Only a few years ago, automated blinds were an item coveted by many and only found in about the top ten per cent of homes around the country. That’s changed remarkably over the last few years due to two main factors: a decrease in cost and an increase in the number and size of windows in modern houses.

“It’s not only the much more affordable cost of automated blinds though,” SP Blinds’ Nurit Zubery says. “The way we are designing houses means there is a considerable amount of window space and glazing, especially in open plan living, dining and kitchen areas and this means that you can realistically walk into a space like this and have up to ten blinds covering all the glass.”

To raise or lower that number of blinds is simply inconvenient, and without automation means operating ten separate chains and taking a considerable amount of time to do so. “It’s this convenience that has really driven the market, and of course the clean elegance of having no hanging chains” Nurit says.

To achieve the most desirable look with automated blinds though, Nurit says people need to factor them into new builds or renovations early, and talk to a blind company well in advance. “Often, blinds are one the last things people consider in a design and we often find people come and talk to us just a month or two before they need the blinds.”

What this means is that wiring cannot always be achieved as would be desired and so compromises need to be made in their operation, such as utilising a wire-free model with a battery system that is not always the most ideal option.

“Preparing a recess for the blinds to slide into is another really important thing that is best done before plans are finalised,” Nurit says. “Having recesses means the blinds will ‘disappear’ into the ceiling and not be visible when up. If this doesn’t happen, again, compromises may need to be made to accommodate automated blinds in which they sit inside the window frame or above the window.”

Automated blinds also need a slightly larger recess than standard blinds so it’s best to discuss this with a blind specialist before the design is finalised to ensure the space is the right dimensions.

The first thing customers need to think about is how they want to operate their automated blinds.

“The most simple, and most popular option, is a wall-mounted remote control unit,” Nurit says. “With this option, blinds can be grouped to operate together, and separate zones can be created to operate different blinds at different times. It’s a simple and highly functional option.

Automated blinds can also be connected to a home automation system, or operated through a smartphone app, which is the latest technology in blind automation. “For the phone app, you also need a small ‘hub’ device that you can connect to with your phone through your home WiFi,” Nurit says. “This gives you a lot more options, such as being able to operate the blinds from anywhere remotely and creating routines which run on preset times. We hear of people operating their blinds remotely from overseas while they’re on holiday – opening them in the mornings and closing them at night to create the illusion that people are home. This adds an additional level of versatility and convenience with their operation.”

The important thing home owners need to do is find a blind company with a lot of experience in blind automation, and talk to them early enough in the building process. Automated blinds are simple if you know what you’re doing – otherwise the customer may be left with hanging wires, an unsightly finish, and motors that don’t operate properly.

If you’re considering automated blinds in your next project, get in touch with SP Blinds on ArchiPro here to find out more.