Shopping For Vertical Blinds

With so many different window blinds and shades on the market today, it’s not always easy to choose the one that’s best for your home.   It is my goal to help you select the best window covering for your home based on my industry experience of 27 years.  By explaining each product available in detail it should help you choose the right window covering for any given application.  That’s right I said, help you choose! Decorating windows is much the same as choosing a flavor of ice cream no one flavor fits all so, when it comes down to selecting the right window blinds and shades for your home the decision must be yours.  I am here to provide the information that you will need to make an informed decision, the biggest mistake you can make is to let some one else choose what they think is right for you.  This article will focus mainly on buying Vertical Blinds and, the many options and features that set them apart from other window coverings.

Vertical blinds have been around since the 1960’s but it took until the early 1980’s for Vertical Blinds to really become a staple in the home of American consumers.  When Vertical Blinds were first introduced they were very limited in the type of materials used and, colors and textures were very limited.  Today, Vertical Blinds are available in three materials PVC, Aluminum and Fabric louvers and endless amounts of textures and colors.  In addition to the available textures and colors the mechanism that operates the vertical blinds has evolved as well, this is called the vertical blind track or headrail. Vertical Blind tracks are usually made from extruded aluminum or steel and come with many options including motorization.  The reason vertical blinds are one of the most popular window treatments on the market today is the many different functions that they perform.  Not only are they beautiful to look at but, they are also one of the most functional window coverings available.

Why are Vertical Blinds So Popular?  Well, for one they are the most versatile window blinds and, can be used on just about any window in the home including sliding glass doors.  Because vertical blinds are made with vertically hanging vanes or louvers the blinds can be adjusted for varying degrees of privacy and light control.  By rotating the louvers closed your blinds will provide 100% privacy and light control depending on the louver material selected.  For those who prefer a more open look at the window you can make the blinds stack to the left, stack to the right or split in the center.  This will allow your window to be exposed for open viewing. Because vertical blinds can be stacked left or right they are still the best choice for covering sliding glass doors (patio doors).  By stacking the louvers the same way the door opens your door opening will be clear of any obstructions when walking in and out.  Vertical blinds are also the most cost effective window covering for sliding glass doors.

When choosing a vertical blind vane material there are many things to consider, opacity, composition (PVC or Fabric), color, texture.  Opacity is the amount of light that passes through the louvers when they are closed. As a general rule, most Fabrics are Semi-Opaque meaning that some light will pass through even when the louvers are closed; PVC (plastic) on the other hand is usually opaque and will darken the room when closed.  There are many different fabric and PVC textures from which to choose, no one texture fits all.  PVC has become the most popular vane material because it is easy to clean and the patterns and textures resemble the soft look and feel of fabric.  Fabric louvers are still used in areas of the home that require a “softer look” and offer many unique textures.  Fabric is not as easily cleaned as PVC but typically has a life span of 10 to 15 years depending on conditions. Aluminum vertical blinds are very rarely used any more but may still be used in very specialized applications.  Most vertical blinds offer an optional Valance to cover the headrail (track); it is my recommendation to always add this valance to your order unless you have your own valance that will fit properly over the vertical blind headrail.

Vertical Blind tracks are not all the same, some are constructed of aluminum and some from steel.  I would recommend an aluminum track when ever possible; aluminum will withstand any humid conditions with out the risk of rusting.  The steel tracks are usually a bit less expensive but do have a tendency to flex and bend more than aluminum tracks. That being said, always choose an aluminum extrusion over steel.  The mechanics of the vertical blind tracks vary; some have a mechanism called a “clutch” that will realign the louvers if they accidentally go out of synchronization.  This is another option I highly recommend because the number one problem experienced with vertical blinds is the louvers going out of synchronization.  Last but not least the spacing of the track needs to be even and the best way to achieve this is with a pantograph gear (a.k.a. scissor gear) this will allow the vanes to be spaced evenly and not bunch up on the ends.  I know all of this must sound like rocket science to some of you, but I am here to make your job easier so the next time you purchase a Vertical Blind visit as all of their tracks will be guaranteed to meet or exceed these specifications.  If you have a window that is in a hard to reach area then motorized vertical blinds may be the answer.  Motorized Vertical blinds are available with battery powered tracks that can be operated with a hand held remote control or wall switch.

As you can see vertical blinds are very versatile and will fit most home decors.  If you are in search of a window covering that offers as much function as it does beauty then Vertical Blinds may be right for you.  As you can see there are many different options when shopping for vertical blinds and there is no one size fits all with custom made vertical blinds.  When Vertical Blinds are custom made to YOUR specifications you will love what they can do you and your windows.

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