles or latches, etc.
With a pencil, mark where the two screws will go; I generally go up through the top of the bracket (2 screws per bracket is ample). You could drill a pilot hole in the middle of each mark, with a 2mm drill bit; especially if your super close to an edge where wood can split more easily sometimes. If you’re screwing into solid wood and the thread on your screws isn’t too coarse you’ll be fine without drilling pilot holes. Use the screws provided to fix the brackets securely in the window frame.
TIP 1: Perhaps just hold the first blockout blind up in the window to help gauge at what depth the blind will work best; missing obstacles and looking the business.
Remove the blockout blind from its packaging leaving the securing band around its middle. Or take a sneak peek at TIPS 2 & 3 below as potential precautions. Slot your blockout blind into the male bracket (chain side) first, ensuring the control chain hangs freely and that the ends of the guarded part, that partly encloses the control chain, are on the top and level front to back. Hold the chain-side in position and move to the other side of the blockout blind. Retract the metal spring-loaded pin slightly by turning the grooved plastic wheel part – then guide the pin up into the groove of the female bracket until it clicks safely into position. Carefully remove the securing band from around the blockout blind and well done you’re free to lower and raise your blockout blind to your hearts content.
TIP 2: Keep your blockout blinds safely inside their wrappers, safe from any lurking chocolate biscuit fingers, until the exact moment of installation.
TIP 3: If your blockout blinds are white or light coloured you may want to keep them in their plastic packaging, and just cut the ends so the blind ends are free to be installed, and then carefully rip or cut the wrapper off completely. This way avoids even the oil on sweaty fingers and palms from ruining your day (or wear surgical gloves as an extra precaution).
All blockout blinds come with full 3 year warranties as well as the knowledge that there have been no corners cut or compromises made in their manufacture. Your warranty covers defects in components and workmanship under normal conditions of use. The warranty does not apply to blockout blinds that have been subject to negligence, misuse, incorrect installation, improper maintenance or accidental damage.
Over 462+ Online reviews | 4.9 & 98% on profiles
When I was researching and enquiring about blockout blinds Ryan was extremely helpful and proactive. Ryan was an excellent communicator, very quick in providing a quote and responding to questions. He provided good advice and sent through several samples for me to choose from. The blockout blind quality was excellent and very easy to self install. I would recommend Ryan and Blinds Online.
Browns Bay, Auckland - Jul 2019
Great feedback thanks Stuart. It was a pleasure assisting and I'm glad the blockout blind worked out well for you. Thanks for your business, Stuart, and thanks for taking the time to write about your experience here. Cheers, Ryan.
Ryan Ambler - Blinds Online Ltd
MANAGING DIRECTOR - Jul 2019
Excellent service. We are very happy. Highly recommended.
Ponsonby, Auckland - Oct 2015
Glad you like the service and blockout blinds, Tessa. Thank you very much.
Ryan Ambler - Blinds Online Ltd
MANAGING DIRECTOR - Oct 2015
After shopping around for our new blockout blinds I was really impressed with the interaction with Ryan. He was so helpful with advice and details for the design, fitting and development and the installation. I'm really happy with the end result for our apartment. I really recommend Ryan and Blinds Online. A very good value and quality service.
Chaffers Dock, Wellington - Jun 2018
Thanks so much for the comprehensive feedback – it's been a pleasure working with you and I am currently doing your further quote. I hope your tenants enjoy the new blockout blinds at the apartment. Talk soon. Cheers.
Ryan Ambler - Blinds Online Ltd
MANAGING DIRECTOR - Jun 2018
Very happy with our experience, nothing was a hassle, fast efficient and friendly service, great price too! We had 4 quotes and Blinds Online were the only ones who bothered to follow up after to see if there was anything they could help with. Highly recommend.
Silverdale, Auckland - May 2017
Happy we impressed you Deb. Thanks very much for your business and review, it's all very much appreciated. Please enjoy the blockout blinds.
Ryan Ambler - Blinds Online Ltd
MANAGING DIRECTOR - May 2017
What is the widest blockout blind possible?
Generally speaking the maximum blockout blind possible is 3m wide. That said, there are considerations to be aware of when selecting blockout blinds at 3m wide or even close to that – please see the FAQ entitled, 'Are there any potential concerns to be aware of with wider blockout blinds?'
Most blockout blind fabrics come from the fabric supplier at 3 metres wide. (Not all, but most. To check a particular fabric range's maximum width please check the info pop-up on the 'fabric range' name. You'll find this information on the 'fabric selector' pages). We can't use all of the 3m width as we need some 'play' to ensure we can lay and cut your blockout blind edges straight. But if you want a blockout blind to fit 'inside the reveal' 3m wide, we can do it, as the fabric needed for this width blind is actually 3m minus 32mm (we take 15mm off one side and 17mm off the other side – see the FAQ entitled, 'How wide are the light gaps on the sides of your blockout blinds?').
There is more info here than is needed by most however I have found it helps some people in some situations understand what can be done. For the most part please check maximum fabric widths and this will be the maximum 'inside fit' blockout blind we can do for you, in that fabric. That said, please take into account the main considerations I have pointed to before deciding whether a blockout blind this wide is right for you. ie: see the FAQ entitled, 'Are there any potential concerns to be aware of with wider blockout blinds?'
NB: Some companies will 'railroad' fabrics to obtain wider blockout blinds. Railroading is where the fabric is spun 90º so wider widths can be obtained. It is my recommendation and that of any reputable manufacturer that blockout blind fabrics should NOT be railroaded. You will experience performance issues.
Are there any potential concerns to be aware of with wider blockout blinds?
As blockout blinds get wider there will be some deflection or slight sag in the head tube (that spans between brackets) from which the blockout blind fabric hangs. This deflection is caused by gravity over these wider spans. The deflection can then cause slight 'vee-ing' or 'sagging' in the fabric which presents itself as a wrinkle or V shape, usually down the centre of the fabric. It's often very subtle; some people notice it, many don't. Different fabrics or colours make this more noticeable or not. Ceiling down-lights nearby really highlight any 'vee-ing', if present. Lighter coloured fabrics tend to show 'veeing' more than darker colours in my experience. This effect can be more pronounced with 'softer' fabrics. Lighter weight fabrics are less prone to 'vee-ing' however if circumstances lead toward 'vee-ing' then it may be more noticeable in lighter weight fabrics than heavier fabrics. The bigger the blockout blinds are the more obvious this effect can be. 'Vee-ing' applies to all roller blind types, not just blockout blinds. When I say 'wider' I start to advise clients about the possibility of 'vee-ing' around the 2.5m wide mark and it's usually more common when it's those greater widths coupled with a full drop (1.8m and greater). Our manufacturing specifications introduce a heavier duty, reinforced head tube for blockout blinds over 2m, to minimise this effect. Smaller blockout blinds also have superior head tube extrusions; this is one area many companies cut corners to deliver cheap blinds. As you can see there is no exact science to this phenomenon; if you feel it is going to be an aesthetic issue for you I'd suggest splitting 'wider' window/door spaces into two blockout blinds where possible or practical. 'Vee-ing' is a characteristic of wider blockout blinds and is not considered a manufacturing fault or fabric flaw. It is impossible to hang blockout blind fabric this large, completely flat.
Important characteristics to be aware of when considering roller blinds.
It is important to familiarise yourself with these key roller blind characteristics. So you have a full understanding of the product, and so you are aware of what can occur with roller blinds. These characteristics are present across the industry. While a poor manufacturer can amplify these effects, no one is free from them all entirely. Blinds Online use a reputable manufacturer that focuses solely on the production of roller blinds; one which is well renowned, even among competing manufacturers, within the blind industry. We go to great lengths to lessen these effects where possible. In short, it isn’t possible to make fabric hang entirely flat; and in many instances fabric has a life of its own beyond our control.
As roller blinds get wider there will be some deflection (slight sag) in the head tube (this spans between the brackets) from which the roller blind fabric hangs. This deflection is caused by gravity. That deflection can then cause slight 'vee-ing' or 'sagging' in the fabric which presents itself as a wrinkle or V-shape, usually down the centre of the fabric. 'Vee-ing' is a characteristic of wider roller blinds. This can usually be expected on blinds over 2.5m wide, and usually when drops of 2m are involved. The bigger the blind, the more obvious this effect will be. Minor undulations, slight creasing or wrinkling are normal and are not considered a fabric or manufacturing fault. It is impossible to hang roller blind fabric completely flat. I’d encourage you to also read FAQ: ‘Are there any potential concerns to be aware of with wider blockout blinds?’ for a further understanding of this and suggestions to consider when approaching wider window and door openings with respect to vee-ing.
Fabric ‘puckering’ can occur above the bottom-rail. Puckering are wrinkles in the fabric that appears at the point where the fabric and the bottom rail meet. The standard method of attaching an aluminium base rail to a flat piece of fabric involves attaching a 10 or 15mm plastic spline that has a strong adhesive strip stuck to it. This is then pressed onto the edge of the fabric skin. Staples are fixed through the spline and fabric at intervals of around 250–300mm. The fabric is then folded 180 degrees around the spline and slid into a slot in the aluminium profile so that it sits snug and cannot fall off or be pulled off with force. Although puckering is not always present on blinds there is no way of knowing from one batch of fabric to another if blind skins will pucker, or not. Heat, humidity and other room conditions can contribute toward possible fabric bowing and puckering. Fabric manufacturers have no way of knowing when puckering will occur, however it is a well known and frustratingly intermittent issue world-wide. Rollease Acmeda, a leading blind parts manufacturer, have spent significant amounts, testing and developing adhesives and alternative methods of attachment to overcome this problem but have come to the current conclusion that there is no full and final fix to eliminating puckering. What we have found is that fabric will move around with temperature fluctuations and that the daytime heat from the sun tends to relax the fabric and can see the puckering reduce or disappear to only reappear at night. If this is likely an issue for you, we can supply a sewn-in bottom rail in place of an aluminium bottom-rail which can omit the puckering issue altogether. The extra cost of sewn-in bottom-rails is $20+gst per metre (ie: all the widths of your blinds requiring sewn-in bottom rails, totalled). There is also another bottom-rail system worth considering, which is known to greatly reduce the risk of puckering; the ‘Large Teardrop’ bottom-rail sees the fabric wrapped around the bottom-rail instead of a spline and staple approach. The manufacturer of this system when pressed on whether it will 100% eliminate puckering states: ‘it tends to eliminate the issue of puckering’. The extra cost of the ‘Large Teardrop’ bottom-rail system is $TBC+gst per metre (ie: all the widths of your blinds requiring the ‘large teardrop’ bottom-rails, totalled). Please ask me for photos of these two alternate bottom-rail systems if considering. Puckering is not regarded as a manufacturing or fabric fault. Puckering is considered normal and does not constitute a failure in either workmanship or materials. Slight wrinkling, puckering or bowing is inherent in textile products across the board and should be considered normal, acceptable quality.
All roller blinds which are fitted inside a reveal (inside mounted) will have light gaps down the sides of the roller blind fabric (even when a blockout fabric is used). This is because the overall width of the blind including its brackets and componentry is always wider than the fabric width itself. Our light gaps are some of the narrowest in the industry; measuring approximately 17mm on the control chain side of the blind and 15mm on the idle end (opposite side) of the roller blind. If light gaps on the sides of your blockout blinds are going to be an issue for you, you may want to consider ’outside mounting’ and back rolling them. Please also read FAQ: 'How do I further reduce the light gaps on the side of my inside mounted blockout blinds?' for another solution worth considering.
If for any reason the fabric of your roller blind starts to roll up unevenly, tracking to either the left or right, and is in danger of contacting the brackets or control mechanism, the following action should be taken. Start by rolling the blind right down to its lower limit, take hold of the bottom rail and guide the fabric back up in the line it should take, while operating the control chain. Depending on the size, position, and drop of the blind this operation may be best performed as a duo. Perhaps as a mother and daughter bonding exercise. For best results perform this action on a regular basis over some time, to allow the fabric to make and retain its new memory. All roller blinds leave our factory having been jigged and tested and are operating correctly, as they should. While sometimes roller blinds and their fabric’s weave have a life of their own and may be the cause, more often it’s actually operator error that starts blinds down the blind ‘tracking’ route. Roller blind control chains shouldn’t be yanked, pulled too hard, or too fast. Nor should control chains be pulled on weird and outrageous angles either. ‘Pre-load’ the chain slightly (take up any slack) and with long, steady, fluid action pull the control chain down and in-line with where the control chain hangs (vertically) or up to a 30º angle or so out from vertical but still in line with the control mechanism’s wheel. Blind tracking is not considered a fabric or manufacturing fault and sometimes roller blinds just need a little on site love and understanding.
Fabric ’curling’ or ’cupping’ down the edges of your roller blind’s fabric can be caused by fabric weave, where in a manufacturers roll the fabric piece is cut, temperature variations, etc, etc. In the majority of cases the curling may gradually diminish over time however it may not disappear altogether in other cases. Cupping can seem more prevalent in narrower roller blinds (however it is not exclusive to narrower roller blinds by any means) because the edges are closer to each other visually. Fabric cupping or curling is not considered a fabric or manufacturing fault.
LINKING BLINDS IN A ROW WITH ONE CONTROL
Sometimes to span wider openings (usually sliding or bifold doors) it’s necessary, or preferable, to butt (link) multiple roller blinds together, side by side. We use an innovative ’intermediate bracket’ system when butting blinds. Good reasons for using one intermediate bracket rather than butting two standard brackets back to back, is that it reduces the light gap considerably between roller blinds, the finish looks so much better (less clunky and clumsy looking) than having two brackets, and potentially reduces the number of control chains needed (depending on how many linked roller blinds there are altogether). With this system you may have two butting blinds controlled off one control chain, which both raise and lower together, or you may have two butting blinds with a control chain either side, which operate blinds independently of each other. You can in fact even have three blinds butting and controlled off one control chain however from my experience I recommend sticking to controlling two blinds maximum off of one control chain. Now that I’ve describing how cool this intermediate bracket system is, here’s the compromise in some instances. The linking mechanism between each blind gives a slight amount of independent movement and this can present a slight difference in the horizontal line of the roller blinds’ bottom-rails. Usually two blinds of the same size with one intermediate bracket line up perfectly or may have a 1mm difference. Two blinds that are of different widths, but have the same drop, with one intermediate bracket may have a difference of 2 to 3mm when trying to line their bottom-rails up. Three linked blinds the same size with two link brackets will most likely not line up well, horizontally, with up to a 5mm difference. This is largely why I don’t recommend controlling 3 roller blinds off of one control chain. We also do not recommend linking roller blinds of more than 20% difference to each other, in terms of width. In short, when linking roller blinds in this way it is not always possible to have your bottom-rails line up perfectly. Not everyone notices these alignment differences however I feel it my duty to make you aware of these things. Alignment differences in bottom-rails are normal and is not considered a parts, manufacturing, or installation fault.
Roller blinds have fabric rolled tight around an aluminium tube and generally have an extruded aluminium bottom-rail at the bottom. They are packaged in such a way so they can be transported safely. Roller blinds retain a fabric memory for a period of time depending on the type of fabric. The bottom-rail can leave a line near the bottom of the fabric where it has pressed up against it, in its packaging, during transit. This line may leave additional memory lines for several revolutions up the fabric. These memory lines should drop out over a period of time. This is totally normal and not considered a fabric or manufacturing fault. Also, when the roller blind is installed and left in an open position; the fabric hangs over the top of the top tube and the fabric may retain some curve memory for a time until you lower the roller blind and gravity straightens it out again. Different fabrics behave in different ways; fabric memory is totally normal and not considered a fabric or manufacturing fault. Blind fabrics are flexible by nature and generally hard wearing but if a blind sits on a sharp item during transit but has not punctured a hole through the fabric this indentation should also drop out in time.
If your home has down-lights near roller blinds with any sort of vee-ing, cupping, puckering, or memory lines, these characteristics can go from unnoticeable to the eye, to quite apparent, within the flick of a switch.
IMPERFECTIONS IN FABRICS
While New Zealand doesn’t actually have any formal blind manufacturers guidelines, we can look to Australia and take cues off their much larger blind industry and associated standards and guidelines when evaluating imperfections, marks, and dots in supplied roller blind fabrics. The BMAA (Blind Manufacturers’ Association of Australia) Industry Guidelines for Faults state that: • If an imperfection is visible with the naked eye in natural daylight at a distance of 1.2 metres, it is not acceptable. • If an imperfection is not visible with the naked eye in natural daylight at a distance of 1.2 metres it is acceptable. NB: The ‘characteristics of roller blinds’, as mentioned above, are not considered imperfections. Faults as described here relate to ‘imperfections, marks, or dots, in the fabric itself.
Is there anything I need to be aware of when 'back rolling' blockout blinds?
Here's a potential trap for new comers to the blind world. When considering 'back rolled' blockout blinds please consider what colour the back of your considered fabric will be. Most blockout blind fabrics are thermally backed and most of these have a white backing. You will see this white backing along the top of a 'back rolled' blockout blind. If the fabric front you choose is white it will all blend together, so no problem. If the fabric you choose is darker than white, you'll have a contrast and a surprise for those not expecting it. I don't dislike this contrast myself, I think it looks quite good, and as most people's architraves are white it tends to work well. You'll need to decide what works for you though. Most non-thermally backed blockout blind fabrics are the same colour both sides. Some thermally backed blockout blind fabrics have a matching tone backing. 'Back rolled' blockout blinds are most common if you are 'outside mounting' the blinds for some reason, or you are 'inside mounting' but the window reveal is very shallow and to have the fabric hang within the reveal, you need to 'back roll'. The lists below will assist you in choosing a fabric appropriate to your needs (should any of this be of concern to you).
NON THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH SAME COLOUR BOTH SIDES:
Focus & Vibe.
THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH WHITE BACKING:
Balmoral, Gala, Icon, Jersey, Mantra, Metroshade, One Block, Palm Beach, Positano, Sanctuary, Serengetti & Urban Shade.
THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH MATCHING TONE BACKING:
Castille, Kew, Le Reve, Tusk & Vivid Block.
View all blockout blind fabrics online using our blockout blind fabric selector.
Are tall narrow blockout blinds a good idea?
Tall narrow blockout blinds can be very problematic and at times 'track' to the left or right. They track (which means they don't roll up exactly true or square) because there isn't enough width in the blockout blind to have the fabric really 'sit' and play nicely, always. The fabric may track to the side and jam in the control mechanism, causing damage to the fabric. When I say tall and narrow I mean in the vicinity of under 600mm wide with a full drop of around 2000-2400mm. This phenomenon isn't an exact science; it doesn't always happen, however I err on the side of caution as it has happened enough times to cause issues for everyone involved. Different fabrics, at different parts of a large suppliers roll can behave differently at different times. Plus the speed, roughness, or fluidity of the operator (you) can impact whether any size blockout blind tracks or not. Please note, these potential issues apply to all roller blind types, not just blockout blind fabrics.
So, what are the options? I encourage people to do timber venetians for tall narrow windows instead of blockout blinds. Shutters can look really smart as well in tall narrow spaces. Or we'll make them for you if you insist however you're on your own. Any blockout blinds under 600mm wide do not come with a warranty. With care they may behave. Sometimes a little guidance from you when they deviate off track can help to 'train' the fabric to roll true, ie: holding the fabric edge or bottom-rail and keeping the fabric square (by looking at the edge of the rolled up fabric at the top) as you roll the blockout blind up.
How wide are the light gaps on the sides of your blockout blinds?
If 'inside fitting' standard blockout blinds there will be a light gap on both sides. These gaps are required as there is componentry and brackets which sit outside the outside edge of the blockout blind fabric. The gaps measure approximately 17mm on the control chain side of the blind and 15mm on the idle end (opposite side) of the blockout blind. Our gaps are some of the narrowest in the industry. If the light gaps on the sides of your blockout blinds are going to be an issue for you please read FAQ: 'How do I further reduce the light gaps on the side of blockout blinds?'
Is covering louvre windows with blockout blinds a good idea?
Not really however I'll expand on that so you can make the right decision for you. Generally louvre windows are there as a good way to allow air to enter and exit a room; to provide airflow. If your blockout blind (or any other roller type blind) is down, while the louvres are open, it will blow and suck into the louvres and may cause damage or stretching to the fabric over time. Your warranty won't cover damage caused by using blockout blinds in conjunction with louvre windows in this way. Another factor that often comes into play with louvre windows is that the blind covering it may well fall into the 'tall narrow' blockout blinds category, which in itself is problematic. Please see the FAQ entitled: 'Are tall narrow blockout blinds a good idea?'
Sometimes the louvres windows are a small section of a much larger window space. You could stop the blockout blind short of the louvres or have it covering the whole width. If you choose to cover the whole width then when you use the blockout blinds or not and when you use the louvre windows or not needs to be thought through carefully with all this info in mind. If louvre windows are open it's best to have blockout blinds safely up and out of the way.
The bottom-rail on my blockout blind isn't straight or level.
Blockout blinds are made square; the fabric is cut on an expensive cutting table and blinds are all hung in a jig and tested before leaving the factory. It's next to impossible to have a bottom rail that has been put on crooked. It has always been my experience when this comment is made that the window frame isn't square. Either it's a villa where the house has moved significantly or the window frame is out of square to some degree. The top of the window isn't level, or the sides aren't vertical, or there is bowing or a high point on the window sill where the bottom rail hits first making it not sit level.
I take all potential issues seriously – please send me a photo of the blind in the window frame for me to comment on. I do recommend checking window level and squareness initially though; if we come out to site or the blinds are returned to factory, by you, and it is found that the building or the window frame is the issue, and not the blockout blind, there will be a charge to cover time and expenses.
TIP: If it's an 'outside fit' blockout blind and you've used the top of the architrave as a guide, assuming it is level; often they aren't level. This is an easy trap for beginners to fall into.
Can I have an image printed on my blockout blind?
Yes, we have had images or logos printed on blockout blinds before. We can print on blockout blinds, sheer/light-filtering fabrics, and sunscreen fabrics. Pretty much all fabrics we supply can be printed on however plain fabrics do produce better results (ONEBLOCK, KEW and ICON for example). Depending on the size of the blockout blind and the size of the image going on it (and whether one or more blockout blinds need to be aligned with each other) depends on how much extra fabric may or may not be needed to do this successfully. The printing machine needs to hold the fabric at two ends, so more fabric may be needed initially to print, before the blockout blind is then sized and cut to your window size requirements. Also depending on what is to be printed we need to pick your fabric base colour accordingly.
To do an initial quote please supply: the blockout blind size (width X drop in mm's). Or if an image is going across two or more blockout blinds, then the individual blind sizes and an indication that the image is to go across multiple blinds. Be aware that if the image is going across two blinds, there is a gap between the two adjacent blockout blinds. Also a decent resolution JPEG of the image to be printed and the image size you had envisioned on the blockout blind. (before printing the printers may request a better resolution file however we will advise you if this is necessary). Please also supply an idea of the base fabric colour you had planned, for your blockout blind.
I ordered my blockout blind with the control chain on the wrong side – can this be changed over?
Don't panic; this is a relatively easy fix. All is not lost. If you've already installed the blockout blind; take it back down. Carefully wiggle the ‘control end’ mechanism out of the blockout blind head tube. Wiggle the ‘idle end’ component out of the blockout blind head tube as well (this is at the opposite end to the control end mechanism). Swap these over and firmly reinstate. Voilà, your left hand control blockout blind is now a right hand control blockout blind (or vice versa). NB: Before you go showing off this neat new trick, make sure you've swapped the brackets over too (if already installed), side for side, before reinstalling the blockout blind. There you go; said it was an easy fix.
Argh perhaps too easy in some cases. Here's the twist...if the blockout blind is quite large there may be a 'spring assist' mechanism attached to the 'control end' mechanism inside the head tube. You'll discover whether there is a 'spring assist' or not when you wiggle out the control end. 'Spring assist's' are either LH or RH and can't be used on the opposite side of the blockout blind. From here you have 3 options. 1: live with the control chain on the wrong side, as ordered. 2: remove the spring assist altogether (there's a small screw attaching it to the control end mechanism). While the 'spring assist' does assist the operation of larger blockout blinds, it isn't completely necessary in my experience (when saving the day on-site under these circumstances in the past). Or option 3: purchase the correct side 'spring assist' from us and reassemble your blockout blind when you've received it (approx $62+gst). You may even trial option 2 before committing to option 3, and see how you go. There is an option 4 as well actually: send the blockout blind back to us to do however this gets tricky freight and cost wise for you and with the above description I know you can successfully pull this surgical procedure off perfectly.
Most blockout blinds seem to have white backing – are there fabrics without white backing?
You're right. The vast majority of blockout blind fabrics (with thermal backing) have a white backing. If for whatever reason you don't want or like the white backing, don't panic. There are ranges that are the same colour front and back (non-thermal backed fabrics). And there are some thermal backed blockout blind fabrics that have a 'tonal match' backing. Available blockout blind fabric ranges are listed below with their backing type. You can also view all fabric ranges online using our blockout blind fabric selector.
If you're likely to proceed and get blockout blinds from us, I'm happy to send your chosen fabric ranges out so you can see the fabrics in person. So you feel confident picking the colours and backing right for you.
NON THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH SAME COLOUR BOTH SIDES:
Focus & Vibe.
THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH A MATCHING TONE BACKING:
Castille, Kew, Le Reve, Tusk & Vivid Block.
THERMAL BACKED FABRICS WITH WHITE BACKING:
Balmoral, Gala, Icon, Jersey, Mantra, Metroshade, One Block, Palm Beach, Positano, Sanctuary, Serengetti & Urban Shade.
I want a simple blockout blind which still blocks light when required.
All our blockout blind fabrics are completely 'blockout', in that no light passes through the fabric itself. All the fabrics we provide are from reputable NZ based fabric suppliers and are fabrics proven to last in our harsher UV conditions. It is important to note that you do have light gaps down the sides of blockout blinds when mounted inside your window frames. See the FAQ entitled: 'How wide are the light gaps on the sides of your blockout blinds?' for more info on that aspect.
The more 'simple' blockout blind fabrics are Oneblock, Vibe and Focus, which are all priced the same currently and are some of the most affordable. If by 'simple' you mean the lowest cost blockout blind possible, we would use Dawn. Dawn is just as good as the above mentioned fabrics however I have these blockout blinds made in a different factory altogether for the most cost conscious buyers I deal with. Going this route you forgo Acmeda which is the best componentry in my experience (all the important bits that make up blockout blinds other than fabric: head tube, control end mechanism, control chain, idle end, etc). I say this after extensive experience repairing all brands of blockout blinds across the market. If by 'simple' you mean cheap, we don't do cheap as these cost more in the long run (again from my experience coming in after people learn the expensive way).
Does blockout blind fabric 'thickness' dictate quality or performance in any way?
Blockout blind fabrics, from range to range, have differing fabric thicknesses. Generally speaking the thickness of the fabric doesn't effect performance or quality as long as you're buying from reputable fabric suppliers (all our fabrics are sourced from reputable NZ based fabric suppliers). I have seen and felt generic Chinese fabrics in the market which scare me; feeling so thin I could imagine them ripping and creasing if handled roughly. These very cheap end fabrics don't have the coatings present to support longevity either. TIP 1: insist on fabrics from reputable fabric suppliers (TEXSTYLE, SHAW, SHANN, LOUVOLITE) to avoid the common pitfalls you get with cheap fabrics: fading, easily damaged, non eco-friendly practices, fraying edges, etc. Companies that use cheap fabrics also use cheap componentry and cheaper methods and equipment to handle and cut fabrics – all these aspects lead to issues relating to the longevity of your blockout blinds.
With discussion around the cheap and nasty end of the market out of the way; does fabric thickness dictate performance and quality? Not really. Some fabrics are thinner as they don't have thermal backing. Some fabrics are naturally thicker as they are designed with more texture and visible weave, as opposed to more plain fabrics. Fabrics without thermal backing are more economical as there is less involved in their manufacture. Textured, and fabrics with patterns are generally more expensive as there is simply more involvement in their production. Thermal backed fabrics don't give you more thermal performance – fabric thicknesses range from 0.29 to 0.72mm thick (all under a millimetre!). Suppliers don't give 'R values' (thermal resistance) for blockout blind fabrics like you get for cellular type blinds or home building insulation materials, as you can't really measure their thermal performance. Remember whatever fabric you choose you still have the gaps down the sides and top of blockout blinds. I will say that thermal backed fabrics tend to 'hang' better and I attribute this to the extra thickness and therefore weight they have over thinner fabrics.
For all the specs and data relating to different fabrics, hover over the info icon next to the fabric range name in the blockout blind online fabric selector. I've also put fabric thickness values here for quick reference if it's important to you: Balmoral BO: 0.60mm, Castille: 0.70mm, Focus: 0.40mm, Gala: 0.65mm, Icon: 0.55mm, Jersey BO: 0.72mm, Kew: 0.47mm, Le Reve BO: 0.65mm, Mantra BO: 0.65mm, Metroshade BO: 0.55mm, One Block: 0.29mm, Palm Beach: 0.65mm, Positano: 0.64mm, Sanctuary: 0.60mm, Serengetti BO: 0.70mm, Tusk BO: 0.43mm, Vibe & Vibe Metallic: 0.33–0.36mm, and Vivid Block: 0.38mm.
Should I inside mount or outside mount my blockout blinds?
My personal preference is to inside mount blockout blinds wherever possible. It's an easier approach to measuring and installation and I feel it is a tidier, less fuss, look. The blockout blind is contained within the window reveal and the visual lines of the architraves are left to speak for themselves. With that said, there are aspects other than ease of install and aesthetics to consider potentially. Inside mounted blockout blinds will have those light gaps (you may have seen) on the sides. Outside mounted roller blinds can be measured to sit on the architrave (if it's of adequate width) or on the wall above. The blockout blind is then wider to fully or partially cover the architrave; so you have better room darkening results with less light gaps (if that's important). Some may debate that the closer the fabric is to the glass the more thermally efficient the blockout blind will be. I'd remind them there are still gaps on the sides and would challenge any human body to whether it could actually pickup any thermal difference between inside and outside mounted blockout blinds.
There are also practical limitations that may dictate your decision to inside or outside mount your blockout blinds. To comfortably inside mount and either 'front roll' or 'back roll' your blockout blinds you'd want a reveal depth of around 70mm or deeper. If you have shallower reveals and still want to inside mount your blockout blinds you'd need to back roll and know that the brackets and rolled up section of the blockout blind at the top would protrude from the frame a little. The back rolled fabric would still hang within the reveal this way. When faced with super shallow reveals, or as mentioned above, you want to maximise room darkening then outside mounting the blockout blinds and back rolling them may be the only option. You could read the two different installation approaches to get an idea of what you are up for. You'll find these in the INSTALLING section of this page. Outside mounting isn't hard necessarily however it is a little more challenging than inside mounting. If you are going the outside mounting (and invariably back rolling) route for your blockout blinds please also familiarise yourself with FAQ: 'Is there anything I need to be aware of when 'back rolling' blockout blinds?' And in general think about where the fabric will hang and what obstacles may be in the way (latches, handles, hinges or a cluttered windowsill full of succulents).
How are different blockout blind fabrics priced, how do they compare price and quality wise to each other?
All the blockout blind fabrics we offer are sourced from reputable NZ based fabric suppliers. They have been tested to industry standards and proven to outlast generic fabric rip-offs. There are no real quality differences between the blockout fabrics we do, in terms of longevity. Cost differences between blockout blind fabrics offered here come down to the usual factors; volume manufactured, supplier size, scale and costs, weave complexity and design, eco practices, certifications, and the demand of specific fabrics. Where I sell lots of a particular blockout blind fabric I am able to buy at better rates and pass these savings on to you. Blockout blind fabric ranges, in terms of cost only, as below:
Most economical however bear in mind you forgo superior Acmeda componentry for generic Chinese componentry. It is better than most of the generic componentry available out there though. For those on the tightest of budgets. From my vast repair and maintenance experience I encourage people to get their blockout blinds made with Acmeda componentry whenever budgets allow. Dawn has plain block colours.
FOCUS, ONE BLOCK, & VIBE:
Priced the same as each other and the most economical blockout blinds with Acmeda componentry included. Plain block colours.
6TH AVE & BELICE:
The most economical fabrics with pattern and texture. More than the fabrics listed above. Uses generic componentry, not Acmeda.
DUO BLOCK & VIBE METALLIC:
Still fairly economical, plain block colours. Vibe Metallic is a small range however has a shimmery metallic finish for those that like that. Acmeda componentry used.
CASTILLE, ICON, KARMA, KEW, LE REVE, MANTRA, & SKYE:
More mid range priced blockout blind fabrics. There's a mix of plain block colour options and fabrics with pattern and texture so best browse through the fabric selector to view these. These 7 ranges are all equally priced. Acmeda componentry used.
BALMORAL, JERSEY, LINESQUE, METROSHADE, PALM BEACH, SANCTUARY, TUSK, URBANSHADE, & VIVID BLOCK:
Getting nearer the higher end price wise however some really striking fabrics here that will make a real statement in your home. These 8 ranges are priced the same as each other. A mix of plainer subtle texture ranges and more bolder patterns and design as well. See the fabric selector to view fabric ranges. Acmeda componentry used.
GALA, POSITANO & SERENGETTI:
Bold, exquisite high end priced blockout blind fabrics. All using Acmeda componentry.
Here's the full blockout blind online fabric selector.
Which blockout blind fabric ranges have plain block colours, and which have more design and texture?
I personally separate blockout blind fabrics into 'plain', 'subtle texture', and fabrics with 'texture and pattern'. Within the blockout blind 'fabric selector' there are DESIGN filters to enable you to search and view fabrics in this very way. You can also search and view blockout blind fabric ranges by FABRIC NAME. I've listed them in groups below as well.
PLAIN: Focus, Icon, Kew, One Block, Vibe, Vibe Metallic and Vivid Block.
SUBTLE TEXTURE: Castille, Gala, Jersey, Linesque, Metroshade, Palm Beach, Sanctuary, and Skye.
TEXTURE & PATTERN: Balmoral, Le Reve, Mantra, Positano, Serengetti, and Tusk.
I've broken the plastic fitting where the blockout blind control chain runs through.
The 'control end' mechanism guard, on blockout blinds, where the control chain runs through, will potentially break if people are rough in the operating of the blockout blind, or they pull the control chain on an angle it shouldn't be pulled on. TIP 1: Blockout blinds need to be operated with care. With a smooth fluid action and by pulling the control chain in line with the pulley mechanism. The control chain shouldn't rub on any other part if pulled on the correct angle. This sort of breakage can also occur if the blind is raised too enthusiastically, driving the clear plastic 'chain stopper' into the 'control end' mechanism with too much force. TIP 2: This sort of breakage is easily blamed on the kids or careless visitors if you need a quick escape route from the accusatory glare of your partner. Don't worry, it's a part that's fairly effortless to replace and fit, and relatively inexpensive at $33+gst delivered. Send me a photo of the breakage, just so we're 100% sure we're on the same page (send photo to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once you've received the replacement 'control end' mechanism, take the blockout blind down. (Or if it fell down as part of the breakage then its already down and you're one step ahead). Carefully wiggle the broken ‘control end’ mechanism out of the blockout blind head tube. You'll need to take the control chain from the old part and use with the new part. The 'control end ' guard will slide to the slide once the internally visible screw is loosened adequately. Remove the control chain and refit on the new part. Refit the new 'control end'. Reinstall the blockout blind. Refit the clear 'chain stopper' on the control chain so the blockout blind stops at its lowest position and doesn't 'over-roll'. Any concerns fire me an email and I'll help you out. Good luck!
What do I need to contemplate when considering the motorisation of my blockout blinds?
When considering the motorisation of blockout blinds, consider: is the home under construction or completed? Will the motorised blockout blinds be part of a larger 'home automation' system or not? Do I want an electrician involved as a separate expense or not? Am I happy to recharge the blockout blind battery motors from time to time or not really? Do I have the budget to motorise my blockout blinds? Do I perhaps want to retrofit motorisation later after the blockout blinds are installed? The following paragraphs expand on most of these general considerations (the last two questions are covered in later FAQ's)...
Is the house construction finished or an existing home?
If yes, then battery operated blockout blinds are probably best as this approach avoids electricians and cutting into walls to route wires/power to the window jambs needing motorised blockout blinds. Battery operated blockout blinds are a stand alone solution that can mount straight into existing windows. They look just like a normal blockout blind with the motor neatly housed inside the blockout blind roller tube at the top of the blind. You control the blockout blind by remote control and from time to time recharge the motor with a plug-in charger cable (supplied). An optional extra to this battery operated approach is a wifi hub, which gives you the ability to control the blockout blinds via an app on your smart phone from anywhere in the house, before leaving work, or from overseas on holiday. With a wifi hub you can also set favourite blind height levels and preset timers. The remote isn’t needed if a wifi hub is installed however I highly recommend having one anyway; the remote is just handier to reach for sometimes within a room when perhaps your smart device isn't. And perhaps not everyone that will be controlling the blinds will have a smart device set up to do so. Remotes are a relatively inexpensive portion of the larger motorisation spend.
Under construction or major renovation?
If you were thinking about blockout blind motorisation at the house planning or construction stages, then having your electrician route cables to window jambs isn't such a big deal. While your home is still timber framing without wall linings, you could consider hard wiring your blockout blinds instead of battery operated blinds. This approach is more commonly done if you are building in a larger ‘home automation’ system where the blockout blinds are only one aspect of the items you will be automating. Other advantages of hard wiring blockout blinds is that it does away with needing to manually recharge your blockout blind motors, from time to time (you simply plug a charger cable into the blockout blind in situ, so not too hard). Hard wired motors can offer more power which may be desirable if there are a lot of larger blockout blinds involved. Hard wired blockout blinds may also be slightly quieter, however most people don’t really notice the difference unless it's pointed out to them. Hard wired blockout blinds are controlled via a ‘home automation’ system (by others) or can be a stand alone solution using a remote control.
Can battery operated motors be retrofitted to existing blockout blinds?
Generally speaking yes and no. Or rather, there are factors to consider first. Not all blind motors are compatible with all blockout blind tube extrusions and sizes. And different manufacturers use different deductions when making blinds. This means when taking the manual chain controls out of an existing blockout blind, to retrofit a motor, the finished blockout blind, with motor, width may be greater or smaller than the original blockout blind. ie: the blockout blind may no longer be a good fit for your window. Motors need to be a good fit with roller tube extensions or all manner of issues may arise: noise, vibration, over heating, etc. Compatibility between brackets and motor fittings need to be considered as well. If we were making your blockout blinds and we were the ones retrofitting or supplying motors at a later date (as long as that later date isn't too far in the future where developments in hardware or motors may have been introduced) then yes we could retrofit motors successfully. If you already have blockout blinds by others and want us to potentially retrofit battery operated motors I'd need photos and measurements of some of the existing blockout blind parts to make checks around compatibility (I'd guide us through that process).
My quote is over budget, how do I bring the cost down?
From my blind repair days and experience I cannot emphasise enough the importance of buying lasting quality blinds from the outset. While it may seem more expensive to start with, you save time, energy, and money in the long run. In saying that I do get that the budget just doesn't stretch to where you want it sometimes. While the below list won't apply to everyone's initial quote and situation, some of it might, and it may get you thinking about what parts of the plan you could change to reduce the quote price, if required.
MOTORISED BLINDS: Do you have motorised blockout blinds; do you need them to be motorised in all the rooms you have requested? Perhaps you can live with some of them as manual control instead. Battery operated motorisation can be retrofitted later, as well (in most instances) so while there are some extra charges for multiple trips to site etc, you could consider motorising your blockout blinds further down the track.
DUAL BLINDS: Very roughly speaking (depends on fabric choices) having dual blinds (double blinds) everywhere doubles your overall quote. With dual blinds you have two blinds in each window instead of one. Do you need dual blinds everywhere or are there rooms or windows where just the sunscreen or just the blockout blind alone will suffice?
FABRIC CHOICE: This can make a small or large difference in quote price, depending on what blockout blind fabric you chose initially, the fabric you may want to switch to, and how many blockout blinds are involved. See the FAQ: 'How are different blockout blind fabrics priced, how do they compare price and quality wise to each other?' to help navigate the fabric choices and their relative cost to each other.
PROJECT IN STAGES: Perhaps your orders, manufacture and installation can be planned in stages and spread across a few months. This would add to the installation cost in terms of extra visits to site however this may help spread your overall cost over a longer period. I am also open to spreading your payments (for larger jobs) over a month or two. We'd agree on a plan which you would manage payments wise, yourself (one invoice still).
COMPONENTRY & EXTRAS: Do you have any pelmets or fancy extras on the quote you may be able to do without? Also, stainless steel control chains are more per blind (15+gst) than plastic control chains. Have you selected any optional extras that may be adding up, that you don't need.
DIY VS SERVICE: Depending on your skills, capabilities, and wants, you may consider moving forward as a DIY client instead of having us install for you. There are some jobs (larger and more involved) where I would still recommend we measure and install for you. On the more involved jobs, the installation portion is money well spent making sure everything is as it should be.
Hopefully some of these thoughts and factors pertaining to costs, above, relate to and are helpful toward your project and needs. I'm always here to take a specific look at your project and offer suggestions I see, as well. Let me know what or how you may want to relook at your project knowing what factors above can dictate quote price.
How do I take my blockout blinds back down; Is there a trick to it?
Whether you need to paint your window reveals, adjust the brackets, or just want to take your blockout blinds away on holiday with you; it's relatively easy to take them down, safely (once you know how). First take a look at the non-control chain end of the blockout blind (the idle end). You’ll see a notched wheel disk thingy. Aha, now the secret's out. Support the blockout blind, about midway, with one hand, while spinning the wheel counter-clockwise with the other hand. The spinning of the wheel will retract the pin in the idle end and the blind will lower down out of the idle end bracket. As you lower the idle end free of the bracket you will be able to move the blockout blind away from the control end bracket as well. Your blockout blind is now free however please safely stow to ensure it's well-being (all blinds are like children to me). Good luck, however if you're still unsure please get in touch.
Do you send out blockout blind samples, which I can view at home?
Blockout blind samples can be sent out. So you can view them in your home, take your time, and get others opinions if needed. We do ask that you narrow down the ranges you request and that you please return them once you've finished. We actively recycle samples on to the next client, and there is a significant expense in making them. For returns, most samples fit neatly in a $3.5 NZ Post bag, or at most a $7 post bag. The upside of having blind samples sent out is you don't have to visit a showroom and you can take your own time with them. Before requesting blockout blind samples I do encourage people get quotes first to ensure we and the requested fabrics sit within your budget range. Use the blockout blind online fabric selector to narrow down the specific ranges you want to request. As a suggestion, 2 to 4 ranges can be easily sent out and returned. If you are within Auckland and we are conducting a check measure/consult visit, before proceeding with manufacture, then my installers are setup with most blockout blind samples for you to view at home while they measure.
What is the best way for me to spot clean blockout blinds?
Like all fabrics across different industries it really depends on what the stain is, as to what level of success you will have in completely removing it. The more basic blockout blind fabrics are easier to spot clean than the more intricate weaves. All fabric suppliers have the following to say when doing general dusting or spot cleaning: Surface dust should be removed with a duster or soft lint free cloth. Wipe clean with warm soapy water and a damp cloth; dry with a clean lint free cloth. Never use abrasive products, solvents, or industrial based cleaners. Do not roll up blockout blind fabric while it is still damp.
What is the difference between 'thermal backed' and 'non-thermal backed' blockout blind fabrics?
You'd think by the term 'thermal' that thermal backed blockout blind fabrics would have better thermal properties. It's an industry term and one that I find misleading. There is no difference in terms of thermal efficiency between the thermal and non-thermal blockout blind fabrics. Blockout blind fabric suppliers don't offer R-values between ranges as fabrics are all between 0.29 to 0.72mm thick. And with gaps down the sides and top of blockout blinds any R-value would be meaningless. Having a blockout blind is better than no blind at all though. Thermal aspects aside, thermal backed fabrics do tend to 'hang' and 'look' better than non-thermal backed fabrics which tend to be 'stiffer'. Thermal backed fabrics tend to have a little more 'weight' and a 'softer' look. You can search by THERMAL or NON THERMAL in the blockout blind online fabric selector under 'BACKING TYPE'. If creating the most thermally efficient home, you can, is at the forefront of your quest to find the ultimate blind for your needs then honeycomb blinds are superior to all (including curtains), thermally.
Do you supply child safe devices for the control chains of your blockout blinds?
Yes, we can supply child safe devices to keep control chains safer from toddlers. These are also know as 'chain tidies'. They are a clear plastic clip that the control chain runs through. It is positioned at the bottom looped part of the control chain and screwed to the window reveal. As well as keeping control chains safer from toddlers, chain tidies have other benefits like keeping the control chain slightly tensioned, which may look better, aesthetically, to some people. Chain safe devices also prevent careless operators dragging the chain across the edge of the blockout blind fabric, and keep chains from being caught in closing doors.
I'm personally not a fan of chain tidies; they are an extra cost and do in some instances reduce the ability to reach and operate the control chain, depending on where the blockout blind is and how easy it is to reach or not. Where I do feel they are a good idea is where the chain is near an opening door, either hinged or sliding. We don't supply chain safe devices as standard; you'll need to ask for them if you feel they are required. The extra cost for chain safe devices is $12.50+gst (DIY) and $15.50+gst (SERVICE). It is best to specify whether you need these at time of quote/order; if they are ordered after installation things get problematic. It's not just a matter of adding the chain safe to an existing blind; the control chain needs to be swapped out as well to be compatible with the chain safe device. Think about whether you really need/want them and if buying for toddler type reasons think about which windows will actually be within reach of toddlers. Bear in mind that control chains are *generally, approximately 75% of the blind drop. *Unless the drop is short, ie: 300-500mm, where we'll make the control chain longer (as short chains are a pain to use). And if the blockout blind is a full drop like 2200mm (eg: sliding and bifold doors) we'd make the control chain around 1200mm, which is more than adequate to operate but safer from most roving and exploratory humans of the small and curious type.
How long are your blockout blind control chains?
Blockout blind control chains are *generally, approximately 75% of the blind drop. *Unless the blind drop is short, like 300-500mm, where we'd make the control chain longer (because control chains that are too short are a pain to use). If the blockout blind is a full drop like around 2200mm (eg: sliding and bifold doors) we'd make the control chain around 1200mm, which is more than adequate to operate. For the most part you don't need to specify control chain lengths; we default to this tried and tested approach. The exceptions to the rule (because there are always exceptions aren't there!) are when the window is unusually high like in a stairwell, or in a commercial space, or when you have to reach far across something like a kitchen bench. In these instances please advise how long you'd like your control chains (DIY). If we are measuring for you, the installer will be specifying to me, any longer than normal control chain requirements. However it doesn't hurt to discuss any windows you have concerns about, with the installer, while they are onsite measuring (SERVICE).
How do I further reduce the light gaps on the side of my inside mounted blockout blinds?
The light gaps on the sides of inside mounted blockout blinds are 17mm on the control side and 15mm on the opposite side. If required, these light gaps can be further reduced by introducing 'PVC Light Guards' which are L-shaped PVC strips that adhere to the window reveal behind where the blockout blind fabric will hang, and blocks the light gaps on the sides of your blinds. They can only be used with blinds in an 'inside mount' location and should be measured to fit the full drop of the inside of the window. To attach the light guards to the reveal, use the double sided tape that has been pre-attached to the shorter 16mm side by removing the backing and firmly securing in place. Be careful to make sure the light guard is vertical and behind where the fabric and bottom rail will travel. The longer 35mm side will cover the blockout blind light gaps and will overlap the back of the fabric by approximately 18mm for good light blocking results.
PVC Light Guards are available in five colours: Day Light (White), Warm Sand, Silver, Chocolate and Black. When choosing the colour ensure you take into account that when the blockout blind is pulled up the PVC Light Guard will be visible in the window reveal. The cost is $45+gst per metre of blind drop (ie: you get two PVC light guard strips per blind however it's based on the blind drop not the total metreage of PVC light guard strips provided. While this video isn't an exact illustration of the product we supply it does show how the light guards will work on the sides of your blockout blinds.