On hot days, most of the heat enters your home through the windows. Ideally, every home should have blinds/natural shading in summer, but if your home doesn’t, here’s an easy and cheap way to make some removable blinds to keep the sun out on hot days.
These blinds are easy to store and can be put up/taken down in matter of minutes.
- Identify the windows that get a lot of direct sun in hot weather (usually the windows on the north, east and west sides of your home).
- Measure the size of the outer window recesses for the windows you want to shade (the part of the wall that is cut out to accommodate the windows).
- Find recycled materials to use for your removable blinds. The ideal material is something weather resistant, white or another light colour (as white reflects heat), is lightweight, flexible enough to bend a little, yet not too flexible.
- We found heaps of lightweight plastic insulated panels for ours, though corflute (the material used to make signs) would also work well.
- The above materials can be easily cut to size with a handsaw.
- Measure and cut your material to size so that it fits snugly in your chosen window recess. It shouldn’t be difficult to fit but there shouldn’t be much of a gap either (less than 5mm).
- If your sheets of material are not large enough to cover larger windows, you can make two or more pieces that overlap and use some small bolts to hold them together.
- Alternatively, you can make two or more separate blinds that overlap together to cover a large window. This is a good option if one single blind is too heavy or cumbersome to handle.
- If you need to overlap pieces, you are better off letting them overlap a lot than to cut away a lot of material to make them fit. This makes it easier to reuse pieces in the future if you need to resize them for a different window in a different house.
- Create some tabs to hold the blinds in place by cutting a piece of your blind material to roughly 10cm by 30cm for each tab you’ll need.
- How many tabs you’ll need will depend on the window size and shape.
- As a guide, small windows (under 1m²) should only need one tab at the top or an extra one at the bottom if it is tall and narrow.
- Medium to large windows (up to 2m² or more) will need at least two tabs at the top or two tabs at the top and bottom if the window is tall.
- Using small bolts, mount the tabs at the top of the blinds so they overhang the top by 10mm.
- If using one tab, mount it at the top centre, if using two tabs, mount them a quarter of the way across from each side at the top. If using one or two tabs at the bottom, they should be positioned in the same horizontal position as the top tab/s.
Using your blinds
- For blinds with top tabs only, install them by putting the bottom half in first and then by pushing them in so that the top tab/s bend and scrape into position in the window recess to hold the blind in place.
- For blinds with top and bottom tabs, the process is the same except both the top and bottom tabs will flex into place as you push the blind in.
- To remove a blind, simply pull back the top tab/s and pull back the blind to release it from the window recess.
A note on suitable window recesses for removable blinds
- Brick veneer homes work best for removable blinds as the window recesses are deep and the tabs won’t cause any damage to the bricks.
- If you are worried about the scraping of the tabs causing any damage on painted or wooden surfaces, you can put same gaffer tape around the edges of the tabs for protection.
- If you live in a weather board home with very shallow window recesses, this design won’t work. An alternative would be to stick four adhesive hooks at the top and bottle of the window that use holes in your removable blinds to hold them in place when in use.
- For multi storey apartment blocks where safe outdoor access to windows may not be available, snug blinds can be made from thick cardboard and installed from the inside of your windows.
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Whilst these blinds may not win a design award, they can be made in a few hours, cost very little and are great for maintaining a cool indoor temperature during hot weather where fitted exterior blinds and natural shading are absent from your home.