So you’ve decided to break down and recover all your windows. No cheap home center pre-made, install-it-yourself window blinds this time around!
Getting a designer/installer and letting them manage the whole job. Sounds like a good plan … if you can afford it.
But if you want the look and quality of custom window blinds, there are still ways to save money while getting blinds that are custom fit, of quality construction and with a solid warranty.
In this article we will give you ideas and tips on buying and installing custom Venetian window blinds for an elegant look and easy operation.
Do I Need Ready Made or Custom Blinds?
Windows are made in a wide variety of sizes and shapes; if you have generic, standard sized windows you’ll be fine going with ready-made blinds, but if you have odd shaped, custom size windows, plan to go with custom blinds, meaning they are made to fit your window specifically.
Another thing to consider when buying blinds of course is quality; how good are the materials used, lift cords and hardware, the paint or finish, etc. Custom blinds should be made of the best materials, with chip-resistant blinds, sturdy hardware and lift mechanisms built for durability and longevity.
Types of Custom Window Blinds
Custom window blinds should generally have wider slats than less expensive blinds such as mini blinds. Slat width is a pretty subjective matter, although designers will choose wider or narrower slats to match the theme, patterns and forms used throughout an interior.
Another choice is whether to go with pull cords or wands. Wands seem to hold up better and are easy to use for tilt controls, while cords can be less obtrusive and can be easier to reach, especially if you have a taller window. Wands and cords should be of the highest quality and incorporate safety tassels to prevent a choking hazard for small children in the house.
Custom Window Blinds Materials
Custom window blinds can be made of real wood, stained or naturally finished or with enamel painted finish. Faux wood can look almost as good these days, while being lighter and less expensive.
Take a look at some of the faux wood blinds before you decide which way to go and remember that real wood can warp or crack in time.
Bamboo or woven wood blinds are another stylish option to consider when purchasing your custom window blinds. Custom window blinds are less likely to be made of metal, but if you are looking for a specific metallic finish to match your modern or retro décor then a custom metallic finish could make sense as well.
One other type of custom window blind to consider is the type where the slats are each made of two vanes wrapped in material, giving them a very soft appearance and quiet operation. I have these in a couple rooms in my home and we really like them; they almost look like cellular shades, but operate like Venetian blinds, with stacking slats rather than being a single, pleated shade.
How to Measure for Custom Window Blinds
Now, many people are uncertain when it comes to how exactly you measure for window blinds. The answer, of course, is that it depends. The type of blind being installed, how it operates and whether it is an inside or outside mount can all affect the way you correctly measure window dimensions and window blind width and drop.
The best thing to do is determine the brand and type of blind you want to buy first. Then check the FAQs or Installation Instructions before measuring to see how the manufacturer wants you to take measurements.
In most cases, if you are buying an inside mount window blind, you will measure the distance between the sill and top of the window opening for drop and the distance between the left and right inside edges of the window opening to obtain the width, but again it can vary so check measurements multiple times before you order online.
Choosing a Window Blind Brand
There are a number of top window fashions manufacturers; most of them sell products under multiple brands. Thus, if you learn which manufacturer’s products you like, you can check each of their lines for the style, features and price point that fit you best. We’ve provided a review of all the major Window Blinds Brands as well.
Finding a Good Installer
Now, you don’t need a designer unless you absolutely don’t trust yourself to pick the right style, materials and configuration of your window blinds. We give you hundreds of tips and ideas here on Window Blinds Tips, so we’ll trust you can figure out what you like, but if not, try visiting a couple of local custom blinds shops and ask them for advice.
If you don’t plan to install your own custom blinds, then buying locally is probably the best thing to do. You’ll get end to end service and if anything goes wrong with fitting you’ll have a much easier time than trying to save a few bucks buying online.
Save Money By Buying Blinds Online
If you’re like a lot of Window Blinds Tips readers though, you’ll probably opt to save money and install your own blinds. In this case, it really pays to decide what you want (Bali, Hunter Douglas, etc.) and shop online for the best bargains.
There are MANY online blinds and window fashions resellers these days, so look around for special offers, put your name on our newsletter subscriptions list and wait until you find the blinds you want at the right price. You can save 30%, 40% or even 50% if you shop around versus what you might have paid at the most expensive retailer.
Buy from a reputable reseller who is authorized to sell the brand you are buying and check the return policy and warranty details carefully before checking out.