Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Traveling through Europe, seeing many different construction methods, I try to take an objective look at why things are done a certain way.

One of the most positive things that I see done in Europe compared to the US is that a lot of their (almost all in some regions) window blinds are built into the window unit and are on the outside.

The first benefit and a much sleeker inside that isn't cluttered by blinds and then there has to be a substantial insulating factor.

Is there any reason why this isn't implemented in the US? And do you know of any reports/studies done on the comparative energy savings of outside blinds?

Example: http://www.bricodepot.fr/sarrebourg/baies-aluminium-avec-volet-roulant-motorise/prod34548/?history=incomingProducts%3Acat240001

Note that this is a bit pricey because it has the electric guidance for the blinds. Most have metal chains and the preferred is usually the chain since it is a PITA to fix the electric ones plus the extra hookup. I would expect to pay 200-300 Euros for a window this size normally.

share|improve this question
    
I noticed all of that too. Why does the south of France not have window screens? Some areas have plenty of mosquitoes, but still no screens. In the summer, everyone wants cool air to come inside, but without screens the mosquitoes prevent opening the windows. –  wallyk May 9 at 22:25
    
@wallyk - that is a great question too. Stayed at a great house with a terrace. Damn flies and bees infiltrating all week. I think it might be cosmetic. –  DMoore May 9 at 22:33
    
I lived in Italy for a few years. There they are called tapparelle. Is that what you're talking about? google.com/…. They are awesome, but they don't look great: mascheroni.biz/polopoly_fs/1.1434264.1290005457!/httpImage/… –  Trevor May 10 at 3:38
    
@Trevor - that is basically it. I will try to add more info to the question too. The only difference in France is all of the windows I come across have the blind mechanism box on the inside, where your picture is on the outside of the house. From the outside you can't even notice the windows have blinds unless you are up close or blinds are down, from the inside they plaster over the mechanism box. –  DMoore May 10 at 12:12
add comment

3 Answers 3

They're not to everyone's taste. They roll up into a large box above the window -- either inside or outside. And they are more expensive than blinds. Maybe Europeans like them for the noise and privacy factor and that may not be as much of a concern here in the states. Having said that I have wished many times that I had them in my house. Favorite feature is that you can open them up just a little bit so that it has holes in it and you get some light and some breeze. But also very nice to just shut out the world outside and get a good nap in the middle of the afternoon!

share|improve this answer
    
Some good comments. I don't think 90% of Americans even know this exists. LOVE being able to make a room pitch black in the middle of the day and like you said have them halfway so there are just airholes out. –  DMoore May 10 at 14:58
add comment

Pella company makes windows with blinds between the glass and I'm sure they're very expensive. I've heard it said many times that generally speaking Europeans expect a higher quality house while Americans prefer affordability.

share|improve this answer
add comment

We do have these shutters in the US. They are a bit different than those in Europe (I saw them too when I was visiting Germany). Roll shutters are very common in the coastal areas of Florida and referred to as 'Hurricane Shutters' although some people buy them for light control. In Florida they are tested to resist hurricane force winds and flying debris. They are available manually or electrically operated. If they are 'Miami-Dade Approved' they are certified for 180-190 MPH winds. If you do an internet search for 'roll shutters' you will be overwhelmed with information. Check the images as well. In hurricane country we have several other protective options other than roll shutters. I chose to have 'impact windows' installed in my house. They also meet the wind and impact requirements. The impact glass is a laminate rather like a car windshield but much thicker (5/16-7/16" thick). Neither roll shutters nor impact windows are cheap but compared to the damage a hurricane can do, they are good insurance.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.