By Kirstin Sundgaard, B.A., CID
As a window covering specialist, I meet many different people from all walks of life. From a first home buyer to a mature couple downsizing, the quoting and purchasing process remains the same when looking at custom window coverings. I often hear the question that they are interested in looking at some window coverings and not sure what happens next. Let’s fill in the blanks!
So, you have made the decision to consider custom window coverings. You have either called directly or contacted me through the BlindInfusion.com website. Once you make contact, anticipate that I will return your call (if it goes to voicemail) within one business day.
If you have gone to my website, we will connect typically over email or I will call you directly. We will set up a time and day for us to meet and discuss your specific needs.
There are a few things as a window coverings client that you should consider. This will help our first meeting to go as smoothly as possible.
1. Light Control Is a Major Concern
First, you could consider how you want to control the light.
Take a walk through your space, through each room and get a general idea of how you want the light to be controlled. Make a quick list of all of the rooms that you are thinking of installing window coverings in.
Do you want to tilt louvres, like a wooden slat or shutter, or fabric vanes on a Silhouette? Or, would you prefer a custom shade to diffuse the light?
Some windows, and some rooms for that matter, are often overlooked due to our everyday lives and habits; other rooms, like the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms receive the most use and attention.
So, it is always recommended to walk through your entire living space to look specifically at each room’s use, privacy and light control concerns. We need to ensure that all window covering needs are met so the end result is tailored for your lifestyle and everyday use.
Light Control & Room Darkening
Additionally, which rooms and/or windows require room darkening? If it is a bedroom this is often a requirement. However, do you also need light control in a media room or home office? And how much light control do you need – are the light gaps on the sides okay if the fabric is opaque or would you prefer to have a track installed inside the window jambs to help eliminate the light seepage?
2. Choose Your Window Covering Products Carefully
Not all products are created equally or have the same functions. If you are looking for a top-down bottom-up option, which rooms would you like this in? Not all products have this function so it is important to consider this and mention as one of the first “wants” for your window blinds and shades.
Furthermore, Health Canada has mandated new window covering regulations. In the spring of 2022, we can no longer provide you with top-down bottom-up options. This will really change the window coverings in Calgary and homes across Canada in the years to come. Read more about Hunter Douglas Dealer Regulations and stay tuned to see what will be the safe alternative.
3. Automatic Blinds & Shades Options
Another consideration is how you want to operate your blinds and shades. Do you want the ultimate flexibility of “smart blinds” and having them motorized and on your devices? With this level of control, you can set up times of day and operate them while you are away. Your window coverings become a part of your home’s overall control system, helping to manage energy efficiency and light control, not to mention safety and privacy concerns.
If you are building a new home in Cochrane or Calgary, the best option is to have your windows wired to your panel so you can have your shades or blinds hardwired.
Not all of us have this option, so would you be okay with rechargeable battery packs or would you like a transformer or refillable battery packs? Another way to operate your shades is with a cordless system, which most products have. If your windows are too high to reach, you may like to consider the Hunter Douglas UltraGlide® system.
4. How Much Do Custom Window Coverings Cost?
Another major point to consider is your budget concerns. This may be a sensitive topic. However, if you know you the approximate value you would like to spend, it will help to determine the perfect window covering for your function, style and price point.
There are huge ranges in pricing in Calgary’s window covering market. Sometimes even a switch to a different manufacturer or fabric in a similar product line can help you meet your budget. This is a huge benefit of choosing a window treatment specialist who has the knowledge and experience of various brands and their offerings. I can help you find the best high quality options for your budget.
In addition, there are your “starter” price point products such as aluminum slats and Faux wood that will meet tighter budgets. Once we move onto Silhouettes, Pirouettes, Duettes (Cellular Shades), Shutters, remote control and automation features, it is important to understand that these are investments in your home and carry the higher end price tag.
Custom draperies, valances and side panels also fit into this higher price range so it is vital to communicate this to your window coverings specialist so they can show you something that fits your monetary range.
5. Professional Measurements & Project Quote
Now that we have chosen the right product, operating system and color or fabric, it is then my job as your consultant to take professional measurements based on the product chosen. Getting accurate information for your project is an important part of good customer service.
From here I will provide you with a formal quote that can be broken into different segments if you so choose. Sometimes it helps to compare products or to know the value of each area so you can piece options together to fit your needs.
6. Custom Blinds & Window Coverings Installation
Once you have received the quote and make a decision, I will then take excellent care of your order and arrange for professional installation upon their delivery. Blind Infusion’s professional installers take pride in their window covering installation and perform their jobs to high standards. In preparing for the installation, it is important to move anything from in front of the windows so they can have clear access to install each blind or shade.
It is important to me as your window covering specialist that this process from beginning to end is stress-free for you – that I earn your trust and confidence in your purchase whether small or large – every client is important to me!
Kirstin is Blind Infusion’s certified window treatment consultant and specialist, serving Cochrane & Calgary, Alberta. Contact her today to discuss your needs for custom blinds, shades, shutters and more!