Price: internal shading is cheaper, external is of higher quality
Most people living in a flat still prefer Venetian blinds or roller shutters because of the lower price. There is nothing to add there, internal shading is indeed cheaper. On the other hand, the lower price reflects the quality – plastic components such as chains, control rods or connections deteriorate on the sun, the slats are fragile and tend to break. The blinds thus usually last only a few years before you have to invest in new ones.
External blinds last longer. They are made of aluminium and stainless steel and their service life ranges in decades. Moreover, we use 8mm textile tape on our NEVA blinds (rather than the more common 6mm), which we make from Swiss and German components. In this way, we prolong their service life even more.
The price of the blinds is also heavily affected by the control method. If you choose external blinds with mechanical crank or cord operation, they will be cheaper than those controlled by a motor. This concept is preferred by the Swiss who often live in rented apartments and buy external blinds with mechanical control. They thus receive top quality shading at a good price.
And if you, as the owner’s association or tenants, agree to have the entire building fitted with external blinds, you have a great chance to obtain a bulk discount from the supplier. This will lower the price for blinds even more.
Assembly: you have two options
When buying external blinds for a block of flats, you cannot elegantly hide the slats and cover compartment under the façade, but you still have two options.
- To the window frame. The assembler installs a painted cover plate on the window that the blinds roll into. The slat guiding rails are attached to the external reveal (the side walls) or directly to the window frame. If the guiding rails cannot be installed, the blinds can be guided by a guide wire.
- Directly to the façade. In this case, the assembler installs the anchor elements on the front of the façade. In this case, the blinds and the cover plate “protrude” more, but on the other hand, they do not reduce the window clearance. In NEVA, we offer a façade system for this concept in round and square versions so that you can choose which is a better fit for your windows.
Effect: the difference can be up to 10 °C
According to the Shading Manufacturers’ Association, up to 36 % of solar energy passes through Venetian blinds. By contrast, external blinds let only about 3.7 % of solar energy inside the room – that is ten times less.
You will see the difference most heavily when shading windows on the south or west side of the apartment building. In this case, your home is up to 10 °C cooler with external blinds compared to Venetian blinds. And this is a difference you really appreciate in the long hot summer.
What does the legislation say?
External blinds partly affect the look of the building, so you have to obtain an approval from the owner or the owners’ association.
If you live in a cooperative or rental apartment, installation of external blinds must also be approved by the owner or the cooperative.
If you own your apartment, you are subject to regulations of the units’ owners’ association. Anchoring the blinds in the window frame and installation of guide rails into the façade may change the look of the building and it is always subject to regulations of the particular owners’ association.
The best strategy is to find an agreement with the other members and solve the shading of the entire residential house or block of flats for all units in one go. This way you can harmonize the shading design, arrange approval of all owners and perhaps even secure a bulk discount.
Verdict: external blinds also have their place in the apartments
Although external blinds are more expensive as regards the initial costs and their assembly is sometimes more complicated (you must drill the window or the wall to install the control system), we can recommend them to flat owners or tenants in blocks of flats. The comfort they offer on hot summer days is worth it.