30 October, 2023

Home transformations: how can external roller shutters enhance your home

Window covers

Modern external roller shutters are an increasingly more encountered element of a home elevation. Their impact is as vital on the aesthetics of buildings as on their functionality. These topics need to be discussed jointly. Eko-Okna offers a wide range of products to suit every project. There are so many of them you may find yourself in a tough spot. Therefore, we will try here to introduce the subject and help you choose external roller shutters that will fit in with the style of the building, harmonise with its functions and offer what you have the right to expect from window covers: protection from the sun, privacy and the ability to deter intruders.

Table of contents

The basics, i.e. the types of external roller shutters, their armours and materials

What is a roller shutter, and what are its components?

What exactly is a roller shutter? It is a really simple window covering, whose functions are carried out in an uncomplicated manner and whose minimalist aesthetics ensure its versatility. Simplicity of its construction translates into durability, low maintenance requirements and the convenient control options.

The most basic components of each roller shutter are:

Shutter boxes and division of roller shutters according to their location

The roller shutter box is an element that is sometimes controversial. Some people consider them extraneous, disturbing the aesthetics of the façade and thus ruining the entire aesthetic concept. However, such an accusation applies to surface-mounted products, i.e. adaptive roller shutters.

In their case, there is a need for a box that protrudes beyond the flush surface of the wall. The styles of external roller shutters, which are primarily understood to be the shape of the box, help us here. This apparent disadvantage often becomes an advantage, as we will see later in this article.

The most popular boxes sport right angles. Sometimes, one of the corners is bevelled or rounded. You can also choose a fully-rounded one. It all depends on your preference, and although it is not entirely an aesthetic issue, you can overlook its impact on functionality. The important thing is that you like the box.

Since the issue of the appearance of a box only arises with adaptive roller shutters, are there any types that will not have this element in view? Yes, quite a few even. These are:

So why not always choose them? It is because you need to build in the box. You'll need a lot of extra work to install them if you haven't envisioned this solution when you were planning replacement or fitting of new windows or optimally already when you were planning the building before breaking the ground.

In the case of top-mounted shutters, there is a possibility that the front part of the box will be visible on the wall. However, you can deal with it by using suitable veneers which adapt the appearance of the box to the aesthetics of the building.

Armour, guides and materials

The roller shutter armour, also known as its curtain, is rolled up into a box and unrolled from it onto the window. It consists of permanently connected lamellas which move vertically, limited by guides placed on the sides of the window opening.

External blinds of this type are usually aluminium or PVC (armour and guides). Aluminium is heavier and more durable, and you can paint it in many colours. It needs thermal insulation, though, which typically consists of polyurethane foams. Lightweight PVC is less durable but is cheaper and also very aesthetically pleasing.

Screen blinds, roller shutters' in-laws

Screen roller shutters are a kind of exception that escapes the above descriptions. They are distinguished by the absence of a typical armour. Instead, there is a roller blind material made from a combination of fibreglass and PVC, which is very strong and aesthetically pleasing, available in many colours and with various light penetrations, but certainly not armour.

The advantage of such roller shutters is their low weight, the possibility of fitting almost anywhere, the small box and the ability to perform all the basic functions of external roller shutters except those requiring mechanical resistance or resistance to strong wind gusts.

Functions of external roller shutters and aesthetics of the house

Three essential functions of roller shutters

What are these functions, and how do they relate to the house's aesthetics?

Roller shutters are exterior screens, and, as the name suggests, their purpose is to shield us from external factors. These factors are mainly:

In other words, you should expect them to ensure that the interior is not too warm and bright, that no one is watching and that no one can get in. In each of these respects, the functionality of external roller shutters will vary enormously depending on which version you choose. Therefore, you must be aware that function and aesthetics come hand in hand.

Protection from the sun

All external roller shutters protect you from excess sunlight, i.e. light and heat. The only thing you need to remember is that if you choose light screen roller blinds, you will not be getting a typical armour but a fabric.

If the cloth you choose is highly transparent, it will not darken the interior. The roller blind system also matters as some leave a gap between the fabric and the wall, an invitation to the sun.

Guarantee of privacy

When it comes to protecting the home from prying eyes, there is little difference. Any roller shutter will protect you from unwanted glances. The type and aesthetics are irrelevant.

Anti-burglary protection

The question of burglary protection is different. A typical roller shutter is not an anti-burglary solution, mind you. And it is not just about screen blinds.

Most of the time, you expect your window covers to be light and slim to interfere as little as possible with the aesthetics. When you want your roller shutters to create a substantial barrier against intruders, you need to accept adequate parameters which will affect their appearance.

A typical product may discourage burglars just by existing, by being an obstacle to overcome, even if getting past it requires only grabbing the bottom of the armour and lifting it without much effort.

To prevent something like this from happening, you should use an anti-burglary roller shutter, i.e. a product made of thick extruded aluminium, which will additionally have hard-to-break guides, mechanisms blocking the lifting of the armour, and its armour structure itself will be resistant to puncture attempts.

Damaged roller shutters of the plainest type are roller shutters that have been badly hit or kicked in. Destroyed burglar-proof roller shutters are those someone has used tools against, such as a crowbar or a drill, over an extended period to clash.

Roller shutters matching the style of the building

The functionality of roller shutters translates into their appearance and vice versa. If all you want is to keep out the sun and prying eyes of neighbours, you can choose from the whole range of products available. If, however, you require anti-burglary features, you will need to opt for solid roller shutters with the appropriate security features.

External roller shutter accessories – modern controls

Manual control is a thing of the past

The fundamental mistakes when choosing roller shutters seldom concern their aesthetics, as this is highly universal, and it is challenging to make a wrong choice. At worst, you may pick the wrong colour. Especially in the case of aluminium roller shutters, a wide range of hues is available, making it theoretically possible to combine a green façade with an orange roller shutter. Usually, however, the voice of reason stops you from considering such extravagant pairings.

Much more often, investors opt for manual control of the roller shutters using special cranks, for example, which can also be a mistake. They are inconvenient and cause potential problems in the future when the subject of extending the window covering system with further components arises.

Radio control and smart home systems

A modern roller shutter should be used remotely. To make this possible, you need a drive with radio control, such as a Somfy drive, preferably one that works with io technology. While Somfy io is only an example, as many other solutions are available on the market, this is a proven solution, present in Eko-Okna's offer for a long time. It offers great possibilities, including two-way information exchange.

Using a wireless remote control with a device that supports two-way information transfer means you can create a fully-fledged smart home solution. This is the best option, as it gives you access to the most advanced forms of control, which we discuss below.

On the wall, in the hand and on the phone

Those who are very conscious about interior design will doubtlessly be pleased that they do not have to put any remote control on the wall. There are wired solutions for roller shutter control, where a wall-mounted remote is essential, but radio options are superior.

Regardless, radio remote controls can hang on the wall. Many of them have dedicated frames for mounting, even if they are typically portable solutions, such as the remotes of the Somfy Situo line. Their aesthetics are noteworthy, and their simplicity makes them suitable for modern and more traditional interiors.

The most advanced solutions transfer the control of window covers to the Internet, allowing you to operate all the shutters from an app on your phone, tablet or computer, eliminating the need to interfere with the aesthetics of the space.

Styles of external roller shutters, or what to eventually choose?

Above or below the plaster level?

As a rule, the preferred options are these, in which only the roller shutter armour is visible, and the box rests under the plaster. This way, you can't see the box, and you don't have to wonder if it matches your facade. Many assume no box will ever complement their houses, making this a vital issue. However, they are in the minority.

In new developments, it is good to use flush-mounted products, which minimise interference with the form of the building and, because of the effective insulation in the boxes themselves, do not adversely affect the thermal performance of the structure. In finished houses, however, it is not worth damaging the walls for roller shutters. It is much better to use adaptive options.

Adaptive roller shutters can only be detrimental to listed buildings, on which the conservator will never allow the use of an external window cover anyway. Therefore, you are left with the choice of box shape and colour.

Shape of box and colour of roller shutter

Both the shape of the box and the colour of the roller shutter are matters of individual taste. You can compare an external roller shutter to glasses on your nose. They do not blemish you, and their choice is more a reflection of needs and personal preferences than a necessity to conform to some aesthetic standard.

By choosing your spectacle frames, you can decide how you want to present yourself. By selecting roller shutters, you can emphasise your taste in architecture.

All-in-One, everything fits together

A particular solution to the problem of selecting the right external roller shutters is the all-in-one product bundles. These are aesthetically coherent proposals prepared by Eko-Okna experts. They comprise:

All-in-One is a common choice of architects deciding the main aesthetic direction for the property they are designing and matching it with one of the sets prepared by Eko-Okna. This way, they do not have to browse the intimidating number of options available on the market and wonder whether they fit together.

In the world of external shutters, as long as you do not go wild with colours, you can be convinced, bordering on certainty, that the window covers will have a positive effect on the appearance of your home. At the same time, their selection will also mean that you will benefit from all the functionalities of the window covers, so you can approach the placing of the order with confidence and not worry excessively about the effects. In case of any doubts, distributors and sales representatives are always waiting with infallible hints.


See also

Eko-Okna S.A.
Kornice, ul. Spacerowa 4
47-480 Pietrowice Wielkie
NIP: 6391813241, KRS: 0000586067

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