Friday, February 23, 2018

Your Essential Guide To Using Roller Shades On A Patio Door

June 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Roller Shades

Roller Shades

Roller shades over a sliding glass door ? Really….yep. You might not think of using a roller shade on a patio but you might be suprised at how well it looks. This treatment is being used more and more for this application and it’s starting to grow on me too. You don’t see many solid materials but mainly sun screen . With the sun screen material you can filter out the sun but still see out. And they make for a very dramatic look when you first walk in to a room. They can be a great treatment for a sliding glass door but there are some questions you must ask yourself to determine if they’re right for you. In this article we’ll cover that and more like how to measure and a couple of installation tips.

Are They Right For You

First question you must ask yourself is do I want one big shade over the entire door or two smaller ones side by side. One shade definately gives a more dramatic appearance with no gap going down the middle where two would butt together. But there are size limitations on these and if your opening is too wide you will have to use multiple shades. You might want to do that anyway because if you use your slider often, you can just have one shade up to go in and out and leave the others down.

Roller Shade On Patio Door

Roller Shade On Patio Door

If you do decide to go with multiple shades, the gaps where the shades butt together will be about one inch wide and most likely not be even from top to bottom. That’s because nothing is perfectly square but it won’t be to bad. If your very picky then be very careful.

Pets…do you have pets that would easily destroy these. Cats love to climb these. It’s the perfect material for climbing plus they can get a better view perspective of things from higher up. Since you can see through them so can your dog. So when that little voice in their head yells squirrel and run to the door to take a look next thing they’re trying to claw through the once beautiful sun screen. So consider the wear and tear the pets will have on these.

How Safe are they For Your Children

Beaded Chain Cord Loop Control

Beaded Chain Cord Loop Control

First lets talk about how they operate. These aren’t the kind of roller shades that you tug at the bottom and hope they roll up. These shades operate by a beaded chain. It’s a continuous looped chain so as you pull the chain it either goes up or down. Wherever you let go, that’s where it stays. The chain is very strong and can either be made from a plastic material or metal, depends on the size. Larger or wider ones have the metal chain. The manufacture tries to coordinate the chain color best as possible so you will end up with the closest match.

The control will come with a hold down device that will attach the beaded chain to your wall. If the control was just left hanging it will be a great danger to young children. It’s just a matter of locking it down with a couple of screws and then the danger of getting hurt is gone. Plus it looks a lot neater with the chain attached.

More Things To Consider

Reverse roll

Reverse roll

Standard roll

Standard roll

All patio or sliding glass doors have a big handle. Sometimes the handle sticks

out more then others. If your handle sticks out a lot then it might interfere with the shade when you lower it. It will hit the material and always rub on it as it passes over. This may or may not leave a mark. Two solutions for this. One put big spacer blocks behind the brackets to project it away from the wall to better clear the handle. Or two you can do what’s called a reverse roll. Its basically where the material rolls from the front of the shade. It’s like if you would turn the shades around. This gives you a couple of more inches of clearance for your handle.

We all know what a roller shade looks like at the top. When rolled up it doesn’t take up much room. But maybe you want a more finished look up there. If you do ask the company your buying from if they offer a cassette as a option. A cassette it like a valance that covers up the roller at the top to give it a more finished appearance. Just know that if you order as a reverse roll, you cannot get the cassette.

Seams…with this material just as any other material there may be a seam, it depends on the size of the opening. To ensure you don’t have an unsightly seam in the middle of your view, contact the retailer and ask where the seam will be and if it’s not where you would like it ask if it can be higher up or in a better position for you. If they can they will but if they can’t know that before going into it. It’s harder to deal with something like that after the fact.

Couple of Tips On Measuring & Installation

When measuring the width you have two measurements. Tip to tip which is the actual size of the entire shade including the little things sticking out the ends that sit it the brackets. Then you have cloth to cloth which is the actual size of the material itself. If you are doing an inside mount give tip to tip measurements. Don’t take any deductions, they will take them at the factory.

If you are doing an outside mount (most common for this application) then give cloth to cloth measurements. For an outside mount measure the width from trim to trim and add 1/2 inch to each side. This will give you a 1/2 inch overlap so the shade will go past your opening by 1/2 inch on each side. This is so if something is out of square and nothing is ever square, then this overlap will keep your trim from peeking out from behind the shade.

As far as the height go about 4 inches above your trim. Don’t go lower but you could go a little higher. If your building is to code you will have a 8 inch wood beam behind the drywall. If you go too high you’ll miss the beam and have to use anchors which aren’t as strong as hitting wood with a 3 inch screw. So make sure you have 3 inch screws on hand when installing.

If you have trim around your door you will have to project the shade away from the wall by the thickness of the trim. This can be accomplished by simply requesting spacer blocks with your order. It’s a nice little block that goes behind your bracket to space it out a little.


Well there you have it. You might not have ever considered roller shades for your sliding glass door but they actually could be a viable alternative. Think about all the things pointed out here and maybe some I haven’t though of. If you do decide you use this treatment I would love to hear from you or better yet send me a picture.


For Selection and Prices Click Here>>>>>Roller Shades For Patio Doors

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