How to Install Roll-up Outdoor Shades

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Retractable measuring tape 10 feet long
Pencil and paper
Roll-up shades with complete mounting hardware
Carpenter's level
3, 2-inch screwable picture hooks

Roll-up outdoor shades are a blessing on a deck or porch with southern or western exposure on a scorching afternoon. Made from canvas, nylon, open-weave rattan, or bamboo, they help keep your outdoor and indoor space livable during the few hours each day of greatest heat and sunlight. Then they can disappear to let you enjoy cool evening breezes. Follow these directions to hang your roll-up shades quickly and effectively.

Step 1 - Choose Where to Hang Your Roll-Up Shades

You can hang roll-up outdoor shades from your porch roof between the support pillars, or on the outside of windows that overlook the porch or deck to keep your home's interior cooler.

Step 2 - Measure for the Correct Size

Many outdoor shades come in standard sizes of 4 feet, 6 feet or 8 feet wide by 6 feet long. If these sizes are not suitable, check to see if the manufacturer will cut down a wider blind for you. Many manufacturers will happily custom-make a roll-up shade to your measurements for an extra charge. When measuring, get the full size around the outside of the window or roof beam. Write down the width first, then the length.

Step 3 - Ensure You Have the Necessary Hardware

When purchasing a roll-up outdoor shade, check for a kit that has all the mounting hardware included. If the shade comes attached to an aluminum headrail, then measure and mark your hanging location at the distance between the ends of the headrail. Attach the rail with the supplied screws, leveling it before you secure the second end. Release the pull cords and test the unrolling and retraction of the roll-up outdoor shade.

If mounting hardware is not supplied you will need to install three picture hooks for the shade. Outdoor shades usually hang from these hooks on three inverted-V shaped support brackets, one near each edge and one in the center.

Step 4 - Install the Support Hooks for the Roll-Up Shades

Measure the distance from the edges to each outer bracket, then from each of these to the center bracket. Mark the measurements with a pencil or pen on the horizontal support you are using for the shade. Check with a carpenter's level that the three location spots are in a perfect horizontal row. Insert and screw in a picture hook at the location for each bracket.

Step 5 - Hang Up the Roll-Up Shade

Attach the shade to the picture hooks by its support brackets. Check once again that it is level. If not, remove the shade and adjust the picture hooks.

Step 6 - Test the Shades for Correct Function

Find the pull cords for the roll-up shade. Straighten them so they run across and vertically along the shade. Pull down on the correct string of the vertical cord and watch your shade unroll. Pull it up again to check for correct rewind.