Most people don’t consider blinds and shades investments. They see their car, their house, and a few staple appliances as investments and will put down extra money to ensure quality and performance. When it comes to blinds, researching and purchasing them seems like an afterthought. Consumers don’t view them as an immediate necessity like they would a refrigerator or a lamp, so they fail to put their money towards quality.
So when do blinds become a necessity? How about when they block out that blinding morning sun or those annoying neighbors? Once you find a set of reliable shades that do just that, you, like most people, will wonder why you did not invest sooner. Not all blinds are created equal, so before you start your research, here are a few ways to tell the difference between expensive and inexpensive blinds.
Expensive blinds and shades are simply more durable in comparison to their inexpensive counterparts. Since expensive blinds are usually of higher quality material, they resist wear and tear from inside and outside forces that cheap blinds fall victim to.
Inside Forces- High-quality blinds can endure against children, pets, and house cleaning. If your blinds are cheap, on the other hand, you’ll fear for their survival every time you take a duster to them, or your dog jumps up on the window to lookout.
Outside Forces- While blinds remain safely inside your home, they are still exposed to the sun and heat that comes through the window and humidity that makes its way into the house. High-quality blinds might cost more, but they won’t succumb to the forces of nature like cheap blinds will. Paying the extra dollars will earn you blinds that can withstand the heat of dry climates and the humidity of coastal living.
Inexpensive blinds break easily and get chipped, making them expensive to upkeep in the long term. The blinds may have been a thrifty purchase, but the cost of mending and repainting them when they break sure won’t be. Whether it’s the shade fabric, cord, or lifting mechanism that breaks, these pieces are difficult to replace and sometimes require you to purchase a whole new set of shades.
Warranties- A note on high quality, durable blinds, and shades- they often come with a warranty of some sort. Therefore, the presence of a warranty can sometimes be a way to double-check quality when deciding between brands. Cheap brands know that their blinds and shades are not as sturdy as more expensive, better-made blinds, and they can’t afford to fix them every time they break.
3. Ease of Cleaning
Quality blinds can be easily cleaned. Do a quick swipe with the duster and you’re set. When it comes to bargain blinds, however, dust and grime will adhere to the surface more strongly, making them harder to clean and more likely to crack or break when you try to. You shouldn’t feel that your blinds are at risk every time you take a dust cloth to them, and you shouldn’t have to buy new blinds every time you want them to look white again. Spending a little more on blinds made from easy to clean materials will save you money and hassle down the road.
4. The Material
Expensive blinds also look better and last longer. Simply put, high-quality blinds look and act high quality. When differentiating between styles and materials, choose a design that will last. For example, aluminum blinds, although a bit pricier, resist rust and corrosion, so they maintain their shape and finish through the years. Steer clear of suspiciously inexpensive aluminum blinds, though — they will display the mistake you’ve made in buying them relatively quickly.
Also, consider the sun when deciding on materials. Blinds and shades do spend all day bathing in sunlight, after all. Cheap blinds will quickly turn yellow or discolored from all this sunlight. In comparison, more expensive blinds often have UV inhibitors to protect them from discoloration, so spending a few extra dollars can keep your shades looking fresh for longer.
5. The Fit
It seems like a no brainer, but blinds should fit their window frame — and fit it well. You can tell that blinds are inexpensive if they are small or too large for the window.
Too Small- Blinds or shades that are too small will leave gaps on the sides of the window frame. If there is more than a four-inch gap on either side of the frame, your blinds won’t provide the shade or privacy that you intend for them to. When in doubt, do the “stalker check:” walk outside your home and take a peek inside. If you can see inside your house while the blinds are closed, then everybody else can.
Too Large- On the other hand, if your shades are too large, they will fray on the sides. The sides of ill-fitting shades will wear down over time from grazing the frame every time you pull them up or down. Investing in expensive blinds will provide the desired privacy and shade without risk of damage.
On the topic of opening and closing your blinds, you should be able to navigate your blinds without difficulty if they are made well. Trouble lifting and tilting blinds and shades are a sign of low quality. Inexpensive blinds often contain internal lifting mechanisms that are too cheap or small to support wide or heavy blinds, which is why they take all your might to lift and end up crooked at the end.
The purpose of installing blinds is to be able to transition from open to closed. If you didn’t care about opening them, you would have boarded up your windows permanently. But since you aren’t a total hermit, you probably like to open them sometimes. With high-quality blinds, this should be easy to do. If you prefer your blinds completely hassle-free, invest in motorized blinds. You can open and close the blinds from a remote or through an application on your phone or computer making that shade you need completely effortless.
The issue of safety is particularly important if you have kids or pets roaming the house. Exposed cords are long and tangle easily, making them a safety hazard for children. Even without little ones, the cords are cumbersome. Motorized and cordless blinds and shades are a more seamless alternative, even if they cost extra.
When should you invest in expensive blinds? When you don’t want to replace them yearly due to breakage. Less than 16% of adults purchase window treatments yearly, so blinds should last 7-8 years without needing intensive repair or upkeep. It might be worthwhile to invest in quality blinds if you want to be part of the lucky 84% who don’t need to buy new blinds a year from now.