Sun Protection: How to Shade Your Home and Enjoy the Sun

1.4.2021
  1. Sun protection from the inside
  2. Sun protection from the outside
  3. Sun blinds for balcony, garden and terrace
  4. Slat roofs for the garden or terrace
  5. Awnings for balcony, garden and terrace
  6. Parasol for balcony, garden and terrace
  7. Sun protection for the conservatory
  8. A pergola provides cool shade
  9. A pavilion as an eye-catcher in the garden

The sun has many sunny sides, but also some shady sides. And that brings us directly to the keyword "shade". We summarise how to shade your house or flat sensibly inside and outside, including balcony, garden or terrace. And we present a few ideas as inspiration for shady retreats. So that you and your loved ones can enjoy the sunshine even more.

Sun protection from the inside

The larger the window areas in your house or flat, the more important light and sun protection from the inside is. Especially in spring and autumn, when the sun is low and often shines directly into your home for hours, sometimes right into the farthest corner of the room. Curtains are the oldest sun protection. The Greeks darkened rooms with curtains more than 2000 years ago. Today, there are various options for sun protection from the inside:

  • Roller blinds and Roman blinds are available in many colours, sizes and fabrics. Thermal roller blinds and blackout roller blinds are the most suitable. They protect from the sun and partly also from the heat.
  • Pleated blinds are also called external venetian blinds or folding blinds and are folded roller blinds. Thermal pleated blinds or honeycomb pleated blinds with double-layered pleated fabric provide the best protection from the sun and heat.
  • Venetian blinds are flexible. You can adjust the slats so that you can see out but no sunlight enters. Metal slats reflect light and protect best against heat.
  • Curtains come in many variations, for example as drapes, panel curtains or sliding curtains. Darker fabrics protect against the sun, lighter fabrics protect against heat. Dense and heavily woven curtains also protect against noise.  
  • Louvre curtains and vertical blinds regulate sunlight most easily. You can turn the slats vertically around their own axis with the chain or pull them along the window.

Sun protection: Roller blinds
Roller blinds are only one of many options for shading from the inside

Sun protection from the outside

External blinds, window blinds and roller shutters fit large, medium and small window surfaces. They can also be retrofitted with little effort. With a modern sun protection system, you can effectively protect your house or flat from light, sun and heat. In addition, you can influence the indoor climate with an intelligent system and save energy in the long term. These are the most common options for sun protection from the outside:

  • External blinds are integrated visibly or concealed into the façade and can be combined with roller shutters. There are countless variants. For example, the classic façade external venetian blind with particularly stable slats, the flexible cantilever external venetian blind or the clip-on venetian blind, which is very suitable for renovations.
  • Window blinds are an effective sun protection and functional design element. They are available in many designs and colours, plain, colourful or patterned. There are fitted blinds, front blinds and system blinds. Window blinds must be wind-resistant and can usually be raised and lowered electrically.
  • Roller shutters not only provide reliable protection from the sun, wind or weather, but also from burglars. Furthermore, they improve the energy balance of your house or flat because they regulate heat. They are integrated into the façade or mounted with boxes. For renovations, there are roller shutters that can be installed in the existing roller shutter boxes.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Blinds and awnings are the same, there is no difference. In Switzerland the term blind is more common, in Germany awning.

Houzy Hint

Tip

With a smart home controller, you can (remotely) control and programme blinds, shades or shutters. For example, that they shade the house as soon as the sun rises. Or that they are raised automatically when a storm is coming. Even when you are not at home.

Sun blinds for balcony, garden and terrace

The blind or awning is the classic sun protection for houses and flats with a balcony, garden seating area or terrace. They are mounted in half or full cassettes on the ceiling or wall. Blinds are available in many materials. The most common are acrylic (lightfast), polyester (lightfast, tear-resistant and hard-wearing) and polyvinyl chloride, which is even more tear-resistant, hard-wearing and easy to clean than polyester. PVC blinds are therefore useful where they are continuously exposed to wind and weather.

Sun blinds are available with many extras. For example, with an electric drive if you don't always want to crank the blinds by hand. For this, the blind needs a motor and a power supply and is moved down and up via switches. Modern electric sun blinds can also be operated via an app on your smartphone or controlled automatically via sensors for rain, sun or wind. In addition, you can supplement the sun blinds with LED lamps and thus enjoy the balmy evenings on the balcony, in the garden or on the terrace even longer. The best thing is to talk to a blind manufacturer and get advice on what makes sense and what is feasible.

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Slat roofs for the garden or terrace

Slat roofs are the modern alternatives to blinds as sun protection. You can regulate the sunlight individually with the slats and let as much or as little sun through as you wish. Or none at all, if you close all the slats. The slats are stable and weatherproof, the closed surface protects you safely from rain if you still want to be outside. A slat roof can be attached to the façade, but it is usually free-standing and requires some space. That is why it is only suitable for the garden or terrace.

Sun protection: slatted roof made of wood
The modern shading solution: slat roofs

Awnings for balcony, garden and terrace

Sun sails must be resistant and protect you from UVA and UVB rays. It is therefore important to have a high sun protection factor, preferably 50 or higher. If you leave the sail outside all summer, it should be rot-proof and durable. Tightly woven polyester fabric with a stabilising webbing reinforcement is best. If you want to stay under the sail longer, it is better to choose a water-permeable awning made of hard polyethylene, which regulates the temperature in the shade and avoids heat accumulation.

Houzy Hint

Tip

Use sturdy ropes, screws and hooks when attaching your sun awning to trees, poles or walls. A sun sail that tears out of its anchorage in a storm can cause great damage.

Sun protection with awning
With a sun sail, you can shade a large area, depending on the position of the sun.

Parasol for balcony, garden and terrace

With a parasol you are flexible and can place it almost anywhere on the balcony, in the garden or on the terrace. It is important that the parasol is large enough and offers a high UV protection. The higher the protection factor, the less harmful UV rays the parasol lets through. Experts recommend a factor of 50 to 80. Polyacrylic is UV-resistant, hardly fades and is easy to care for. Cotton and linen also provide reliable protection against UV rays, but are less weather-resistant and require more care. The umbrella stand should be heavy so that it does not tip over when it is slightly windy. The larger the umbrella, the heavier the stand.

Houzy Hint

Tip

For larger parasols, it is best to choose a concrete or granite stand with rollers.

Sun protection: Parasol
For the garden or balcony: the classic parasol

Sun protection for the conservatory

A conservatory connects the living space with the garden. In the summer months, it can get quite hot in a fully glazed conservatory when the sun is shining. That's why you should regulate the climate for yourself and for the plants so that everyone feels comfortable. There are various solutions for this, both indoors and outdoors. For example, internal blinds, external venetian blinds or roller blinds for indoors and external blinds, folding blinds or venetian blinds for outdoors. The sun protection solutions are often combined. For example, folding blinds or Roman blinds for the window surfaces with weather-resistant blinds or vertical blinds for the glass roof.

Sun protection for the conservatory
For conservatories, sun protection solutions are often combined. For example, blinds for the sides.

A pergola provides cool shade

The pergola is an extension or porch. In the past, pergolas were built of natural stone, as in Ticino. Dense climbing plants such as knotweed or vines formed the roof and protected from the sun. Modern pergolas are built with aluminium or metal frames and supports. The roof and sides are open. You can glaze, shade or plant the pergola and later convert it into a conservatory. When the framework is in place, a pergola can easily be glazed, illuminated or modularly extended at a later date. It makes sense to operate the blinds electrically, especially for larger pergolas, combined with sensors for rain, sun and wind.

Pergolas are usually shaded by sun blinds that are mounted on the framework. They are guided and can thus be seamlessly integrated into the pergola. It is important that the blind is waterproof, heat and cold resistant, easy to clean and non-fading. That is why it is usually made of PVC-coated fabric. Alternatives to the open roof are a glass roof with blinds or vertical blinds or a slatted roof with aluminium sun protection slats. Such aluminium slats are an excellent match for modern houses.

Houzy Hint

Tip

A hand crank is sufficient for smaller horizontal folding blinds. The larger the area, the more convenient and sensible a motor drive is.

Sun protection: wooden pergola
The pergola in wood look provides shade and exudes Mediterranean flair


A pavilion as an eye-catcher in the garden

In contrast to the pergola, the pavilion is freestanding in the garden. The pavilion is not only a sunshade and weather protection, but also an attractive eye-catcher. Most of what applies to pergolas also applies to gazebos. They can also be built up and extended in a modular way, for example with LED lighting, sliding glazing or side shading. Most pavilions stand on a wooden floor, usually teak, or on an aluminium floor. Blinds or variably inclinable aluminium slats protect against sun and rain and also allow air to circulate. This is important in glazed pavilions to regulate the climate in the extra room in the garden.

Sun protection: Pavillon in the garden
Unlike the pergola, the pavilion is free-standing and an eye-catcher in any garden

With the right shading, you can significantly influence the indoor climate in your house or flat. That's why it's worth talking to an expert. He will present various solutions with their advantages and disadvantages and recommend sensible individual solutions for your home.

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