Create a Toasty Haven with Patio Blinds for the NZ winter
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Create a Toasty Haven with Patio Blinds for the NZ winter

  • Advice
- March 20, 2023

Have you been dreaming about creating a warm and inviting space to enjoy during the cold NZ winter months? Great call! We have created hundreds if not thousands of outdoor enclosures with patio blinds over the years. It’s a great way to make your space more usable and enjoyable, and our customers continue to use them for years into the future. 

In this article, we share our experience and advice to get your cosy outdoor space feeling ‘just right’. 

At Sunshade our patio blinds are an easy and stylish way to keep the chill away, while protecting your outdoor area from wind and rain. Read on for tips and information on how outdoor blinds can help create you a year-round sanctuary this winter.  

Why patio blinds in NZ?

Patio blinds provide a great way to protect your outdoor area from the elements, while creating a sheltered and inviting space. They can help keep warmth in and cold air out, making it much easier to enjoy being outdoors during colder months. Outdoor blinds also block wind, so you don’t have to worry about furniture or decorations blowing away on windy days.  

They’re also a great investment – significantly less than the cost of adding another room to your house, but radically enhancing the amount of usable space you have available every day. 

At Sunshade all our patio blinds are designed for New Zealand conditions, with superior protection against rain, wind, and harsh UV rays.  

Considering the options for your blinds

Outdoor Patio Blinds by Sunshade NZ
Gallery image closeup manual clear PVC screens

There are many different types of patio blinds available to suit any outdoor space, from traditional curtains to roller shades and more.  

At Sunshade, we provide two different types of patio blinds – Ziptrak® blinds and manual roll-up blinds 

Ziptrak® outdoor blinds are designed for convenience with a track system that allows the blind to be opened and closed quickly and easily. They also come with lockable arms for extra security against strong winds.  

Manual roll-up patio blinds are perfect for spaces where the budget  might not stretch to a Ziptrak® system but you could still benefit from a custom fit.  

Both options come in a range of stylish mesh colours or clear PVC to suit any outdoor area. 

Don’t forget the essentials

Ziptrak clear PVC screens half down

When looking at blinds, be sure to consider the size and shape of your patio area, as well as how much light you want to let in when choosing which patio blind will work best for your space. Do you desire a custom fit, or are you happy with off-the-shelf? 

Quality, strength, and longevity is another important factor to remember. If you want yours to last, you’re in the right place. 

Our Sunshade crew are well versed in these products, so making a choice can be easy with the right advice. No matter your space, we’d enjoy discussing your needs to find something that works for you.  

What’s going to work best in your environment? 

Ziptrack blinds installation for covered verandah in Auckland showing view from the inside with screens down

As well as the size and shape of your patio area, and how much light or shade you need, it’s helpful to think about what kind of material will work best for you based on the type of climate you live in.  

Different materials can offer different levels of heat insulation and sun protection. At Sunshade our team can help you design an outdoor screen system that includes quality materials as standard to ensure both comfort and style.  

Also keep in mind any existing decor or furniture that could be impacted by new patio blinds. You’ll want something that adds to rather than detracts from your outdoor space and keeps your furniture and home interiors in nice condition. 

How easy are they to operate?

One often overlooked area is to consider the ease of use and safety when selecting patio blinds. Sunshade patio blinds such as Ziptrak® motorised patio screens offer plenty of convenience with their easy-to-use tracks, no cords or pulleys, and secure operation. Many customers are also happy to operate their Ziptrak® screen with a simple pull-down stick that can be included.  

In the case of manual roll-up blinds, these are what they say on the packet, so it’s a bit more of a hands-on process to roll them up and down.  

Motorised options can also be powered by solar energy, such as the SolarSmart unit we can offer with our Ziptrak® systems. 

Clear PVC or mesh?

Sunshade example of clear and dark outdoor blinds for outdoor to protect living area

At Sunshade, we offer patio blinds in both mesh and clear PVC options. Mesh patio blinds are an ideal solution if you’re looking to keep out the wind while still maintaining a view and letting in natural light. The breathable material helps create an environment that is comfortable year-round, without sacrificing your scenic views.  

Clear PVC patio blinds provide superior protection against rain and wind, as well as having great heat insulation properties for added warmth during wintertime.  

For your patio blind enclosure you might like to mix and match between the two (we go further on this in our earlier article here). Many of our customers choose this option to provide shade where the summer sun is prevalent, and let the views and light in where the winter sun can provide warmth.  

Let’s talk about safety

Havelock North Village Kids ECE Ziptrak Outdoor Blinds NZ from inside

From a health & safety perspective, a complete patio blind enclosure needs to be able to be easily opened in the event of an emergency.  Additionally, outdoor blinds act as a physical barrier between you and many of the nasty insects or pests that might be lurking in your outdoor area during winter.  

Consider also any children or animals that may be in your space. If there are pets or small children rocking around, you might prefer to get patio blinds without cords so they don’t get tangled up in them (our Ziptrak® blinds do not have cords).  

Additionally, if you want something that’s easy to use every day, look for patio blinds that operate via remote control – this way you can easily adjust the opening and closing of your patio blind from the comfort of your cushy deck chair. 

To sum it up: decent patio blinds can really bring the cosy factor

Ziptrak outdoor screens by 0800 Sunshade NZ

Quality patio blinds are an ideal way to create a warm and inviting space throughout the colder months. They offer protection against wind, rain and other elements while keeping warmth in and cold air out. Designed and installed well, they’ll also provide invaluable protection come spring and summer. 

Ready to create your own safe harbour from the elements?

At Sunshade our team of local experts can walk you through the options for creating a custom screen solution for your space. Each piece of the puzzle will be customised to fit your needs and your space in the way that will work for you. 

We invite you to learn more about our Ziptrak patio blinds or manual roll-up blinds here, and get in touch if you’re keen for a quote. 

Reach out to our team today! 

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The Shade7 Riviera: Could it be the best Cantilever Umbrella in NZ?
Back to News

The Shade7 Riviera: Could it be the best Cantilever Umbrella in NZ?

  • Advice
- February 24, 2023

Is the Shade7 Riviera the best cantilever umbrella in NZ? We sure think so! With its luxurious design and features, it is perfect for any discerning kiwi home. From the shade it provides to the easy-to-use operation, the Riviera is certainly a step up from your average umbrella. Learn here why we think it’s the best of the best.

Introducing: the Shade7 Riviera cantilever umbrella

Yellow Shade7 Riviera Cantilever Umbrella NZ

At Sunshade, we believe the Shade7 Riviera cantilever umbrella offers the perfect addition to any outdoor living space. We should know – we’re installing them all the time!

This stylish and versatile sun umbrella is designed to keep you protected from the harsh New Zealand sun, so you can spend time outside in comfort. The cantilever design offers an elegant look, effortlessly adding a touch of opulence to your garden or deck. No centre poles, just uncluttered open space.

More than just looking good, this strong cantilever umbrella can adjust with you as the day goes on – allowing you to cast shade continuously around your area as the light shifts. Whether it’s a summer evening outdoors or a lazy afternoon in the sun, Shade7’s Riviera cantilever umbrella ticks many boxes.

What can this umbrella do?

Shade7 white Riviera Cantilever Umbrella - Square

For Kiwis in search of premium outdoor umbrellas, Sunshade’s cantilever umbrellas are the perfect balance of strength and durability. The Shade7 Riviera cantilever umbrella provides 360 degree finger-tip rotation operation with a stylish anodised aluminum frame and marine grade fabric.

Built to last, it is certified for use in NZ’s harsh UV conditions and is one of few cantilevers frequently used on high-end resorts and vessels. With the added benefit of blocking up to 98% of UV rays, the Riviera is a strong choice.

Note-worthy features include:

  • Full 360 degree rotation with 16 locking locations – no matter which way the sun is moving throughout the day, you’ll have maximum coverage
  • Infinity tilt system to get the spot just right
  • Built tough for windy locations – you can see it here on YouTube undergoing a consistent 40kph wind test
  • Folds tidily back to the mast when closed
  • Available in octagonal or square (in both 3m and 3.5m options)
  • 20 block colours and 5 striped colour options to choose from – allowing you to make a bright or bold statement to suit your taste
Shade7 Riviera Cantilever Umbrella Features

Boasting a streamlined, elegant aesthetic, the Riviera offers a touch of luxe to any outdoor area, delivering the perfect level of understated opulence. We are regularly installing them at residential poolsides, patios, decks as well as in commercial spaces such as eateries and staff shared spaces.

With the Riviera you can relax, unwind and enjoy life without worrying about whether your umbrella is up to the task.

So, how does it stack up?

Compared to other sun umbrellas available in NZ, the Shade7 Riviera:

  • is very easy to use – the handle is nice to wind up and down and tilting is smooth and easy
  • has a specifically designed canopy that ensures reliability and structural integrity
  • is made from quality fabrics (with a 10 year warranty)
  • is constructed of high performance fibreglass frames
  • has optional clip-on rechargeable LEDs for evening ambience
  • can be installed virtually anywhere – with fixings for wooden decks, concrete patios, in-ground installations, or free-standing with two sturdy base options
Shade7 Riviera Cantilever Umbrella Accessories
Shade7 Yellow Riviera Cantilever Umbrella - 3.5m Octagonal beside pool

Plus, as with any Shade7 umbrella, you won’t have to compromise on looks or functionality.

With the Riviera we believe you will find an unbeatable combination of sturdy construction, fine finishing, and clever sun protection features.

These outdoor umbrellas allow you to adapt to variable weather conditions while enabling a safe sun protection experience.

Could this be the perfect sun umbrella to enjoy your sunny NZ days outdoors?

Cantilever umbrella reviews from people who have one

Here at Sunshade, we regularly have customers from all around New Zealand rave about the Shade7 Riviera cantilever umbrella. Some common remarks include ones like this:

“This umbrella is such good quality – it looks amazing in my outdoor area and offers great protection from the sun!”

“It’s super easy to open and close, and it has been strong enough to withstand long days of high winds.”

Shade7’s own website includes 58 reviews from customers about the Riviera, all giving it a 5-star.

At Sunshade we take pride in offering our customers only the best cantilever umbrellas on the market. Hence why we choose Shade7.

If you would like to experience the quality for yourself, let us know.

Professional installation makes sense

Our professionals from Sunshade can help ensure that your Shade7 umbrella is installed safely and properly so that you won’t have to worry about any surprises down the track. Part of our service is to advise you on the appropriate base, fixings, and positioning for your property, so we get it right first time.

Adapting to the nuances of your property is no problem. We’ll listen to your needs and come up with clever solutions that pay attention to the details of your site.

We encourage you to use our experience in 10+ years installing these umbrellas, and support a local family business at the same time!

Shade7 Outdoor Umbrella in residential garden patio NZ

Are you in the market for a high performing outdoor umbrella?

At Sunshade we can walk you through the range of Shade7 umbrellas, each with special features designed to provide sun protection and outdoor ease.

With impressive designs, you can experience a fancy yet classic kiwi shade-shelter no matter where you are.

To truly get the perfect sun protection for your area, make an enquiry with one of our local expert installers.

Send us an enquiry, you won’t be disappointed!

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Clear PVC or Mesh: Which Outdoor Blind Is Best for Your Home or Business?
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Clear PVC or Mesh: Which Outdoor Blind Is Best for Your Home or Business?

  • Advice
- January 20, 2023

When it comes to keeping your home or business cool and comfortable, PVC outdoor blinds are an excellent choice. But what type of screen is best for you?  Should you opt for clear PVC screens, or coloured mesh screens? Here at Sunshade, we know a thing or two about outdoor blinds, so let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of both options.

Clear PVC Screens

Ziptrak Outdoor Screens by Sunshade NZ at Bette Christie Kindergarten

Clear PVC screens are a great option if you want to create a semi-permanent barrier between your home or business and the sun. They’re great at filtering out UV rays while still allowing natural light inside, so they don’t make the interior feel too dark. The material is also durable and easy to clean with a simple cleanser and water.

Clear PVC is a popular choice for sun-trap patio blinds at home. Also at kohangas and kindergartens they are great for keeping the kiddies warm from the wind while still being able to see what is going on outside.

Advantages:

  • Lets in natural light
  • Full view to the garden and outdoor space
  • Traps sunlight and warmth in winter (especially if fully enclosed)
  • Powdercoating on frame to match your joinery with Ziptrak screens
  • Strong UVA/B protection

Disadvantages:

  • Easier to see fingerprints than mesh screens
  • Manual wind-up only – motorisation not available due to the the way PVC expands and contracts in the heat

Coloured Mesh Screens

Ziptrak screens and shade sails provide UV protection for your home outdoor living areas

If you’re looking for a more private or shaded option, coloured mesh screens may be the way to go. They come in a variety of colours, so you can choose one that matches your existing décor scheme. And because they’re made from flexible mesh fabric, they allow plenty of air into the room while still blocking out UV rays. However, they can require more frequent cleaning than clear PVC screens due to their tendency to collect dust and dirt over time.

Coloured mesh screens can be a wonderful option for flexible shade and privacy right when the sun is glaring in, and allow you to open things up fully when you need more indoor/outdoor flow.

Advantages:

  • A range of modern colours to choose from to match your décor
  • Good visibility to the outdoors / garden, especially if a darker shade is chosen
  • Breathable
  • Powdercoating on frame to match your joinery with Ziptrak screens
  • Strong UVA/B protection
  • Versatile shade from the sun
  • Offers privacy from the outside in

Disadvantages:

  • Lets in a bit more dust than solid clear PVC option
  • A small amount of wind and rain can also be expected in due to its porous nature
  • Needs to be cleaned in the cracks (but don’t worry we have easy guides for this)

If you think both clear PVC blinds and mesh blinds could be useful, you can also mix and match!

Options for Installation

At Sunshade we are able to install blinds to your existing pergola frame or roof system, or work in with a new structure that you may be building.

We offer the more basic manual roll-up blinds as well as expert installation of the Ziptrak® track-guided blind system.

Everything is made to order so you know you are getting the best fit and protection for your space.

Having an experienced installer can make a big difference in getting the lasting result you deserve. Our licensees have a minimum 10 years with these products and are based across the country – check out our locations here.

To get started, a custom quote is your first port of call. Give us a call or drop us a message to discuss the best options for your property.

Ziptrak blinds for covered verandah in Auckland showing view from the inside
Outdoor blinds provide protection from wind and sun - closed

When it comes to choosing between clear PVC or coloured mesh screens for your New Zealand home, school or business, there’s no “one size fits all” solution — it really depends on your personal needs and preferences.

For example, if you want something semi-permanent that provides protection from UV rays without making the room feel too dark, then clear PVC could be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if privacy or shade is your top priority then coloured mesh might be the best option for you.

Whichever option you choose, Sunshade has got your back!

Get in touch with us today for all your outdoor screen needs in Aotearoa NZ!

Talk to your local expert, or fire us a quote request today. 

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5 Things To Consider When Choosing Shade At Home for Your Children
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5 Things To Consider When Choosing Shade At Home for Your Children

  • Advice
- November 3, 2022

Nothing is worse than having to chase shade for your children in the middle of a long, hot summer day. A decent shade solution for your outdoor area could be one of the best investments you make for your family. Here are five things we believe are important to consider when choosing your shade at home to suit the whole family. 

Sun Shelters: What do your kids need? 

A summer day outdoors is a perfect way to spend time with friends and family. However, for some, the sun isn’t always a pleasant experience. It can cause irreversible damage to our skin if we don’t take care of it properly. Children are particularly susceptible to the sun’s rays. Mainly as we now know, you still need to be careful even on cloudy days. This is because the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through clouds, inferior quality fabrics, and even the foliage around your property.

Here are the 5 Things To Consider When Choosing Shade At Home for Your Children 

Shade solutions for outdoor play areas
Image credit: Markus Spiske on unsplash.com

1. Determine the Area Which Requires The Most Protection 

It’s essential to consider your children’s needs when buying a sun shade for your home. They may have an area that is the most popular hangout or where they spend the most time playing. It might be where the children easily run in and out to get toys or food.  

It could also be where they play on the swing set or slide. Do you have shade there already? Be aware that those harmful UV rays can penetrate even if trees shade them. 

You might want to consider where and when your child spends time in certain areas of the property/deck/courtyard so that you can observe their choices. This might indicate where they tend to spend most of their time.  

Quality shade sail solutions to protect your family in your outdoor living area

2. Figure Out The Amount of Space You Have For The Furniture And Still Leave Room For The Children to Play

Choosing the right sun shade option for your family and your children depends on how much space you have for furniture, leaving enough room for your children to play on the deck, patio or other designated outdoor area. 

You may wish to consider the area you have and what you plan to do with this. How many children could potentially be playing there? When it comes to your downtime, how can you make it comfortable for them while still allowing yourself to enjoy it?  

Take into account your children’s needs when placing a sun shade in an outdoor area. Do they like the comfort of having walls around them, or are they a little too wild while playing outdoors? 

 If they prefer to play inside, consider getting an outdoor shade solution with sides or screens with enough room to cater for a play table for games. Creating an enclosed space with our Ziptrak® outdoor blinds could be an excellent solution. 

3. Look at when your children will be outside most often. Will they need shade in the morning, afternoon or both?

For a parent, especially with a toddler or younger child, there’s nothing worse than peeling your kid off the ground and taking them inside in the middle of a fun playtime outside when you know the temperature will get dangerously hot.  

Think about where your children will be most often and what time of day that will be, and use this information to help you decide what kind of shade/shelter is best for your situation. For example, do they play outside in the morning or prefer to go out later in the afternoon?

If you manage to create a space that also lets through a nice breeze, you could find yourself saving on the power bills from running an AC all day. Furthermore, if it’s a windy area, what protection have you got in place for them to still continue with their play? 

Does the area include any sources of water which your children might need to access as part of their play? You don’t want them running back and forth from exposed areas, as it kind of defeats the purpose of keeping them sheltered.  

4. Think about the best fabric options for UV protection and water resistance 

Ziptrak screens and shade sails provide UV protection for your home outdoor living areas

Summer heat is no joke, especially for children who aren’t prepared to handle its rays. The right shade could protect them from overheating, sunburn, melanoma, and other skin conditions later in life.  

To make sure you’re getting the best protection for your children, consider the following:  

  • For the best possible protection, you should consider which canvas to choose for a shade sail: whether it should be light or dark, and what UV protection rating it has.
  • As well as determining the appearance of your shade sail, your choices will affect the functionality of the sun shade.
  • Lighter fabrics will absorb more heat, keeping you cooler under them. Shade sails in lighter colours reflect the sun’s rays, making them popular choices. Darker fabrics, however, offer more UV protection. 
  • There are also different degrees of water resistance in coated fabrics, which is why we offer a variety of textile choices. Shade sails can be built from extra-strong fabrics, which can also provide complete rain protection and reduce the need for taking them down in the windy season.

View some of our shade sail projects to see if these could be a good solution for your space.

5. Go for quality over price

Sunshade quality canvas shade sails NZ

When buying a sun shade for your family, it is important to go for quality over price. Purchasing an inexpensive sun shade may seem like your first choice, but your savings will only be temporary. 

It is more likely for a cheap, inferior quality sun shade to rip, tear, or fade than a quality one. You could find yourself replacing the sun shade before the summer is over. For this reason, we engineer, design, and stand by every sun shade weather protection solution we install, and all our textiles are backed by impressive UV warranties. 

Knowing ahead of time what features you want in a sun shade can help you from making impulse purchases that aren’t effective. Take a look at the options, observe your children’s outdoor play habits, and come up with a list based on your observations. This will determine what is best for you and your family. 

We hope these tips have given you insight into what to look for when buying a sun shade. Remember to go with your budget, but don’t be afraid of investing in a quality product that will last. Because nothing is more precious than protecting your family from the harsh elements

Thinking of sorting a shade sail or other custom NZ made sun shade solution?

Our bespoke shade solutions offer far superior results compared to any off-the-shelf alternatives.  

By working with Sunshade NZ, you will benefit from the extra investment in our expertise, quality fabrication, and bespoke design solutions that will provide excellent protection for the whole family and add value to your property. 

If you’re planning to get your outdoor living shade solutions sorted before summer, we hope these tips will be helpful.   

Talk to your local expert, or fire us a quote request today. 

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Everything you need to know about outdoor blinds and screens for NZ homes
Back to News

Everything you need to know about outdoor blinds and screens for NZ homes

  • Advice
- August 4, 2022

How do you feel when stepping out onto your patio? Is it tidy, does it feel inviting, warm when it needs to be, shaded when it needs to be, and nice and private?

At Sunshade, we work with many spaces across NZ that are great outdoor areas but could be really taken to the next level of comfort with outdoor blinds.  

If you feel like outdoor blinds or privacy screens could really lift your enjoyment of your outdoor space, this article is here to help you consider the options from all angles.  

Side note: our focus here is on Ziptrak® NZ blinds, which is a core product we offer. However the insights here will apply to most systems. We fully recommend Ziptrak® because our business has a focus on quality, and we know it to be one of the best on the market. 

Outdoor blinds and screens for NZ homes – what do you need to know? 

You’ll need an existing roof structure or pergola to attach to 

It might seem obvious but have a think about your existing outdoor patio structure. Does it have a strong place where screens could be attached to? 

If so, that’s a great start and we can consult with you on exactly what fixing and fitting requirements would work best for your situation.  

If reinforcing or slight alterations are required, we can usually work to that to retrofit your outdoor blinds snugly and tidily within your existing aesthetic. 

The other option is that you may be building or planning to build a new outdoor roof or pergola. If this is the case, we recommend getting an experienced outdoor blind installer like us involved in the process as early on as possible, to avoid delays and get the details correct from the get-go.  

Also realise that in many cases your blinds may need to be ordered after the roof is in place, to ensure final measurements are accurate before fabricating the custom blinds and fitting them onsite. So you might have to wait a few extra weeks before you can enjoy your new blinds under the new roof – but trust us, the wait will be worth it! 

Alitex Aluminium Pergola Canopies oof and Outdoor Privacy Screen Installed by Sunshade NZ Hamilton Waikato
Ziptrak outdoor screens by 0800 Sunshade NZ

Outdoor blinds keep the heat in, but they don’t warm the space necessarily. 

Let’s say you have a patio heater, well with a roof to floor Ziptrak® enclosure (with quality bottom bar fixings to prevent draught), you will find the outdoor blinds will keep the warmth in to a good degree.  

This is true for both mesh and solid clear PVC outdoor blinds – the mesh still offers wind protection up to 95%! 

With the clear PVC outdoor blinds, during the day these can provide a wonderful suntrap in the NZ winter and spring/autumn sun.  During the summer months, these will still offer up to 93% UVR protection also, which comes as a surprise to many. 

Material choice – clear PVC or mesh screens? 

Ziptrak clear PVC screens half down

Diving further into textile choice, it really comes down to preference and your needs for the space. Some customers choose to mix and match, perhaps with a shade and privacy screen on one side, and clear PVC to catch the sun on other sides and have a clear view. 

One of the considerations with clear PVC also is keeping it visually clean. It’s not quite as high maintenance as a glass ranch slider – but you will still catch the fingerprints and doggy nose marks a little bit.  

In terms of trends, we see a movement towards the mesh PVC blinds in probably 60% of the work we do.  

One of the most eye-opening facts about mesh screens is the darker the colour, the more visibility you will have from inside, looking out the screens to your garden. So, light coloured screens offer less visibility than the darker shades. 

Ziptrak® blinds offer high rain protection 

Weather-protected outdoor spaces are just that – an outside space that is insulated from the sun, wind, and rain.  

There is no guarantee that any system will be 100% watertight – they are outside after all and tiny gaps do exist, and most patios are not truly level. But overall a system that allows a snug fit like Ziptrak® does offers incredibly strong weather protection. You might notice a small amount of rain running from underneath in a southerly, for instance, but overall you’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy the space even if it’s raining.  

A note here on mesh – it will be more porous than a solid PVC outdoor blind naturally – but it really depends on the positioning (the southern side, for example), and it’s these times where we can consult with you to consider your best choices for the space. 

Would you like an automated screen at the push of a button? Or are you happy to wind them up and down manually?  

Think about your needs today and into the future. If the ease of having automated outdoor blinds could be helpful in the future, consider adding them in from the outset, when it’s easiest to install. 

Our Ziptrak® outdoor blind systems offer both hard-wired and solar powered automation options, with a simple remote control. 

We can also customise manual roll-up blinds  if that’s more your thing. 

Roll-up PVC Outdoor Screens NZ

Pay attention to your budget, but also how much value you are adding to the home 

Outdoor blinds are a wonderful investment in the liveability of your property. Some people tend to think of the re-sale value first, or perhaps you tend to think more in terms of the value of personal enjoyment and protection.  

Whichever way you look at it, outdoor blinds extend your living area and the ability to use your space in whatever weather. However, patio blinds aren’t all created equal, and investing in a quality system with a quality installer helps to insulate you from issues and rework.  

Check warranties, after-sales support and whether the installation is carried out by an experienced professional.  

At Sunshade, we don’t mind if you ask us how long we’ve been in the trade, and how experienced we are with the product we’re working with. It’s all part of building trust and a transparent relationship with our customers.  

Ziptrak outdoor screens by 0800 Sunshade NZ

How much do outdoor blinds in NZ cost? 

If you’re ready to explore pricing and options, request a quote today 

Our work is 100% custom, so we’ll measure, consult and quote on a bespoke basis to suit your priorities, space, and budget. 

We would love to help you create a space that maximises your enjoyment and helps you feel great about it as soon as you step out onto the patio. 

Contact us

Hopefully we’ve covered all the bases, but if there’s something specific you would like to ask about NZ garden screens or outdoor blinds, we’d be more than happy to chat. 

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Why choose NZ Made for your shade sail?
Back to News

Why choose NZ Made for your shade sail?

  • Advice
- July 13, 2022

Shade sails have become increasingly popular over the last several years, and for good reason. They are visually appealing, incredibly efficient, and affordable when creating shade in an outdoor space – large, small, permanently, or temporarily.

With rising global temperatures having the right shade structure in place is becoming increasingly important. The right shade will make your outdoor space more comfortable while protecting you from the damaging effects of excessive UV exposure. A NZ-made shade sail is the best way to ensure a customised solution that fits your needs and our local conditions.

How you can ensure your shade sail is fit for the purpose

Residential shade sail solutions by Sunshade

Understanding your outdoor environment and what sort of shade you are wanting to achieve is crucial to ensuring you get the best outcome.

Some key elements to consider are:  

  • Style – how the sail will look and its visual appeal, including colour and fabric choice.
  • Shape – traditional shapes such as triangles/rectangles or a custom shape based on your outdoor area.
  • Size – what level of coverage you require.
  • Number – will one sail be enough, or should you consider multiple?

The final piece of the puzzle is to be clear on what you are wanting to achieve with your sail. 

You may be looking to create an enticing outdoor space to spend time, extend the lifespan of your outdoor furniture, or provide UV protection to your family, as examples. It is most likely that it will be some combination of these reasons, plus plenty more. 

Ultimately, a custom-made sail based on your unique requirements will ensure you leave your mark on your backyard far better compared to a mass-produced off-the-shelf product.

Why NZ-made is the best option for your shade sail 

Residential deck shade sail solutions by Sunshade

Environment

One of the many benefits of using a NZ-produced shade sail is that NZ manufacturers understand NZ conditions. In comparison, offshore products are often built with offshore conditions in mind.

Why does this matter?

Take the impacts of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light as an example. It is well known that too much exposure to UV light can increase your chances of skin cancer. NZ has been found to have up to 40% higher peak UV levels than levels in similar North American latitudes. 

With an awareness of this, NZ manufacturers actively source products and design solutions with the highest possible UV protection in mind. Factors taken into account will include the use of UV stable fabrics, specifically designed for Australasia and proven in NZ for 20 years. As well as this, ensuring that the material selected will have a warranty well beyond off-the-shelf alternatives (such as Sunshade’s ten-year UV warranty on Z16 and E32 fabrics).

End result

You would be hard-pressed to beat the quality of workmanship from NZ designers and fabricators, especially those based at Sunshade’s central facility in Hawke’s Bay. Local knowledge will ensure:

  • the best positioning of your sail,
  • your sail is designed and installed for NZ conditions and your site,
  • colours used will work best for your location and stay colour-fast for longer in NZ conditions.

After installation support

A local manufacturer will ensure your sail is expertly installed. They will consider everything from using marine grade fixings for locations in seaside areas to avoid rust, to long-term impacts on the rest of your property.

Not only this, but you will always have local back-up for scheduled maintenance and advice should you require it. Long-term support like this will ensure you continue to get the most out of your sail for years to come.

Support Local

It often goes without saying but purchasing NZ-made means you are supporting a local owner operator. Local businesses create jobs in our communities – keeping food on the table and a roof over the heads of people in our community.

Your investment in your shade sail will continue to be reinvested into your local economy. For example, local businesses are generous sponsors of local charities, clubs and events.

The team at Sunshade NZ

It’s time to choose NZ-made for your shade sail

Custom made shade sails by SunshadeNZ

Now that you’re clear on why NZ-made shade sails are the best option, it’s time to call in the experts.

The Sunshade team are here to support and guide you through each step of the process, from planning to fabric selection to installation and everything in between. 

Ready to explore how a NZ-made shade sail can benefit your outdoor space?
Contact us today to get started.

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Advice for buying the right NZ shade sail
Back to News

Advice for buying the right NZ shade sail

  • Advice
- January 31, 2022

Buying a shade sail in NZ is an accessible and attractive way to create effective shade for whatever or whomever it is that sits underneath it. But how to choose the right one?

All shade sails are not created equal and it really comes down to what it is you are needing to achieve with it. In this article, our shade sail experts share some of their do’s and don’ts so that you can end up with the right shade sail to protect you and yours from the NZ sun.

Tip #1

Shade sail provides privacy from a neighbouring 2-storey home

Get your shade sail positioning and angles right.

Thinking about where the sun is during all times of the day, and all seasons, will help your shade sail provide the maximum amount of shade when you need it. 

You also want to make sure it doesn’t block the light that you want to let in during winter, and is positioned correctly to ensure sufficient and tidy rain run-off.

This is why we use 3D CAD software to custom design our sails for shade, so that the effect provides a lasting solution for the property. You can learn more about our process here.

Tip #2

Residential deck shade sail solutions by Sunshade

Choose a long-lasting shade fabric.

At Sunshade our NZ made shade sails are made of high-quality HDPE (plastics recycling grade 2), using a special woven performance textile weave. This gives it a high tensile strength, durability and means it can span wide spaces. 

The shade sail fabric has a 10-year UV warranty and many customers in high UV areas still have their shade sails after 15-20 years and counting.

Our textile also comes with a coating to repel dust and debris, making care and maintenance a lot easier than some other fabrics.

Tip #3

Waterproof shade sail for deck

Don’t settle for low-grade UV protection.

Shade cloths and off-the-shelf products will offer varying degrees of UV ratings, so read up and compare like for like. 

In NZ, we reckon the sun’s rays are a force to be reckoned with. That’s why our shade sails are rated to up to 99% UVR protection, depending on your colour choice. 

As a side note, they also offer a fire retardancy independently tested to AS/NZ 1530.2-1993, so you know you’re buying the good stuff.

Tip #4

Black modern shade sails by Sunshade NZ

If you’re going to DIY, be careful of your fixings and make sure you understand how strong a shade sail caught by the wind really is. 

Even with the best of intentions, if you’re not really going to take it down in strong winds, make sure you don’t attach it to things that might cause damage to buildings or others. 

Also, pay attention to the quality of your fixings – are you choosing marine grade anodised stainless steel fittings, or going for lower quality that are likely to rust out? Are they strong enough to withstand the sail?

As installers we only use high quality componentry because we don’t like comebacks! So we know we can trust them to be safe and work well for our customers.

Tip #5

Sunshade multicoloured shade sails

Have fun and find your style!

Whether it is a stylish cluster of narrow triangle sails, or a set of parallel rectangle shade sails under a pergola, find something that suits the style of your space, and how you’d like it to look and feel. 

Colour choices are key – will you go muted, natural tones, or bring in some subtle or more funky statement colour? 

If you’d like advice, our local experts are happy to guide you through the shade sail design process

Our shade sail colour palette extends to 24 designer colours, of which we’ll be happy to show you real-life samples of during a consultation.

Thinking you might like to go for a custom NZ made shade sail? 

We might be a bit biased, but we do know from experience that custom shade sails offer a superior result compared to off-the-shelf counterparts. 

The extra investment in expertise, quality fabrication and design will last you for the long run, providing fantastic protection and adding value to your property. 

And if you’re planning to try DIY, we hope these tips help you either way.

Talk to your local expert, or fire us a quote request today.

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5 top tips for choosing outdoor shade to withstand the NZ summer
Back to News

5 top tips for choosing outdoor shade to withstand the NZ summer

  • Advice
- November 22, 2021

Thanks to the New Zealand sun, wind, and environment, making sure our outdoor shade can hold its own is incredibly important.

A shady outdoor area can become a wonderful haven if planned and executed correctly. In this blog we’ve put together some top tips from our years of installing and maintaining outdoor shade + screen products, to help you choose a solution that will withstand the NZ summer (and the other seasons too).

1. Choose a shade fabric with a high UVR block

Shade sail provides privacy from a neighbouring 2-storey home

Whether you’re going for an outdoor umbrella, shade sail or patio screen, the UV resistance of a textile should be one of your most important considerations. Even for the sun umbrellas you buy for the beach, it’s something we should all be thinking about. 

UVR block & shade protection ratings are determined by the AS/NZ standards (AS 4174-1994 and AS/NZ 4299-1996). If a textile hasn’t been independently tested to meet the standard, we say don’t buy it. This is important from a safety perspective – protecting the health of your family and those in your care. It’s also important for the longevity of your outdoor shade product, as its durability means it will last longer, and protect your other outdoor items from degradation. 

Make sure you cast a critical eye over the textile’s safety specs – not all shade cloth is created equal. At Sunshade all our shade fabrics are high performance textiles that offer ultimate protection from the NZ sun. UVR protection and aesthetics differ slightly depending on colour choice, so we’re happy to have that conversation and help you select well.

2. Don’t buy another two-season outdoor umbrella or shade sail

Shade 7 Outdoor Umbrellas for poolside shade

We’ve all done it – buy that outdoor umbrella or shade sail with high hopes and good intentions, but it only lasts us a couple of seasons. Whether it’s the strength of the arms and frame, the structure of the base, fabric degradation or the ability to withstand sea salt and repel rust, investing in quality makes for a lasting choice.

The initial cost may be higher than the throw-away varieties but having long-term fabric and frame warranties to back up your purchase gives you the peace of mind that the investment will pay off for years to come. 

At Sunshade we have worked with the Shade7 range of outdoor umbrellas for over 10 years, they’re a kiwi success story (designed here) and have found them to be unrivalled in performance. From centre pole umbrellas to cantilever umbrellas there is a size, shape, and fabric design choice in the Shade7 range to suit spaces large and small. 

Likewise our NZ custom-made shade sails offer incredible protection and durability to last the distance too, available in a wide range of modern fabric colours to suit your decor.

3. Plant a shade tree – but choose wisely

Plant a NZ native tree to provide outdoor shade

Even though we are outdoor shade and screen people, that doesn’t mean we don’t love the shade of a good tree! When selecting a tree for your outdoor space, consider how it will grow, how you will shape it, and what position it will be in for catching the sun once it reaches full height. Also think about what seeds or leaves it will drop, and whether this might add to your yard or shade sail maintenance

Deciduous trees can be a solid choice for letting in the sunlight and warmth during winter when the tree is bare, but you want to be sure you’re up for the task of maintenance too. They do have the added bonus of a beautiful spring blossom display as well. You’ll probably want to choose something that is fast-growing so you can enjoy it sooner but do plan for the long term.

At Sunshade, we prefer native trees to support our New Zealand flora and fauna but planting fruits and nuts can be a win/win idea too. Depending on your priorities, check out these additional ideas for planting for birds in your garden, and the urban fruit forest guide for inspiration. Trees and other man-made shade products can complement each other beautifully, and we’ll be happy to help plan for your space to make the most of both.

4. Think about the wind in your outdoor space

Shade7 Outdoor Umbrella in residential garden patio NZ

The prevailing wind in your yard space is another important consideration for outdoor shade. The wind can largely determine the type of shade you need to look at, and how it should be positioned and fixed. 

In our years as shade + screen specialists we have been called to homes where the side of the house has been ripped off in extreme weather due to incorrect fixing of shade sails. We have learned a lot over the years and explain to people that a shade sail is like putting a yacht sail on your house – it has the power to catch the wind and run with it!

This is where having an expert install does come in handy. As experts in installing outdoor umbrellas, especially Shade7’s cantilever umbrella range – we know umbrellas are a product that simply must be durable if it is to withstand the NZ summer. The wind tests on the Shade7 range are impressive – check out the Shade7 Riviera getting whipped through a 40kph wind tunnel on YouTube here to get an idea for yourself.

Correct installation of outdoor screens is also important in windy environments, as is learning how to operate them. Knowing when to have the screens up, locked in half-way position or down will make the difference to ensure your screen is protected during windy weather. This is all covered in our Ziptrak® guide, and we are happy to be contacted directly for advice too.

5. Put the shade in the right spot

Position shade in the right place to suit your outdoor space and how you use it

Planning for the trajectory of the sun is key to any outdoor shade installation. Placement, height, and angles of the shade must be considered carefully to ensure the shade is right where you need it, at the right times of day. 

When planning an outdoor shade area we use CAD technology to draw up the space and project the sun’s trajectory, planning for how it moves from summer to winter. 

If you feel that your project could benefit from this type of expertise, then we would love to have a conversation about your needs for outdoor shade and plans for your space. 

Learn more about our end-to-end process here.

Interested in lasting outdoor shade for your space? 

Whichever of our products has caught your eye, send us your questions or an enquiry for a quote. We’ve been installing shades and screens since the ‘90s and have a wealth of ideas on how to create a shady, modern and inviting space that can be enjoyed for years to come. 

We’d love to hear from you – get in touch today.

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How to create shade with outdoor blinds
Back to News

How to create shade with outdoor blinds

  • Advice
- October 26, 2021

Creating shade with outdoor blinds is a sophisticated way to enjoy your outdoor area when that summer sun bakes in.

From creating an inviting outdoor room on the patio to screens for shade and privacy, outdoor blinds can serve multiple purposes and tick several of your outdoor living boxes all at once. 

In this blog we’ve put together some examples of work we’ve done in this space over the years, looking at several options to inspire you as you ponder your own outdoor screen project. 

Using a mesh tint for your blinds

The very clever mesh textile we use at Sunshade is designed to withstand the strain of NZ’s demanding UV environment. 

The extremely high UV-R rating means that those inside are almost fully protected from the sun’s rays. It also aids in protecting your outdoor furniture and interior living areas from weathering.

Mesh also doubles as a privacy screen so you can relax in your space – perfect if you wish to create the feeling privacy in a close-quartered suburban environment.

All our mesh screens have some visibility from the inside, allowing that outdoors-in feel. Some of the lighter-coloured screens do offer a light and soft muted view of the garden or other aspect. Colour choice really comes down to your requirements for outdoor living on balance with the design aesthetic you are after.

You can also mix and match!

Pro tip: Another useful purpose for outdoor blinds, especially the Ziptrak track-guided screen system, is that they can keep out debris and pests.

Ziptrak Outdoor blinds feature a bottom bar which seals the gap between the blind and the floor to keep dirt and debris out

Fitted with a unique bottom bar which seals the gap between the blind and the floor, the Ziptrak® bottom bar stops the flow of dirt, leaves and other riff-raff, as well as pleasantly blocking draughts.

Designing your outdoor blinds for the sun

When designing a patio area, we’ll always help our customers factor in the positioning of the sun in all seasons. The best kind of design will make the most of the light, warmth, and wind year-round.

In terms of layout, options include choosing full mesh for all screens to enclose the patio, just putting one screen in that pesky spot where the sun beats in, or using a mix of mesh and clear screens depending on your outlook. 

After a site visit we will make recommendations to suit your space, and help you consider all the angles. Onsite we can show you through examples of other work we have done and look at different ways to use colour, textile, and space to achieve what you want. 

Interested in scoping your own outdoor blinds? 

Send us your questions or an enquiry for a quote. We’ve been installing shades and screens since the ‘90s and have a wealth of ideas on how to create a shady and modern looking space. 

We’d love to hear from you – get in touch today.

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Outdoor Screens Come Into Their Own With Changing Seasons
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Outdoor Screens Come Into Their Own With Changing Seasons

  • Advice
- June 17, 2021

It’s finally getting warm enough to shrug off woollen coats, but that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows – or actually, it is, but only because New Zealand’s spring is an unpredictable mix of rain and shine! What we mean to say is it’s not time to start neglecting protection from the weather. Spring is a deceiving time because we often forget to protect ourselves from the sun, as we tend to associate sunburn with heat, and we leave umbrellas at home, connecting rain with grey skies.

Changing Seasons

Spring has arrived and the blooming season has begun, making it the perfect time to install an outdoor screen. Outdoor screens can protect you from harmful UV rays and ultraviolet radiation, rain, glare and dust. They also block heat and energy from the sun, keeping both you and your house cool, which in turn helps you keep those power bills low.

The sun may not be on full heat yet, but spring is the time when UV radiation increases rapidly, so skin that’s been covered up until now can get a shock from the sudden exposure. Investing in an outdoor screen is the smartest way to protect more in one go. The best thing is, you don’t have to sacrifice the view for protection from the elements. With a clear outdoor screen, no one will even know it’s there!

Ziptrak® Outdoor Screens

Ziptrak® screens are the popular choice for clear outdoor screens, as they create outdoor screens that are easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.

Its clear mesh screen is fitted on their award-winning track-guided system, and they can also be motorised and operated with a remote control, making Ziptrak® outdoor screens the convenient choice.

A clear outdoor screen is compatible with any architecture. Ziptrak®’s clear outdoor screens embrace minimalism without compromising on efficiency and durability. Its robust structure makes it able to withstand the harshest weather conditions, making it a must for New Zealand’s wild forecasts.

Ziptrak® also provides a quick-exit safety feature that allows people to slip out with ease in case of emergencies. If you have any queries about Ziptrak® screens, get in touch with us.

Looking for a custom Outdoor Screen solution to enhance your property?

Spring is much more enjoyable when our bodies are happy, so add a multi-purpose outdoor screen for versatile shelter. Now that the temperature allows for cider drinking, sandal wearing and late night laughing, let’s make the most of it! And soon, when summer rolls around, you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t have an outdoor screen to keep you cool.

Our team of local experts are here to help you create an amazing space.

Keep the wind and rain out this winter with our custom made Ziptrak® outdoor blinds.

Your Sunshade consultant will help you come up with the perfect solution to transform your outdoor area into a room you can use daily, no matter the weather!

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