How to choosing windows blinds? Having appeared with us not so long ago, this blinds managed to gain enormous popularity. Moreover, the blinds have much more options than conventional curtains and tulle. After all, thin curtains do not protect from the sun, and heavy and dense – they block air access and create pitch darkness in the room. And the blinds give uniform lighting. One of my friends forever regrets that on a small country terrace, all of whose windows are hung with light curtains, from every gust of wind the fabric rises and strives to either wrap its head or get into a bowl of soup.
So, all these problems would not have happened if blinds hung on the windows. Or, for example, take the kitchen. Gas workers and firefighters are strongly advised not to hang curtains near the stove: God forbid, light up! But what if you buy blinds in the kitchen? In my opinion, this is the way out. Only question: which are better?
Types windows blinds
As I was able to find out, the blinds are vertical, horizontal, roller (roller blinds) and protective (roller shutters).
The main element of all blinds (except for roller blinds) is slats. That is, strips of material (fabric, plastic, metal, wood). On vertical blinds they are located vertically, on horizontal, respectively, horizontally. The protective shutters of the shutters are connected in a continuous web wound on a shaft. Roller blinds are made according to the same principle, only from a single piece of fabric or small wooden slats.
Upon reflection, I decided: I like vertical blinds more. How are they arranged?
Vertical blinds consist of the following main “parts”:
- connecting chain,
- control chain and control rope.
Cornice – the bearing part to which slats fasten. Usually it is made of aluminum. Rarely, there are plastic cornices. I do not recommend purchasing them: they can bend under the weight of the lamellas, and the rotating parts inside can deform the plastic over time. As a result, the mechanism will jam.
Runners are devices that on one side cling to the cornice and move along it, and on the other they hang lamellas on them. It is the quality of the sliders that primarily determines the uninterrupted operation of the vertical blinds mechanism. As far as I managed to find out, runners are made only of plastic. But runners are different for runners. Even a tiny burr is capable of disrupting the smooth movement of the lamellas, and then the blinds will constantly jam, move with great difficulty and very soon can break down at all. So, when making an order at the company, with an addiction, interrogate the seller where the runners and other details of the blinds come from.
Weights are inserted into the lower part of the lamellas so that they do not swing from the wind and hang evenly.
Connecting chain – as the name implies, connects the lamellas below. As a rule, fabric slats are connected with a plastic chain through which the fishing line is drawn. Manufacturers claim that these chains are very strong. But this, of course, does not mean that they need to be ruthlessly pulled. Of course, I prefer metal “chains” (if only because dirt is not so noticeable on them and in general they are somehow more reliable). But they are mainly equipped with plastic and metal blinds. And besides, the metal makes the structure heavier and more expensive.
The same applies to the control chain, which hangs on the side of the cornice and rotates the slats 180 °. These chains are also mostly plastic (although they used to be made of metal too).
A large number of companies are engaged in the production of components for shutters, starting from Belarusian, Polish, Korean and ending with Israeli, German and Dutch. Israeli and Dutch products enjoy a good reputation. Although its price is naturally higher. But it’s not a sin to pay for quality. Therefore, when ordering blinds, ask where the components are made, and do not flatter yourself with cheap prices – the avaricious pays twice. But, as they explained to me, the quality of work of blinds depends only on 50% on the quality of parts and on 50% on the integrity of the company that collects the mechanism.
Let’s do the calculations
What is the average cost of vertical blinds? For example, fabric. Let’s take a window 1.8 m high and 1.5 m wide. Let’s say we decided to hang the blinds not inside the window opening, but like ordinary curtains, fixing them on the wall above the window. So, you need to add another 15 cm to the width and height so that they go beyond the edge of the window. Then:
the width of the product will be 1.5 + 2 x 0.15 = 1.8 m;
product height – 1.8 + 2 x 0.15 = 2.1 m;
total product area – 1.8 x 2.1 = 3.78 sq.m.
Choosing fabric blinds at an average price of $ 15 per sq.m, we get 15 x 3.78 = $ 56.7.
The work of the installer costs an average of 10 – 15% of the total price of the blinds, that is, in our case, about $ 7. True, there is a lower limit to the installation price. Whatever your small window and the cheapest material for lamellas, you will still be charged at least 150 – 200 rubles.
Total: the total cost of the blinds with the installation is 56.7 + 7 = $ 63.7.
Measurer’s services are usually free. But if you hang the blinds yourself, then the company gives a guarantee only on the product. And if the master installed the blinds, then the warranty period extends to the blinds and to the installation.
Slats of vertical blinds come in two sizes: (European) – 127 mm wide – and (American) – 89 mm.
Our advice: for large windows and as interior partitions, it is better to use blinds with wide slats, for small openings – with narrow ones.
Typically, the louvres of vertical blinds are made of fabric or plastic, less often – of wood or aluminum.
In our country, fabric blinds are most popular. Apparently, the matter is in habit and in love for all kinds of curtains and curtains. Fabric Slats are different in density, color, texture, but most often they are made of polyester – a durable material that practically does not fade in the sun and is easy to clean.
Adherents of all natural can recommend cotton slats. Just keep in mind that after several cleanings, the impregnation will gradually come off and the fabric may get hooked.
Slats fabrics on our market are produced in France, Belgium, Spain, USA, England, Poland, China, Ukraine and Belarus. Of course, domestic fabrics are cheaper than imported ones. But there were times when unscrupulous sellers gave cheap Chinese fabric for expensive French. In order to avoid such a forgery, I advise you to deal only with well-known companies that have long been working in the market, who will assume all obligations for warranty service.
When choosing between inexpensive non-woven materials (at $ 8 – 10 / sq.m) or exquisite jacquard with complex weaving of threads (at $ 20 – 40 / sq.m), one must pay attention to the density of the material.
Our advice. The higher the density of the fabric, the longer the lamella will retain its presentation: it does not deform, does not warp, and does not stretch.
Although the higher the density, the naturally higher the price. Non-woven material is cheaper than woven, but it does not tolerate moisture well and gets dirty more quickly. We must also take into account the fact that printed fabric is cheaper, but it burns out faster in the sun. If the pattern is woven on fabric (a variant of jacquard weave), it is more durable.
Where increased requirements for fire safety are imposed (for example, in the kitchen), it is best to hang blinds made of fiberglass, which does not burn in the fire, but as if is sintered, does not smoke and does not emit harmful substances. Glass fabric does not need to be treated with dust-repellent impregnations, unlike ordinary fabrics, which are necessarily coated with moisture-proof and anti-static compounds at the production stage (this, however, does not apply to the cheapest materials – at $ 5 / m2).
The main advantage of plastic blinds: they do not bend (to all winds in spite) and keep their shape well, unlike fabric blinds. But the disadvantages of plastic blinds are directly dependent on the price. The cheapest (at $ 14 per sq.m) are rather fragile and not very resistant to temperature extremes: under the bright rays of the sun, they heat up and begin to turn yellow. Blinds made of good quality plastic are devoid of these disadvantages, but they cost from $ 20 / sq.m. Usually they are bought in offices, and houses are hung in the kitchen or on glazed loggias. Such blinds are perfectly cleaned and do not accumulate static electricity.
This is a rather expensive pleasure ($ 66-130 per sq.m). But they have many advantages: the material is natural, environmentally friendly, durable. As a rule, these are strong light wood species (Canadian linden, cork), processed using special technology. The vertical slat of wooden blinds consists of many thin strips of wood connected by threads to the canvas. It is very easy to take care of these blinds – just vacuum it.
They are found on sale quite rarely: they are used mainly in industrial premises. These blinds are easy to care for, not exposed to sunlight, covered with heat-resistant enamel. True, they say that even with a slight wind they rattle (clatter). And this, you see, is not for everyone like. The price is about $ 30 per sq.m with a lamella width of 89 mm.
What to consider when buying?
Before you buy blinds in general and vertical blinds in particular, you need to decide how exactly you will hang them. There are several options.
- Option one: the blinds are mounted in the window opening.
In this case, the room seems larger, but the window sill will be occupied by lamellas and your favorite flowers will have to be moved to another place – after all, the lamellas must rotate freely.
- Option two: the blinds are lapped.
Most often – to the wall above the window (like a curtain rod for ordinary curtains) or to the ceiling.
Then the window opening is closed entirely and the flowers on the window can be left.
In any case, before buying, we advise you to carefully look to see if flower pots (and other (foreign objects) on the windowsills) will interfere with the opening and closing of the blinds and the rotation of the lamellas (window sill, batteries, etc.).
And further. The most important thing – when ordering blinds, correctly calculate their so-called overall dimensions. How to do it?
The first one. If you decide to hang the blinds inside the window opening, subtract two inches from the height of the opening so that the lamellas do not lie on the windowsill.
The second one. If you want to attach the blinds to the wall above the window, it is better that they are slightly wider and go beyond the window border by fifteen centimeters.
The third. The distance between the floor and the blinds must be at least 5 cm.
And one more important question that needs to be decided before making an order – in which direction will the blinds open and close? There are four options for moving lamellas when closing blinds:
- The lamellas move in the opposite direction to the control rope;
- The lamellas move towards the control rope;
- The lamellas are scattered in both directions from the center
- The lamellas come to the center.
And keep in mind: the right choice is dictated not only by your tastes and preferences, but also by <production necessity>. For example, be sure to pay attention to whether the assembled lamellas will not interfere when you want to open the window.
Well, these recommendations are perhaps the most important thing to choose the right vertical blinds. Having decided on the size, installation and opening options, you can order. The lead time depends on the volume and complexity of the work. But on average it takes a day.
Common mistakes when ordering blinds
- The most common mistake, or rather negligence, is when people confuse width with height. This happens if a person takes measurements on his own.
- Another rather “popular” mistake: a person wants to hang the blinds inside the window opening, but forgets to subtract 1.5 – 2 cm from the height of the opening. As a result, the curtain rod simply does not enter there, and alteration entails additional difficulties and expenses.
- Therefore, we advise you not to refuse to leave a specialist at home. A professional will correctly take the sizes, tell you which blinds are better to choose, and then install them. In this case, he is fully responsible for his work during the entire warranty period, and you only accept it.
Windows blinds care
How to maintain blinds “in shape”? How to make them serve for a long time and look perfect? The easiest way to look after plastic and metal blinds. It is enough to periodically wipe them with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water or powder, and metal ones can even be rubbed with a brush. Wooden blinds are wiped with a rag and vacuum cleaned. The threads with which the wooden parts are fastened are treated with dust and moisture repellent impregnation, so they even do not care for cleaning with a washing vacuum cleaner. For fiberglass blinds, only dry cleaning is suitable.
The hardest thing to take care of fabric blinds. But inevitably in about a year (it all depends on the quality of the impregnation and on where they hang) they will have to be cleaned. If you decide to get down to business on your own, the flag is in your hands. First you need to remove the lower chain and remove the weights, then remove the lamellas themselves from the runners. This procedure is similar to how curtains are usually removed from hooks. Each lamella is twisted into a roll (in order to better maintain its shape, you can tie the lamella into gauze) and dip it in soapy water or water with powder. In no case do not rub the lamellas, but let them just lie down. After the mud has receded uh, the lamellas are taken out and hung still wet. Under their weight and weight, they straighten and dry. If the fabric is not very high quality, thin, then after such a procedure it can stretch along the edges and lose shape. Therefore, when buying fabric blinds, do not chase the cheapness.
One company told me such a story. When they were just starting to work, a lady came to them and bought light, thin, fabric blinds. Summing up nothing, the sellers advised her to wash them when they get dirty. A year later, she removed the lamellas from the cornice and, without removing the weights and other plastic parts, washed in a washing machine. After such a barbaric procedure, looking at the lamellas was just painful – they warped and completely lost their shape. Now, a sample of each fabric lamella of the company employees is necessarily experimentally washed manually, dried, and see what happens to it. To know exactly how it will look after washing.
However, this procedure seemed to me very complicated and time-consuming. I reasoned this way: if fabric blinds are so popular, then there must probably be firms that professionally clean them. I had to sit down on the phone. Almost everywhere I called, they heard something about these companies. They said to me: yes, there really are such companies and some of the customers even used their services, but no one could name either phones or addresses. And yet I was lucky. I found. Two firms. True, the first immediately warned that they were engaged in cleaning blinds on an industrial scale.
If the area of the blinds in your office is more than 30 square meters, then a team of brave masters with chemicals and special equipment will come to you and quickly clean everything. The cost of this service is 40 rubles per square meter. The second company carries out individual orders. On call, a person arrives, removes the blinds, takes them away and returns clean two days later. Price – 2 $ per sq.m. I liked this option more. At least you don’t have to breathe any nasty things. But alas, I was bitterly disappointed. It turned out that the minimum area of fabric that the company will clean is no less than 25 square meters! Naturally, my window area is much smaller. How to be As I was hinted, there is a way out. You pay $ 50 – and at least 1 meter will be cleaned for you. So decide what you prefer – do laundry yourself or part with a fifty.
Cheap is never good
As a rule, the component parts of the blinds are made of plastic. With the exception of cornices (which are mainly made of aluminum), the inside of the weights and the bottom chain of plastic and metal blinds.
The quality of parts varies from company to company, and the operation of the whole mechanism depends on it in many ways. Along with foreign companies that have specialized in the manufacture of components for blinds for many years, many domestic companies have set up their own production facilities. Indeed, making stamped plastic elements is quite simple, and the price is much lower than that of imported ones. But alas, quality often leaves much to be desired.
How to understand whether you have a good mechanism or not? It is necessary to check how the blinds “behave” when the finished order is brought to you. If the details are of high quality, the runners do not creak when cornering, do not jam, the slats open and close smoothly. The smoother the longer the blinds will last. If something does not suit you, be sure to tell the master about it. He is obliged to either eliminate the defect on the spot, if possible, or redo your order.
Still, it is difficult for a layman to figure out if good details have been put in blinds or not. Therefore, for the sake of confidence, we advise you to place an order with a well-known company that has proven itself well. Such firms work with reliable suppliers of fabrics and components. And their specialists will serve you throughout the warranty period. Incidentally, it is different for different companies – from six months to 18 months.
Useful tips for windows blinds
Before moving the lamellas, they must be deployed perpendicular to the window. If this is not done, the mechanism will fail much faster.
When finding out the cost of blinds at the company, be sure to ask what is included in it. It is very likely that the low price is only the price of the lamellas themselves, and not a complete set of components (cornice, runners, weights, controls). So, for everything else you have to pay separately.
If something happened to the blinds (they do not close, the lamellas do not turn or stick), do not try to fix the problem yourself, do not pull the control rope with force. Better call the company where you bought the blinds. They will definitely tell you what to do. The less the situation is launched, the easier it is to fix it.
When choosing the material of the blinds, it is necessary to take into account in which room they will hang. Plastic blinds are best suited for the bathroom and kitchen – they are not afraid of moisture and are easy to clean. For the kitchen can also recommend blinds made of fiberglass, which does not support combustion. But for the living room or bedroom, fabric blinds are quite suitable, and even with some frills.
Exclusive windows blinds
Now that we know what materials vertical blinds are made of, how to care for them, how to measure correctly, we want something unusual. To make the room not only comfortable, but also beautiful, non-standard. There is something interesting here.
Firstly, curly plastic blinds. Their slats are made in the form of waves, zigzags, etc. The sun’s rays, refracting in these blinds, create bizarre combinations of light and shadow in the room. Secondly, multifactored blinds. They are done this way: on slats of one color, a pattern of lamellas of a different color and texture is applied. This creates the illusion of heavy curtains hanging over light curtains, and all you want. There are many options. For example, the fabric is glued to a plastic slat or the fabric is sewn to the fabric. Thirdly, recently appeared vertical blinds decorated with tulle. It also looks quite original.
If you are not a fan of newfangled tricks, you can limit yourself to installing a decorative cornice ($ 2 – 5 per linear meter). Usually it is made in white so that it harmonizes with the ceiling. But you can insert into it a strip of fabric of the same color as the lamella. For wooden blinds – respectively, and wooden cornices.
Another important detail. It turns out that blinds can be controlled not only by pulling the ropes. This simple process lends itself to automation. A mechanism with a motor is mounted on the curtain rod of the blinds, which responds to the signal coming from the remote control and fulfills the “instructions” of the owner. But for this you need to plan in advance, still at the repair stage, the outlet at the window. After all, the wires going through the whole room do not decorate the interior. If the electric drive is powered by batteries (accumulator), you will have to change or recharge them quite often. But the main thing is that this device will immediately increase the price of blinds several times. The cheapest remote control mechanism costs about $ 100. Therefore, I decided that it was easy for me to pull the rope.
In general, think for yourself, decide for yourself what to prefer: inexpensive curtains or luxurious lambrequins, simple blinds or figured multi-textured.