Choosing protective roller shutters for windows

7 min

The safety of the home worries absolutely everyone, but if the entrance to the apartment can be equipped with a solid door with reliable locks, then with window openings everything is somewhat more complicated. The issue of protecting windows is especially relevant for owners of apartments on the ground floors and owners of summer cottages. Earlier this problem was solved with the help of gratings, but they take away the light and often become an obstacle during the evacuation. Today, roller shutters, which are able to decorate the facade of a house, protect from the sun, prying eyes, and even keep warm, have become a more reliable, thoughtful and modern solution. How to choose the right protective roller shutters for windows, what are they like and how best to install them?

# 1. Roller shutter design

Roller shutters are often called roller shutters and safety shutters, and their design includes the following elements:

  • a canvas made of lamellas. The latter can be aluminum, steel or plastic;

  • the shaft on which the web is wound due to its not monolithic, but lamellar structure;

  • a box that covers a shaft with a web wound on it, makes the overall appearance more aesthetic and protects all elements from the negative effects of the environment;

  • guides that ensure the movement of the web up and down.

Roller shutters are operated mechanically or electrically. Externally, roller shutters look quite simple, but aesthetically pleasing, reliably close the window opening and prevent unauthorized access. The color can be absolutely any, as well as the size. Today it is also possible to manufacture roller shutters for non-standard windows, for example, for an arched opening.
roller shutter design

Departing a little from the topic, we note that roller shutters are used to protect garage doors, trading floors and offices. Naturally, for garages, roller shutters are produced with thicker and wider slats. There are even plumbing shutters for the toilet, which allow you to hide not very nice communications. They are not assigned protective functions, therefore, their design is lightweight.

# 2. Roller shutter material

When choosing roller shutters for windows, the material of their manufacture is of primary importance:

  • aluminum. The vast majority of roller shutters are made of aluminum. This is a fairly light material that allows you to make the entire structure as compact as possible and use a manual drive or the simplest electric one with it. Aluminum roller shutters look great, are presented in a huge variety, provide good protection from the sun and are cheaper than their steel counterparts. Such roller shutters cope with protective functions well, although they are inferior to steel ones;

  • steel. Such roller shutters can be called a model in terms of strength and reliability. If you need maximum protection, then you can safely choose them. On the other hand, steel roller shutters weigh decently, they can hardly be called compact, and in terms of aesthetics they are inferior to aluminum ones, but at the same time they are more expensive;

  • plastic roller shutters are installed not to protect windows from intruders, but only to reduce the intensity of sunlight in the room, to protect themselves from prying eyes. Such systems look great, amaze with their variety and can become a decoration of the facade;

  • wooden roller shutters are also designed not to block the path of an intruder, but to protect them from the sun’s rays, which is especially important in summer for windows facing south. The construction of natural material looks great, provides a decent level of heat and sound insulation.
    roller shutters on windows

No. 3. Roller shutter profile type

Despite the fact that steel roller shutters are able to provide maximum protection, today it is aluminum roller shutters that are in greatest demand, which can be made from various types of profiles:

  • a roll profile with foam filler is the simplest and cheapest version. For rolling, thin sheets of aluminum are used, therefore, even a foam filler does not protect against possible deformations under serious mechanical stress. Such roller shutters have good heat and sound insulation, but they do not resist burglary very much. If they are used with a protection function, then only together with other means, for example, an alarm;
    roller shutter profile

  • Reinforced seamless profile, much more durable than the previous version, can be an excellent obstacle in the way of intruders. It is more expensive than a roller profile, but if your goal is reliable protection of window openings, then it is better to choose it. Such roller shutters are well suited for summer cottages;
    reinforced seamless profile

  • a lattice-drawn or perforated profile also has excellent reliability and durability, it resists burglary well and is used mainly for installation in commercial premises, because with the proper level of protection, such roller shutters provide an acceptable view of the showcase, even when it is closed. Sometimes they are placed at home, so that even with the shutters closed, a little light gets inside.
    roller shutter profile perforated

Separately, armored shutters can be distinguished, they can be made of both aluminum and steel, but they are not used in private construction – they are so powerful and massive that they can become reliable protection for financial institutions.

No. 4. Roller shutter control types

Roller shutters on windows can be controlled in two ways:

  • mechanically, i.e. with the help of human physical efforts. This is a budget option, suitable when the weight of the structure and the number of windows with roller shutters is small;

  • automatically by electric drive. More expensive, but also more comfortable way of driving. As soon as you press a button on the wall or on the remote control, the roller shutters will start moving.
    roller shutters for windows 2

No. 5. Mechanical roller shutter control

Mechanical control wins in terms of practicality, because it does not depend on electrical power and will not suffer from voltage surges or lack of electricity. Depending on the weight of the structure, several drive options are used for manual control:

  • the belt drive is suitable for roller shutters up to 15 kg. The name of the system suggests that the key element is the tape, which is attached to the tape stacker at one end and to the shaft at the other. To set the structure in motion, simply pull on the tape. A common option for small window openings, one of the most budgetary;
    roller shutters tape drive

  • The cardan drive is suitable for structures weighing up to 36 kg, it allows you to control the roller shutters by turning the cardan handle. It is also inexpensive, reliable in operation, and its design allows you to install an upper automatic lock on it;
    roller shutters cardan drive

  • The cable drive can lift roller shutters weighing up to 100 kg, it works by changing the degree of tension of the cable, which is attached to the cardan shaft. The control is carried out with a handle, the system is quite reliable and relatively inexpensive;

  • spring-inertial today is the most common, withstands a maximum weight of 80 kg, and you can close and open the roller shutters with the help of special handles that are located on the lower guide. For a guarantee, it is better to equip such roller shutters with a lower lock.
    spring-inertial roller shutter drive

No. 6. Automatic roller shutter control

The electric drive allows you to set the roller shutters in motion with one touch of a button, which is convenient, but worth the additional financial investment. The motor is integrated inside the octagonal shaft, does not enlarge the structure at all. The electric drive allows you to safely raise and lower roller shutters weighing up to 200 kg, use the upper automatic lock for reliability, but there are limitations: it cannot be used with roller shutters less than 60 cm wide.
Mechanical roller shutters

There are two ways to automatically control the roller shutters:

  • radio control, when the structure is set in motion by a button on the remote control, and the command is broadcast over the radio channel;

  • wired control using key, key and rotary switches.

A significant advantage of automatic control is the ability to combine several roller shutters into groups. This allows, by pressing one button, to activate several roller shutters at once, usually up to 4.
roller shutters automatic control 2

No. 7. Mounting options for roller shutters on a window

Roller shutters can be mounted in different ways, it all depends on the features of the window opening and personal wishes. There are several main ways of installing roller shutters on a window:

  • built-in installation with the box outward assumes installation in the opening. Outwardly, this option looks aesthetically pleasing, since nothing protrudes beyond the facade, but the box in the opening takes away some light and reduces the viewing angle;

  • built-in installation with a box inward from the side of the facade looks even more aesthetically pleasing, but with such an installation, light is taken away, and the canvas is located at a short distance from the window;

  • overhead mounting involves fixing the box directly to the facade of the building above the window opening. Thus, it is possible to achieve maximum visibility and complete invisibility of the structure from the window, but the box will stick out slightly relative to the facade;

  • combined installation involves the installation of a box in a specially prepared niche above the window. It combines the advantages of all other installation options, but it is better to provide for such a niche even at the stage of building a house.
    roller shutter installation

It is advisable to choose the color of roller shutters so that it matches the facade and the color of the window frames. The installation of the simplest systems can be done by hand, and when using an electric drive and radio control, it is better to contact specialists.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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