The holidays are upon us and I’ve been getting a lot of questions on what to do before the in-laws arrive. If you are at a point where cleaning is possible then go for it. But if you’ve can clean until the cows come home and your mini blinds are still yellow from sun damage it time to think about new window treatments. And you can do this without spending thousands of dollars and still get them before Christmas.

First measure your windows. If you need tips on measuring please read the previous post for simple measuring tips.

Next head down to your local home improvement or home store where you can purchase blinds and have them cut the same day. Depending on the style you choose the sales associate can cut the width down while you wait. Popular styles that can be cut to size are 1″ mini blinds, 2″ plantation faux wood and real wood blinds, vertical blinds, cellular shades and roller shades. Here’s some pros’s and con’s about each style:

1″ mini blinds: one of the most inexpensive. You can chose from vinyl (light filtering) or aluminum (room darkening). The vinyl would be better for a home with kids and pets because if bent they bend back to there natural shape much better than aluminum. But the aluminum block out more light. 1″minis are also better for larger windows that you want to raise and lower the entire blind each day because they are lightweight. And wont warp as easily as heavier blinds. Generally in-stock they go up to 72″ wide by 72″ high.

Two foot plantation faux wood: one of the most popular types of blinds right now. They are reasonably priced and give you a better view of the outside when the blinds are tilted open. the larger sizes are not meant to be raised and lowered every day. Tilting them open and closed will extend the life of your blind by not putting so much pressure on the strings. They also won’t fade or warp due to sunlight and moisture. 2″ plantation wood blinds offer the same visual effect and should be treated the same with regard to opening and closing as the 2″ faux wood. The only difference is they are actual wood, appose to a pvc vinyl. Keep them out of moist windows and windows that are hit with heavy sunlight, as natural wood will fade. In-stock sizes will go up to 72″ wide and either 64″ high or 72″ depending on store.

Vertical blinds: the most common blind used on sliding glass doors. They are also commonly used on extremely wide or tall windows. These are easy to clean. In-stock options go up to 104″ wide by 96″ high.

Cellular shades: most in-stock options will be light filtering. These are nice soft fabric options. They are lightweight, perfect for larger windows you want to open and close daily, and have a small stack at the top of your window frame. And the max in-stock size is 72″ wide x 72″ high. These offer a cleaner modern look. Also, for actual cleaning advice, please see previous article on Window Treatment Recommendations And Cleaning Lampshades.

Roller shades: most stores will offer both light filtering (for just a little privacy) and room darkening (for daytime sleepers and nappers) vinyl. Choose the thickness that suits each room while still keeping the same style thru out the house. the light filtering fabrics are one of the most inexpensive type of shades you can purchase. These shades are also great for windows that have drapery, but you need a little more privacy or light blocking. Sizes will go up to 72″ w x 73″ high, depending on store and style.

A couple of things to remember here: most in-stock shades are only going to come in 2 colors, white and off-white. So if you are looking for a specific color you are either going to need to look into drapery or special order blinds. As a general rule, in-stock shades come in set lengths. Therefore most likely you will need to adjust the lengths of the blind yourself. This is an easy, yet tedious process to take on. If you don’t think you want to adjust them and you want something a little more tailored to your windows, I’d recommend special ordering your blinds. The cost will be a little more, but it might be worth it in the long run from a lack of hassle perspective.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Flooring Diva Blog!