A Guide to Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds are among the most common window coverings found in homes and offices today. Attractive, cost effective, and easy-to-install, these blinds are a great addition that is flexible enough to fit the décor of any room. In fact, these window coverings can completely transform the look and style of your home, and may even stand out as the feature of a room. That being said, this guide to Venetian blinds will give you more information about the types of blinds available, their benefits, installation considerations, and even blind maintenance.
Types of Venetian Blinds
Typically, Venetian blinds are made from a number of materials including aluminum, wood, or some kind of plastic. Aluminum Venetians create a chic, sophisticated, contemporary style while also providing great durability. Aluminum blinds come in a wide range of colours and will match the design of any room.
Alternatively, wood blinds can be made from a wide range of woods including bamboo, oak, maple, or cherry. Wooden blinds typically provide a more classic style, but they are highly adaptable when it comes to décor. Wooden blinds are not only stylish, but affordable as well and they are becoming a much more popular choice for home window coverings.
Finally, Venetian blinds may also be constructed from PVC or other types of plastic. These are usually the most affordable type of blind, but they can still make an attractive addition to any room. Sometimes styled as faux wood while at other times more similar to the styles you'd find in aluminum blinds, plastic Venetian blinds are versatile and inexpensive.
Benefits of Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are an ideal choice for home- and business owners who want to increase their privacy, block out light, or even just change the style of a room. Because Venetian blinds give you more control over the amount of light entering a room, they are increasingly popular when compared to curtains or other window coverings. Moreover, because of the range of materials used to make Venetian blinds, these are really one of the most adaptable window coverings available.
In most cases, homeowners should feel confident installing window blinds on their own. If you are not a handy type, you may want to consider hiring a professional to install your blinds, but the following tips should help make self-installation a breeze:
  1. Always measure your windows in millimetres as most blind manufacturers advertise the size of blinds in millimetres.
  2. Decide whether you want to install your blinds as window face or recess. Window face blinds will cover the entire surface of the window, while window recess blinds are installed within the confines of the window frame.
  3. Face measurements should include the exact width that you'd like your blinds to cover. As a general rule, you'll want to allow an overlap of between 50 and 100mm from the window frame. Similarly, you'll want to measure the drop (or height) of your blinds depending on where you want the bottom of the blind positioned.
  4. Recess measurements should include the width of the recess from one side of the frame to the other. Brackets will be fitted on the inside of your window frame, so be sure to measure the width at least 3 points to ensure the window frame is uniform. Remove 10mm from each side to give you some flexibility in case there are any variations in your wall. Also, measure the drop (or height) of the window recess from top to bottom.
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Quality Blinds, Shutters, & Shades
Proudly Serving Southern California since 1994
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(951) 924-9435

Plantation Shutters

by John Gresh

Ask anyone who owns plantation shutters why they chose them over blinds, shades or draperies, and you will undoubtedly get a variety of reasons. They may point out their insulating qualities, ability to control light, how easy they are to clean, durability, flexibility in matching any décor, or the fact that they simply make the room look great. It is this versatility and the “wow” factor that has made Plantation shutters the most sought after window treatment of the past two decades.

The origin of these classic window coverings dates to the 19th century, when they were actually used in the harsh environment of tropical plantations. Now, they are used in almost any room in the home and lend themselves equally to both contemporary and traditional motifs.

Increasingly, consumers are seeing the financial benefits of owning plantation shutters. Most window coverings have a relatively short life cycle, since they wear out or are trend-oriented. Quality shutters, on the other hand, have a life cycle of 10 to 20 years and can also be repainted to make them look virtually new.
Perhaps the most interesting trend regarding shutters is that the real-estate industry has begun recognizing the value interior shutters add to a home. Home appraisers are likely to include shutters when evaluating a home— making them a real return on investment for owners.

For the consumer, the popularity of shutters has increased the available options in terms of materials, quality and price. The old axiom, “you get what you pay for,” usually applies. Buyers should do their homework and compare the quality of the construction as well as the professionalism and experience of the dealers and their installers. Good dealers will be happy to allow prior customers to speak for them, so if someone is reluctant to provide references: run.
For years, wood has been the material of choice in constructing shutters, and it still is. Hardwoods, such as basswood, poplar and alder have been the most common, given their light weight and resistance to warping and shrinkage. As for quality, you’ll want to compare the joints, thickness of the materials, and overall fit and finish. Matching your shutters to your trim is the key to achieving a truly custom look, so your dealer should provide custom-color matching at little or no charge.

While wood has been king, synthetic shutters are making a huge dent in the market. Their low maintenance, moisture resistance and energy efficiency have made them very popular with today’s consumer. The difference in materials used in synthetic shutters varies greatly and requires a little more investigation. Additional materials can range from hollow vinyl, to medium-density fibreboard wrapped with vinyl, to solid polymers. Bottom line: Vinyl shutters are generally a lower-price option and will have the look and feel of plastic. They are more likely to sag and yellow over time. The solid polymers, or extruded materials, are designed to look like wood. They can be custom painted and used in arches and other specialty shapes. Ideally, you would like to find dealers that offer both products so they can help you decide what will work best for your particular situation
John Gresh is the owner of Perfect Fit Custom Shutters in Gaithersburg

Blinds 4 Less
Quality Blinds, Shutters, & Shades
Proudly Serving Southern California since 1994
Free In-Home Shopping
(951) 924-9435