Finding a blind or curtain for a normal window is easy, all you have to do is decide what type you want, how you want it to look, measure it up and visit any of the hundreds of shops or websites selling window blinds.
But what if you have roof windows or skylights? A normal blind or curtain won’t do, obviously, so you’ll need something a bit different. What will that cost? Where do I find it?
Blinds hung in a roof window or skylight require side rails, wires or tension to hold them in place, as without them they would simply hang vertically, ruling out using normal blinds or curtains.
You also have to consider the fact that normal windows open outwards or slide vertically or horizontally, so window blinds or curtains can be hung on the outer dimensions of the window frame as the window won’t interfere when opened.
However, most AK Roof Windows or skylights pivot in the middle when opened, which would be inhibited by a normal blind mounted on the outer frame. They have to sit inside the opening sash to allow them to be opened at will instead.
What type of blinds can I use?
While you cannot use traditional blinds or curtains for your roof windows, there are still plenty of attractive options open to you.
These blinds are flat and will shut out all daylight, some of the noise (i.e. traffic, rain) and some of the heat. Blackout blinds are made to measure and fit inside the internal frame on aluminium side rails – do NOT buy blinds with plastic side rails as they will warp over time, leaving you unable to use the blind. These are the most common and popular type of roof window blind.
Pleated (also called Plisse Blinds)
These fabric blinds (sometimes plastic, but not advised) are folded, concertina-style, into pleats and run on a wire mounted into the internal frame of the roof window. Again, they are made to measure but are generally less sturdy than a blackout blind. If you are likely to use the blinds a lot, this may not be the ideal blind for you, but if they will rarely be used – perhaps in an attic – then they provide a slightly cheaper but just as attractive option.
Providing the cheapest option for your roof window or skylight, roller blinds rely on tension to stay tight inside the window frame and are held in place by either wooden side pieces or by nailed in pegs/clips which secure the blind in position.
Perhaps the most expensive type of blind for roof windows and skylights, the Venetian blind is definitely the most attractive you can use.
Go for aluminium or wooden slats but definitely not plastic as these will get damaged in the increased heat of a roof window. A good Venetian blind will be made to measure and mounted on tracks within the internal window frame or on wire, similar to the pleated blind.
The real advantage of using Venetian blinds are that you can position the blind and still manipulate the angle of the slat, providing great versatility in how much light you let into a room.
Where can I get roof blinds from?
There are several manufacturers of such blinds, with one of the most popular being VELUX. They also manufacture roof windows themselves, so they know what they are doing when it comes to blinds. VELUX window blinds are available from a number of stockists, both on and offline.