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Blending Indoor and Outdoor Spaces in North London


In early spring, a family living in north London reached out to Phantom Screens for guidance. They were looking for a solar screen manufacturer and fitter to help them complete their vision for a new home. Refurbishment and extension work were underway, and the newly redesigned family home was to feature several large sliding doors.


There would be a two-pane opening in the extended kitchen and dining area, as well as a three-pane door in the living room. The family wanted to be able to open their doors while cooking at any time of year, but also to protect their home from glare, insects, and garden detritus. The door openings would be wide - too wide for some solar screen manufacturers - so the family was weighing up several options and looking for the most efficient, convenient, and hassle-free solution.

Bifold door blinds are often considered in situations like these, although their popularity has decreased recently. One of the reasons for this decline is that more homeowners are becoming aware of the problems and shortcomings associated with integrated blinds. For example, when an integrated blind becomes damaged or requires maintenance, an otherwise simple repair becomes far more complicated because the blind is inaccessible. When an integral blind fails, the entire double-glazed unit is affected, rather than just the blind, which can add to maintenance costs.


After listening to the family's requirements, Phantom Screens recommended a solution that would fit the bill: Executive Power Screens. Unlike integrated solutions that only come into use when the doors are closed, our automated solar screens can be operated independently of the doors. This means that the doors can be opened while the solar screens are closed, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air while protecting your home against glare and preventing sun damage to furniture and wooden floors.

The homeowners were intrigued to learn that solar screens can help with thermal comfort gains. By deflecting energy during the day and allowing a cool breeze to come in, Phantom Screens can help to improve the energy efficiency of a family home. The benefits of solar screens over bifold door blinds were clear. The only remaining question was about the various installation options.


When advising our customers, we usually recommend they consider their solar screens at the planning stage, when they can be flexible about their options. In situations where refurbishment and building work are still underway, our customers commonly opt for recessed, automated screens that have the minimum visual impact on interior design. However, during the course of our discussions, the family was interested to learn that Phantom Screens can also be installed externally.


Our advisors explained that the external metallic components of our screens are powder coated to marine grade. That means that even in a rainy country like the United Kingdom, the motorised components of an automated Phantom Screen are protected from the elements inside the head box. The weather-resistant construction makes external installation possible, which, in this case, was an appealing alternative to a recessed design.


Naturally, the owners initially had concerns about the stability of an external installation, especially in a windy country like the UK. However, they were reassured to learn that Phantom Screens Executive Power Blinds are secured along all four edges, to hold the mesh securely at all times.

In the end, the family opted for two large, automated solar screens - one for each of their door openings. These Executive Screens are ideal for doors, windows, and oversized openings because they can be operated by a remote control or connected to home automation systems by means of a simple interface. With the Executive model, it is even possible to screen openings up to 12m wide.


Since the installation, we have spoken to this family several times to find out how they are getting on, and each time we're pleased to hear that their screens have been a hassle-free investment that performs exactly as they hoped. Not only have they been in almost constant use since the installation, they also tell us that their screens have been a hot topic of conversation for their guests, too.

At Phantom Screens, we're lucky enough to hear a lot of positive stories and glowing recommendations from customers who've discovered the benefits of solar screens. This family has now joined the growing number of British households that enjoy solar shading, extra privacy, and insect-free ventilation all year round.

To find out how Phantom Screens can help you improve your view, call us on 0800 0963015 to request a visit or see the Contact page.

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