WINDOW TREATMENTS: shades vs blinds

windows in connecticutChoosing the right window treatment for your ct replacement windows can be more challenging than you think.  Windows in Connecticut come in many shapes and sizes, and so do window treatments.  Once your window installation ct is complete, spend some time around your window to determine the primary purpose of your window treatment.  Window treatments serve several purposes: they can insulate temperature and sound, filter or block light, provide privacy, and add to the aesthetic of a room. When selecting window treatments, you should consider which function is most important to you based on the location of the window and the type of room it is in. Some window treatments are installed at the same time as your ct replacement windows.  Ask what is included in your window estimate in ct and what your options are for window treatments. 

 

BLINDS image via www.homeimprovementbasics.com

window installation ctWindow blinds are made out of overlapping slats of wood, vinyl, or plastic.  Blinds can be raised and lowered and the slats themselves can tilt up and down.

Light Control: Blinds are your best option for maximum light control because you can control how much light is transmitted (by tilting the slats) and how much of the window is transmitting it (by raising or lowering the blind.)  For instance, you could lower blinds on west-facing windows as the sun sets to block the direct rays, but keep the slats partially open and tilted upward to allow some natural light in.

Blinds will always transmit some light because they are a multi-piece system.  If you are looking for maximum light-blocking capabilities, for instance in a bedroom, you can use blinds in conjunction with curtains.  Sunblinds from Sunrise windows can easily be used in conjunction with curtains because the blinds lie between the panes of glass.

Privacy: Blinds are a great solution for places where you want both privacy and natural light. If you tilt the slats toward the closed position, people can't see in but light can come through. 

Insulation: Blinds are not the best option if insulation is a concern. In terms of energy efficiency, blinds do give you control over solar heat gain.  Opening blinds in the winter on a sunny day allows for some heat gain. Blinds can also reduce energy costs in the summer by blocking sun on west- and south-facing windows in ct. See our energy efficiency checklist for more information.

sunrise windowsMaintenance: Blinds are considered a 'low-maintenance' window treatment, but have you ever tried dusting them? The smaller the slats are, the harder it is.  Since they overlap it can be difficult to access the top of each slat.  One continuous swoop of the duster will not do the trick.  There is one type of blind that is legitimately low-maintenance (actually no-maintenance!): Sunblinds from Sunrise Windows are sealed between the panes of the glass so you never have to clean them.  Magnetic slides raise and lower the blind assembly and there is another button that controls the tilt of the slats.  Beyond cleaning convenience, the cordless feature is pretty nice!  Ask your ct home replacement windows installers & contractors about this option before your window installation ct

 

Views: When blinds are lowered your view will be somewhat limited, but the advantage is that you can always enjoy the view to some degree while controlling light.  If your ct replacement windows open to something beautiful, choose blinds with larger slats to minimize the portion that is blocked.

 

replacement windows ct

SHADES image via www.houzz.com

Shades come in many styles and materials. Different variations are optimized for different functions, but a general definition for 'shade' is: a continuous piece of fabric (whether its bamboo or cotton) that can be raised and lowered over a window to filter/block light.

Light Control: Shades allow you to control the portion of the window that is covered, but the amount of light the shade itself blocks is fixed.  The color, thickness, and material of the shade affect its opacity.  Thick dark shades are a great solution for bedroom windows in Connecticut.  Sheer shades transmit a soft filtered light while protecting furniture and fabrics from sun damage. There are many ways to increase the amount of natural light in your home while still blocking harsh sunlight.

Privacy: When opaque shades are closed, they provide excellent privacy, but when they are open, they don't provide any privacy at all.  One solution for rooms that require privacy is a bottom-up shade.  These are great for bathrooms because light can pass through the top of the window, but the bottom is blocked so no one can see you.  Sheer shades are great for ct windows in rooms where you want only partial privacy, like a dining room that faces the street.

Insulation: Shades can serve as an extra layer of insulation for CT windows.  Some shades even have cells that are designed specifically to trap air and insulate.  Placing shades over windows in Connecticut that face west or south can minimize heat gain in the summer.  In the winter, you can raise the shades on a sunny day to allow for solar heat gain and then close them at night to help trap that heat inside.

Maintenance: As far as shade maintenance goes, it really depends on the type of shade you choose.  Some shades can be dusted, some can be washed, some can be vacuumed, and others should be shaken out.  In general, shades don't collect as much dust as blinds because they don't have horizontal surface area, but since they are fabric they can stain and spot-cleaning is usually the only safe cleaning method.

Views: Sheer shades can provide a filtered, but unobstructed view.  If you are looking for a completely unobstructed view, choose shades that can fully retract into your replacement windows ct. 

Your ct home replacement windows installers & contractors recommend a system from Sunrise windows.  Sunrise windows manufactures custom, fully integrated frame and glass systems, and your window treatment can be fully integrated, too!