Which Blinds Are Best for Warmth?

You'd never want to live in a home without windows - they provide natural light and sometimes stunning vistas too. That being said, windows are also responsible for as much as 50 per cent of heat loss from the typical home. Installing double-glazed windows can help ameliorate this problem, but a decent set of blinds can also offer better insulation. Indeed, investing in new blinds is effective and also much more economical than new windows when it comes to improving the insulation of your home. So which blinds are best for warmth?

Before we discuss blinds, let's try to understand the two basic types of insulation. Reflective insulation refers to insulation that is lined with a heat and cold reflecting material, while bulk insulation refers to the use of a thick material that prevents hot and cold air from entering your home. The insulation used in most buildings utilizes a combination of reflective and bulk insulation; and while you probably don't want to use this kind of material as a window covering, the principles of insulating blinds are the same.

Honeycomb blinds are among the most popular blinds used to provide better insulation. In the past decade or so, these blinds are increasingly common in homes, especially as home owners are becoming more concerned and aware about environmental issues. Honeycomb blinds are available in a wide range of styles and colours, so you'll be able to find the perfect fit for your home.

Honeycomb, or cellular blinds are designed specifically to protect against heat loss, and they are made from air-pocketed honeycomb-like material. You can get single-cell honeycomb blinds which are effective in protecting against cold, or duel cell blinds which offer excellent insulation in the winter and summer months. You can also get blackout blinds which insulate while also blocking out light. And finally, light filtering blinds are useful for controlling the amount of light that enters a room, and can help you control the warmth of a room when the sun is shining.

In addition to these types of blinds, there are even reflective blind styles that prevent heating or cooling. Roman blinds, rolling blinds, and more contemporary blind styles can be constructed using reflective material so you can better insulate your windows. You should even consider the materials blinds are made from as this can impact insulation. For example, timber blinds have natural insulating properties, while metal blinds do not. Cedar is an especially good insulator because it is light and porous. Alternatively, consider combining your blinds with heavy fabrics for better heat and sound insulation.

Remember to choose blinds that serve not only the function of a room, but also your personal style. There are many great options for insulating blinds, so you should never have to compromise your design preferences.

Please visit Arlene's Interiors for more information regarding blinds in Vancouver.
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Window Treatments on a Budget

Shopping on a tight window treatments budget.
When it comes down to it, a window that has not been furnished is simply not complete. Not only does it not look good, but will also fail to provide any functions like privacy, temperature control, sun filtration and simply looking good. The feel and appeal of a room can change significantly dependent upon the type of window treatments you have chosen. After all, the right curtain, blind or shutter could put the finishing touch on a room that really brings it all together.

But as you may know or are about to find out window treatments can be that last piece of the puzzle that never quite got included in the budget or by the time you get there other projects have sucked up the available funds. However, we strongly believe that you can still make your windows look great even when working to a tight window treatments budget. You just need to know all the window treatment options that are available and the tips and tricks that can save you money while not compromising the look and feel you are trying to create.

How to set your window treatments budget.
Like the rest of the building or renovation project you need to start with a rough idea about how much money you can set aside for your window treatments budget. Each individual will have a different idea about what they would want to spend. If you can set a limit to start with then you will have less chance of going over that once you start shopping. Then it's a matter of researching and talking to your local window treatment expert to see if you can achieve the look you are after within the budget you have decided upon.
If you have no idea about what window treatments might cost then most stores should be more than willing to quote off your plans or measurements you provide them. You can ask them to quote based on a middle of the range price point. This will give you a great indication of what you can expect when you finally decide on the specific curtain, blind, shutter or other window treatment.
If you already have a set price per meter then when you are looking at samples you will easily have the ability to asses whether the product is within your budget or not. This helps to avoid the disappointment of finding the perfect fabric or blind only to find out that it is over double what you might be able to afford.
Which window treatments should I consider?

If you are working to a tighter window treatments budget then you might want to steer clear of shutters. Alternatively you could look at using shutters as more of a feature on a couple of windows in your house. Having said this shutters are becoming increasingly more affordable. There are some great man made wood alternatives that provide a great look and finish, that when stood side by side a full painted wooden shutter are hard to tell apart. These shutters are often a lot better value for money given the method of production. Talk to your window treatment expert to see if there is a shutter solution that will suit your budget.

Vertical Blinds, Aluminium Venetians and Roller Blinds can all provide an effective window treatment solution at an affordable rate. Each of these options provide a different look and feel while assisting with privacy, temperature control and sun filtration. Often there may be a specific range or lower priced option that while lacking the colour range, functions or specific finish can still provide a viable alternative. It is important to note that while buying the entry level ranges may suit your budget they need to be suitable for the specific purpose and amount of use they may receive. It is important to talk about the limitations of such products with your window treatment expert.
If you are working to a tight window treatment budget then wanting Cedar Venetians may not be plausible. There are however plenty of alternatives to choose from. The first would be Basswood blinds. Basswood is a fast growing but light and strong wood that is a great alternative for cedar. It enables you to have the look for a fraction of the price. Likewise there are man made alternatives that offer the wood look for a fraction of the price. As above it is important to ensure the use of the blind matches the specifications. This will help you avoid a costly mistake that will see you having to replace a blind within a much shorter space of time.

Readymade Curtains
If you want the soft look of curtains then making your own is a great way to keep within a budget. This is not as hard as it sounds and there are many great websites that can teach you the techniques and walk you through making your own curtains. If making your own curtains is not for you then the best way to achieve a great look result is to explore all the different fabric options available to you.
Mass produced readymade curtains are a cost effective option that can provide you with the look and feel of drapes at a fraction of the cost. They come in set sizes and lengths so it is important to make sure you can get a hold of readymades in the correct size for your windows. Curtains that are not correctly fitted or are to small or big for your window can severely detract from the look you are trying to achieve.

Custom Made Curtains
There are 1000's of fabrics to choose from when looking at custom made curtains and roman blinds for your property. Often some the best looking fabrics are some of the most inexpensive. Fabrics can range from as low as $10 per meter up to as much as $200 per meter. Dependent upon the type of look and feel you want there are often many options.
Curtain fabrics like anything in fashion have a limited lifespan. Talk to your window treatment expert about end of line specials and deals. These are fabrics that are no longer going to be made. However, if there is enough stock remaining then you can often buy them at a much better price then the recommended retail price.

Thermal backed or Softblock fabrics offer an alternative from a traditional curtain fabric. Thermal or blaockout coated fabrics do not require a separate lining and softblock fabrics, while advisable to line can be used as a stand alone curtain without separate lining. This saves you money because the cost to make the curtain is lower and you are not required to pay for a separate lining. Thermal backed fabrics and softblocks will hang slightly different to a traditional lined curtain so it would be a great idea to check if your local window treatments expert has a sample of each hanging in their showroom for you to have a look at.
Staggering your window treatments payments.
While your window treatments retailer may not directly advertise an interest free payment period it never hurts to ask. Often you might find they will be able to offer you some terms for payment. Therefore helping you achieve the look you want with out the financial strain of having to invest all at the same time.
Key points when working to a budget.
  1. Set a budget before you start looking for window treatments.
  2. Explore all the options - often you can get the same look at a better price.
  3. Mix and match - create a statement in your lounge and go simple in your bedrooms or vice versa.
  4. Investigate the option of staggering payments with your retailer.

If you want to talk to Curtain Design about your home and your window treatments then please feel free to call 07 846 9277.
Written by Jamie Smith
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Blinds 4 Less
Quality Blinds, Shutters, & Shades
Proudly Serving Southern California since 1994
Free In-Home Shopping
(951) 924-9435