Retrofitting exterior blinds - the great guide

Exterior blinds are often equated with shutters - but that's not true. Both fulfill different purposes, and have different properties. Exterior blinds serve on the one hand the visual and glare protection and on the other hand the sun protection, but are not suitable as burglary protection, while a shutter can only be pulled up or closed, and serves as a burglar alarm for windows on the ground floor or even for doors really good service.

Notes on retrofitting

1. Easy installation

Basically, external blinds can be installed on almost any building. For particularly large glass surfaces - such as conservatory glazing - under certain circumstances, the rails and the fins must be additionally stabilized in order to give the construction sufficient support.

When retrofitting roller shutters, where the roller shutter boxes should be installed within the masonry, it is often not possible for static reasons to pry open the masonry above the respective windows. That's why unsightly outdoor boxes are often installed here. In exterior blinds, however, retrofitting is possible without any problem in almost all houses.

2. Drill hole for operation from the inside

It must be remembered, however, that a hole has to be drilled in the window frame to allow for operation from the inside. The shutter box is anyway outside the window, so there are no assembly problems that would lead to static problems.

3. Stable construction on the weather side

However, one should also keep in mind that window surfaces that are often exposed to strong wind or storms pose a high risk of damage to outdoor blinds. The construction should also be carried out particularly stably at such critical points.

Cost of exterior blinds

In terms of price, roller shutters and exterior blinds are approximately in the same frame, so for a 2.40 x 2.50 meter window, you can estimate about 700 to 800 euros, for a "single" standard window about half. Without electric drive external blinds are then again slightly cheaper.

Special solutions can also be more expensive, the price of course also special equipment or special designs, such as blackout slats - but usually only in a relatively small extent.

Tips to buy

Which slats?

A fundamental difference in external blinds is the slat width. Standard are here 50 mm slat width, as well as 60, 80 and 88 mm wide slats, in addition, a distinction in the trade between ordinary and darkening slats.

Darkening slats have a special bend that provides better dimming capabilities than ordinary slats. Another difference lies in the drive technology of the external blinds: either with a crank or electrically via a motor located in the top rail.

Design possibilities of the external blinds

For special applications, there are also cornering and slanting solutions for exterior blinds. In addition, of course, a variety of color design options are available to customize the exterior blinds as much as possible to the appearance of the respective building.

For particularly large window widths or heights, the external blinds can run in a stainless steel rod like an oblique solution - this ensures the design even against large wind forces and storms, which is generally the biggest problem for exterior blinds, the blinds usually do not have.

Step-by-step installation instructions

1. Measuring the windows

The most important thing is the correct measurement of the windows according to the specifications of the respective blind manufacturer. Such a measurement must always be carried out very precisely and made exactly as instructed, as outside blinds can not otherwise be mounted properly if the size is not exactly right.

2. Assembly and drilling

The assembly itself is usually quite straightforward, especially if the exterior blinds are supplied by the manufacturer completely pre-assembled. The exact installation is often slightly different depending on the model and manufacturer, but in most cases, the window frame must be drilled when retrofitting. Only a few systems work without it.

3. Electrically controlled external blinds

The installation of electrically controlled external blinds is generally also uncomplicated, but must be led to the window frame corresponding lines and connected to power the motor.

Blinds versus exterior blinds

Since roller shutters and external blinds are generally almost equally expensive, here is a comparison of the special features as decision support.

exterior shutters


  • Good dose of light by changing the slat angle
  • Glare protection with simultaneous light transmission possible
  • filigree and thus often more elegant look as a roller shutter
  • no bulky outdoor boxes necessary


  • no burglary security
  • only little protection against mechanical damage of the window
  • strong wind or storm can damage the external blinds, susceptible to wind
  • on most models, no complete dimming is possible
  • no protection against heat loss in winter and less protection against heating in summer



  • burglary protection
  • high durability
  • complete darkening when closing
  • Thermal insulation, when closed - especially in the heating season, this can have very significant effects, but also in the summer to keep out the heat.
  • wind stable and also mechanical protection of the window


  • Incidence of light can not be dosed
  • no glare protection in summer possible, only complete darkening
  • under some circumstances, not very attractive appearance

The classic alternative: shutters

Tips & Tricks

In many cases, the retrofitting of external blinds is relatively easy and easily possible - which is not always true for roller shutters. The advantage of having sight and glare protection right on the outside of the window can mean a high level of comfort in many cases.

What used to be standard for houses is actually not that bad - the good old shutters. Wherever it fits - especially in older or classic-looking houses - you can use them not only as a decoration but also from functional sunscreen and window protection. Shutters secure windows against burglary, achieving complete blackout like shutters and even better thermal protection. By closing only one wing, a certain regulation of the incidence of light and glare protection can be achieved. Durability and stability are enormous.

Decorative benefits of exterior blinds

In some buildings, especially where there are large glass surfaces, not only the light incidence can be infinitely regulated, but external blinds can often help to improve the overall picture. They give glazed building surfaces a structure, and make them visually more interesting.

In some cases, this can also be deliberately used as a means of visual design. In unfavorable winter gardens, a certain amount of privacy is thus achieved with simultaneous adjustable incidence of light.

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