Window Coverings

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Window Coverings
« on: 23 Jun 2017, 08:44 pm »
I am back again.  Buying and accessorizing a new home in quite a chore with no SO to assign the task to.

Thoughts on window coverings.  I have 11 windows and two 6' sliding doors.  Both doors are under a covered patio.

The model homes have shutters and blinds.  I am not sure I like that look or their light management. Leaking bright spots but otherwise dark.  I guess that is personal.  I also don't want to clean them.  The only bid I received so far was for a mix of cellular and 2" faux wood blinds.

My mother has 1" Venetian blinds which I clean once/year when I visit.  I never clean mine because they are a PITA.  I also think they are dated.

I like the way cellular blinds soften the light entering a room without blocking it entirely.  I I am thinking of using black-out blinds in my bedroom and regular cellular throughout the rest of the house. I wish there was something in between black-out and regular for the bedroom. I wonder if I am not giving enough credit to 2" shutters. They are much less expensive.  I do find myself not opening the cellular because they let in enough light without needing to be open and some of those windows get too much sun to be open.

Thoughts on what I might be missing since I am totally unfamiliar with shutters.  My thoughts are I want muted light or a clear view with no obstructions.  Are blinds harder to raise and lower than cellular?

The sliding doors would have different treatment since I want something that went side-to-side, not up and down. I had vertical blinds in my existing home (slats that hung the entire height of the door).  I threw them away.  I hated them. I am considering drapes for the doors but at least two of the three window covering experts coming to give estimates only handle blinds.  I am not sure about the third. I think the great room door might only get sheers.  The master bedroom would need insulated to block some light. 

I guess the last bit of information might be important.  Most of my windows will have no view I care to look at.  Those would face a close-by fence or the street.  The great room door and one window would be exceptions.  Hopefully my completed back yard will be worth looking at.

Brand names to avoid or positive recommendations appreciated. Thanks.

Phil A

Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jun 2017, 11:25 pm »
I have multiple systems and keep one room darker (has one window).  Has regular honeybomb blinds and I got a piece of oak tag from the office supply store and put that inside of that and then have room darkening curtains I got at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Works fine for me.  Miss the basement in the old place.  Even though it was a walk out basement, I had a deck overhead for parts of it and lots of trees in the back so it was fine even with a projector during the day (had a double window and a slider).

If you want totally dark you could always use something with Duvetyne -

Phil A

Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jun 2017, 11:43 pm »
In the old house basement - I used cheapo blinds with drapes and together with the overhead deck and trees it was fine.  Found pics


Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2017, 12:16 am »
Thanks Phil,

I don't need bat cave dark.

Phil A

Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jun 2017, 12:26 am »
The pics are from when the house was for sale so all the windows are uncovered and all the light are on.  This is what the room looked like when it was used for HT (and you can tell from the pics that without all the lights and windows exposed, it was much better for watching stuff on the projector)


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Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jun 2017, 02:34 am »
Ask, for each window, what purpose for treatments would be (privacy, light control, energy savings).  Treatments can be quite expensive.

We live in the country, so a large portion of our windows don't need/have any treatments for privacy.  We use Roman shades over the windows and cellular blinds (from Home Depot) over the french doors in the master bedroom for light control.

Shutters can be very heavy for wide/tall windows.  Aluminum are the lightest, but can easily get kinked.  Vinyl can get kinked too.

Hard to find a better solution for sliding doors than vertical blinds.

There are specialty light control blinds (used in sleep labs for instance) that use thickened edges in grooved vertical tracks that very expensive if you want to go "all the way".


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Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jun 2017, 10:38 am »
I have used cell shades for sliding glass doors.  In my former house, I used blackout cell shades that moved horizontally.  These were insanely expensive.  In my current house, we used two-on-one-rail cell shades that pull down from the top. We have a single door that moves in and out and a fixed door instead of sliding glass.  However, these are south-facing doors, and it gets very bright.  My wife wanted something that would allow us to block out some of the light when the sun was low.  Having the cell shades mounted on the top and able to be pulled down works well, and since there are two shades on one rail, you can also control each side individually. These are expensive, but not nearly as bad as the kind that move horizontally.

We also have cell shades of the same type and color on every window in the house.  Then, we add curtains to individualize the windows.  We pay extra for "cordless", as the cords can be long and also dangerous for kids.

We live on 4.5 acres and can't see our neighbors when the trees are full and barely can see one neighbor when the trees are bare.  However, all our windows are covered.  I get a strange feeling when I can't see out and know anyone (even if there's no one there) can see in, so we've covered all windows.

We use the points on our credit card to buy window coverings.  It's taken us a while to do the whole house this way, but we've not spent too much out of pocket.


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Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jun 2017, 12:41 pm »
I am redoing my living room which is also my listening room. I just had single cell room darkening shades installed and am very happy with them.They are top down, bottom up so one can let some light in at the top while still having privacy. They were made by:
Very easy to install.
I am also having draperies made for these windows.


Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jun 2017, 04:40 pm »
I went looking for information on cellular blinds to find the difference between single-cell and double-cell and how cordless work.  Even after reading a description, I still don't understand how cordless work but I did find this site.  Scary cheap prices.  Not sure I trust the long-term reliability.


Re: Window Coverings
« Reply #9 on: 17 Sep 2017, 06:23 am »
I eventually went with Hunter-Douglas cellular shades for every window and two sliding doors. Bedroom windows are dark out.  Top down/bottom up in the master bath and dinning room (faces street). Amazing that the company I went with was $1800 cheaper for the same HD blinds.

My sliding doors are 6' wide and 8' tall!!!!  The vertical blinds look fantastic on them and stack to only 6".