How To Choose The Perfect Outdoor Shading: A Comprehensive Guide

Outdoor Awnings Sunroofs Helioscreen

Whether it’s relaxing in the garden with a book or dining out at a cafe, Australian’s love spending time outdoors. However, too much harsh sun prevents us from enjoying these spaces to their full potential.  

That’s why outdoor shades like awnings, retractable roofs and outdoor blinds are a smart investment for any home or business. But with so many options on the market, it’s hard to know what’s the right fit for your space. 

Here, we’ll look at 5 helpful tips to help you choose the right outdoor shading and suggest some of our best-selling sun shades for different applications. 

5 Factors To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Shades

1. What Size Space Are You Covering? 

First, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of your space to determine what shade solution will work best for you. 

For example, a retractable roof may be the ideal solution for covering an expansive courtyard or outdoor dining area. An awning or market umbrella, on the other hand, is well-suited to smaller decks and patios. 

Alternatively, look for a supplier like Helioscreen who will custom make your outdoor shades to your exact size and shade requirements. We can even couple two or more systems together to cover larger areas.  

2. Do You Need Complete Weather Resistance?

If you’re a bar, restaurant or café looking to maximise outdoor seating space, consider a shade solution that offers complete weather protection. This will ensure your venue is no longer at the mercy of the elements and can operate at full capacity all year round.  

Additionally, if you are installing your shades near the ocean or in wind-prone areas, look for features like corrosion-resistant componentry and a high Beaufort wind scale rating. This will ensure your shades are strong enough to withstand the elements and won’t rust or tear in a few years’ time. 

3. Do You Want A Manual Or Motorised System?

Most outdoor shades come with the option for manual operation or a motorised system.  

For those looking to shelter a small residential balcony or patio, a simple, manual retractable awning operation works well.  

If you’re looking to cover an expansive outdoor entertaining area or are a busy restaurant looking for a low-fuss solution, on the other hand, motorisation is the way to go. Opening or closing via a remote control, wall switch or smartphone app, motorisation allows you to operate your outdoor shades without any manual effort. 

For more convenience, there’s also the option to add timers to your outdoor shades. Program these timers to automatically open your shades in the morning and retract them as the sun sets, ensuring your space stays comfortable throughout the day. 

4. Do You Want Weather Sensors?

For lovers of home automation, most outdoor shades have the option to add sun and wind sensors. These allow your shades to react automatically to the weather, even when you’re not home.  

They’ll protect your shades from damage in extreme weather and keep your space at an ideal temperature throughout the day without you lifting a finger.  

5. Does The Supplier Offer Generous Warranties?

When choosing outdoor shades, a generous supplier warranty is a must have. It’ll bring peace of mind knowing you’re investing in a quality product that’s made to last.  

At Helioscreen, we stand by the quality of our products, which is why we offer a generous 5 year warranty on our outdoor blinds, retractable roofs and awnings.  

4 Popular Outdoor Shade Solutions (& What’s Right For You)

When it comes to outdoor shades, there are no shortage of options available. The right model for you will depend on your budget, aesthetic requirements and the size space you’re covering.  

Some of the most popular external shade solutions on the market include: 

1. Retractable Awning

rubix 2 Helioscreen

Retractable awnings offer sleek yet flexible protection from the elements. As they don’t require any supporting posts or poles, retractable awnings cover a sizeable area while leaving all usable space unobstructed.  

They easily attach to the side of a wall, pergola or roof, and are a high-quality solution for residential and commercial spaces. Smaller models like the Cocoon awning are perfect for covering windows, sliding doors, or small balconies, whereas larger models like the Classic awning are great for sheltering verandas, patios and courtyards.   

Helioscreen’s retractable awnings are made from the highest quality aluminium, durable die cast parts and UV resistant fabrics to ensure maximum durability in Australian conditions. However, it is important to note that awnings are primarily designed for sun protection and are not suitable for use in harsh weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rain. 

Retractable awnings have the option to operate manually via a simple hand crank or automatically through a remote control, wall switch or smartphone app.  

2. Retractable Roof

slider roof system Helioscreen

For those seeking more than just sun protection, a retractable roof is the perfect shade solution. Made with integrated water seals, gutters and waterproof fabrics, Helioscreen’s retractable roofs offer 100% protection from the elements 

Forget fumbling with cords or crank handles, retractable roofs are only operational via motorisation. Extend or retract the roof to transform a completely exposed outdoor space into an entirely weather-tight room in a matter of seconds. That’s not the only benefit of retractable roofs either – they’re stylish, protect your indoor and outdoor furniture and reduce the heat in your home by up to 90% 

Helioscreen’s retractable roofs are made with high grade stainless-steel and aluminium parts to prevent corrosion in Australia’s costal climates. They also have a rating of 11 of the Beaufort wind scale and can withstand winds up to 117km/h. 

3. Outdoor Blinds

Black outdoor blinds covering window

Simple, stylish and effective, outdoor blinds take up little room but have a big impact. They drastically reduce the amount of heat and glare entering your space and are a great addition to balconies, patios, decks and can even pair with a retractable roof.  

There are many popular types of outdoor blinds available on the market: 

Fabric Outdoor Blinds

Helioscreen’s fabric outdoor blinds are a sleek and minimal outdoor shade solution for any residential or commercial space. They consist of a single sheet of anti-static, tear-resistant fabric that rolls up or down. Fabric blinds are also available in your choice of translucent or blackout opacities to suit different preferences.  

External fabric blinds are primarily designed for sun control. So, while they are water resistant, you should roll them up in heavy rain to protect the fabric from damage.   

External Venetian Blinds

External venetian blinds consist of horizontal slats that are easily set to any position by raising, lowering and tilting to control light, temperature and privacy. The slats also have the option to raise completely, allowing for unobstructed views.  

Helioscreen’s external venetian blinds are made with extruded aluminium slats, stainless steel guiding cables and baked enamel finishes to ensure a long life in harsh Australian conditions.  

4. Pergola

Retractable pergola adding shade for outdoor pool and seating

A pergola is a permanently installed outdoor shade solution that typically attaches to the side of a building or as a freestanding structure. They are often open on all sides and can be made from wood, bricks or metal.  

As they’re a permanent fixture, pergolas offer great, sturdy protection from the wind and rain. They also offer welcome relief from the harsh sun in summer.  

Helioscreen’s Vario-Pergola is suitable for a variety of applications and is more flexible than traditional fixed-roof pergolas. It features a retractable roof and supports itself on discreet 60x60mm square front posts.  

Choose Australia’s Leading Outdoor Shade Provider

When choosing a shading solution for your home or business, don’t forget to prioritise a durable and functional system from a reputable supplier.  

Helioscreen is Australia’s leading supplier of outdoor blinds, retractable roofs and awnings for a variety of residential and commercial applications. Contact us today for more information. 

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