When it comes to purchasing window coverings, consumers have many vendors to choose from and the end result also varies with the different manufacturers and the value associated with the product. Online internet distributors, big box stores and smaller home décor stores carry similar products with limited options, sizes and colors. These products are very enticing to purchase as they are inexpensive and, after all, it is just a blind. In some cases, as we discuss below, a cheap blind or window covering may suit your needs in limited situations.
However, the benefits of having quality custom blinds in your home are plentiful, from enhancing your home’s interior design, to providing UV protection and privacy features, not to mention automatic, motorised functionality and safety features that protect your family and pets. Custom blinds take all of these factors into consideration and your window coverings specialist can create the perfect combination of fashion and function that is unique to your home and style.
To help you decide on which is the best investment for your current window covering needs, we have put together a list of the biggest differences and concerns that you need to consider between buying a cheap window covering or investing in a custom solution.
There are a few big differences between the “cheap” store brands and the product that is provided by a window covering dealer, such as a local Hunter Douglas dealer, that specializes in JUST that – window coverings. Of course, there is a value associated with that difference and it is up to the consumer to educate themselves and make the best decision based on their needs. Perhaps it is a rental home or a home that is quickly being flipped in which case a blind that is inexpensive fits the bill perfectly. But if it is a home that will be loved and cared for, it is worth the time and investment to consider working with a window covering specialist. Here are some key factors to consider:
Quality & Longevity
Whether you are purchasing from an online vendor or “off the shelf” in a big box store, consider the working parts – is the headrail and operating systems within that headrail made of quality parts? Chances are likely that there are plastic pieces that will become brittle with time and break. Will the fabric rot quickly in the sun, or if it is a wood or plastic will it sag and break within a year or two? These inferior parts and pieces will become aggravating over time when you have to replace them within a year or two.
Safety & Motorization
Have you considered the safety of the blind? Child and pet safety is top of mind and legislation is becoming very strict for the window covering industry. Does the inexpensive blind have proper chain guides or cord cleats for the cords? Are cordless options or motorized options available? Do you know what to look for to keep you children and pets safe? A Window Covering Specialist will be able to educate you and provide you with child safe options.
Standards & Sustainability
Do you know where the blind originated? Is it coming from overseas where legislation for lead is not in place? Can you be ensured that the blind does not contain lead or any other chemical that can be deemed very hazardous to your health? A window covering that is purchased from a local dealer will be able to offer you shades or blinds that are nationally produced and abide by the governing standards within your country. Quality blinds built right provide a greener, more sustainable solution, as they can last years longer than their cheaper counterparts that will need to be replaced more frequently, thereby causing more waste in your local landfill. Even with blinds, it pays to “think local”.
Warranties & Service
What happens when the blind fails? If you purchase from a big box store or online, chances are highly likely that there is NOT a warranty for the product. If a cord lock malfunctions or the slats bow your only option may be to purchase another blind. If you purchase from an independent window covering specialist they should offer you warranty service. For example, Hunter Douglas Canada offers a lifetime warranty on their products. Read more about their warranty on their website.
A blind that is picked up “off the shelf” will not fit the window to the exact standards that a window
covering specialist will provide. This will lead to longer blinds that may have a stack at the sill, blinds that are too narrow and leave huge light gaps at the side, or even blinds that are not even possible to install as the window is too large or too small, such as a narrow sidelight. This will lead to inconsistency and a room or home that will not flow with the window coverings.
These are just a few thoughts to consider when purchasing your window coverings. If you purchase inexpensive blinds, that is what you will receive – be ready to possibly replace them in a year or two when they malfunction or fall apart. Of course, they do have their place within the industry for those looking for a short term, “make do” solution.
However, a window covering specialist can save you money in the long run by avoiding the pitfalls of a cheap DIY solution. Your specialist may even provide you with a quote that is very competitive against a big box store, especially when you consider the advantages of professional consultation, installation and experience in providing the best product and service for the long term. If you are wishing to purchase a blind with longevity consider good quality and save the earth by purchasing once instead of multiple times.
For experience and knowledge about the right custom window covering solutions for your Cochrane & Calgary home, contact Kirstin today!