Integral Blinds: Everything You Need to Know About Windows with Built-in Blinds
Windows are more than just openings that let in light; they are vital design elements that have a dramatic impact on the aesthetics, energy efficiency, and comfort level of your home.
While choosing the right window frame and glass type is crucial, window extras like blinds shouldn’t be an afterthought.
This is where integral blinds come into play.
Integrated right within the double-glazing or triple-glazing of the window, these built-in blinds provide an innovative solution to controlling light, maintaining privacy, and enhancing aesthetics. Let’s delve into the world of integral blinds to help you decide if they are the right choice for your home.
What Are Integral Blinds?
Integral blinds are blinds sealed within the cavity of a double or triple glazed window or door. They are protected by the glass panes, so they don’t collect dust, and you can’t accidentally damage them.
Unlike traditional external blinds, integral blinds are part of the window system itself and are usually controlled by magnetic sliders on the glass pane or a remote control.
Types of Integral Blinds
Magnetic Control System
These are controlled by sliding a magnetic tab up and down the edge of the glass. This moves the internal magnet, which in turn operates the blinds.
Controlled by a remote, these blinds can be adjusted with the push of a button. Some high-end models even have smartphone compatibility.
These are less common due to safety concerns around cords, but they operate similarly to traditional blinds, with a cord mechanism sealed within the unit.
Advantages of Integral Blinds
Being sealed between glass layers, these blinds are essentially maintenance-free. They are protected from dust, dirt, and are especially useful for households with allergies.
Integral blinds can increase your home’s energy efficiency. By adjusting them to control sunlight, you can naturally cool or warm your home, thereby reducing energy costs.
These blinds offer a sleek and streamlined look that enhances the overall design of your home. Without the clunky hardware of external blinds, your windows look modern and minimalistic.
The blinds are protected from external elements, making them more durable than their traditional counterparts.
Disadvantages of Integral Blinds
Integral blinds can be expensive to install, particularly if you are retrofitting them into existing window systems.
Once the blinds are sealed within the glass, they can’t be changed. Make sure you are satisfied with your colour and style choices.
If the mechanism fails, repairing or replacing the blinds can be a complicated process that usually involves replacing the whole glass unit.
Installation and Costs
Integral blinds are best installed when you’re getting new double or triple glazed windows. Retrofitting them into existing systems can be expensive and cumbersome. Prices generally start at around £200 per window and can go up to £500 or more, depending on the control system and type of glass used.
That said, you can keep your existing window frame and replace the glass within in most cases.
Integral blinds offer a sleek, low-maintenance alternative to traditional external blinds. While they come with an initial cost, the benefits they offer in terms of aesthetics, durability, and energy efficiency can make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. However, they are not for everyone, and the decision to opt for integral blinds should be weighed carefully, keeping in mind your specific needs and preferences.
So, the next time you are contemplating a home renovation or simply wish to upgrade your windows, consider the innovative solution that integral blinds offer. They could very well be the streamlined, modern choice that your home has been waiting for. Why not find a local window installer and enquire about new windows with integral blinds?