Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Buy Blinds

Sometimes you need blinds or shades for you windows, not curtains or drapes. Making a choice is tough. So, here is how you do it.

Write down a list of the things you want from your blinds. For example - they must block all light, or they must provide privacy when down, or they must control heat coming in and heat going out. 

Make a list of the things you do not want. You may not want vertical blinds; or blinds with vertical rows of cords, or slatted shades.  A word of caution here - slatted shades have come a long way in the last few years, so try to keep an open mind about them.

Look at your window and decide where you want the blinds to be hung.  Most blinds require a minimum of 2 to 3 inches for a blind to be fully recessed into the frame. Consider window frames and handles on opening windows. If the handles interfere with a blind falling straight, consider replacing the crank handle with a butterfly or collapsible handle.

Think about the style of your room. Seriously think about it. If you have a lovely traditional room, filled with antiques and old rugs, do you really want hard blinds on the windows? There are soft shadings on the market that will fit any decor style. Perhaps incorporating a fabric valance or side panels is the solution to bridging the modern shade to the traditional room.

And now we come to the budget. The stinker is that unless you get some quotes you won’t have any idea of the possible cost - there are no square-foot averages in this business. But, come up with a figure of how much you are willing to spend. Total.
The trade guideline is that a window covering budget, for the whole home,  should be about 10% of the home value. This would be a higher budget, but it is a place to start.

After all this is done, do your homework. Go to the stores and look at the blinds, taking your list with you. Call a window treatment pro and get a consultation. The money you spend on a consultation may well be saved if you don’t have to re-do your coverings because they weren’t right for you.  A pro can advise you on how to get what you need and stay within your budget.

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