Blindster’s Frequently Asked Questions Part 2

Welcome to another edition of Blindster’s frequently asked questions. Although we strive to make the researching, comparison shopping, measuring, buying, and installation process as easy and efficient as possible for our customers, we know that many people still have questions about window treatments before and after making a purchase.

It’s our goal to make our customers as satisfied as possible with their purchasing decisions, and the best way to do that is to provide as much information about blinds and shades as we can.

To learn more about some of the most common questions and concerns our customer service representatives receive, or to just expand your knowledge of common window treatment types and terminology, check out the questions below:

 

1. What is the best way to remove blinds from a window?

Whether you’re replacing them or cleaning them, you will occasionally need to remove your blinds from your windows. Removing your blinds is an easy process that only requires a few tools and a few simple steps:

 

  • Raise your blinds all the way to the top

Raising the blinds makes them compact and much easier to handle and store away if you’re planning on replacing or selling them.

 

  • Remove your blinds from the brackets

Release the headrail of your blinds from the mounting brackets by pushing it out of the clips that are holding it in place. Check your installation manual to find the easiest and most effective way of completing this step to avoid accidentally damaging the headrail or mounting brackets.

 

  • Remove the mounting brackets from the wall, window frame, or other surface

Use a manual or electric screwdriver to detach the mounting brackets and any optional extension brackets from the mounting surface. You can also remove optional components, like hold down brackets and cord cleats, at this time.

 

2. How can I shorten a blinds cord?

By default, blinds cords are generally around half the length of the blind itself. If your cords are still long for your window or door, it’s possible to shorten them. To do so, completely lower the blind until it’s in a closed position. Then, untie the knots at the end of the cord and cut it to the desired length plus one additional inch. Use the remaining one inch of cord to feed through the tassel or cap and tie another knot to secure the cord.

 

3. How do I shorten mini blinds?

If your blinds are too long for your current window, or if you plan on moving them to a small window, you may want to shorten them for a better fit. Like shortening the lift cord, shortening your blinds is a relatively simple process that can be done in an hour or less by following these steps:

 

  • Release the string ladders

The first step to shortening your blinds is to release the string ladders on the bottom rail. Then, untie the knots of the lift cord inside the bottom rail on both sides of the blind.

 

  • Remove extra slats

After coming up with the ideal length for your blinds, remove the bottom rail and the number of slats necessary for the blinds to reach that length. Keep these slats in a safe location in case you ever move your blinds again and need to reinstall them for extra length. You can also use them to replace any broken slats in the future.

 

  • Replace the bottom rail and cut the extra string length

With the extra slats removed, slide the bottom rail back onto the string ladder and cut any extra lengths of string above the rung that hangs below the bottom rail. Then, insert each of the lift cords through the bottom rail hole and secure them by tying a knot. Finally, replace the bottom rail plugs to complete the shortening process.

 

4. What are cellular shades?

Cellular shades are a popular type of window covering that are made using pleated fabric that’s arranged to create honeycomb pockets or compartments that fold into themselves when the shade is raised and help provide extra insulation when the shade is lowered.

 

Cellular shades are available with varying layers of honeycomb pockets, and the more layers a shade features, the more insulation and energy efficiency it provides. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of cellular shades, including premium light filtering, premium blackout, and deluxe cordless day/night shades.

 

5. What are cordless blinds?

As the name suggests, cordless blinds and shades are window treatments that can be operated without the use of a cord. Cordless blinds and shades are popular options because they’re easily operated by hand and provide a sleek and uniform appearance without the appearance of multiple cords located on every window. They’re also popular options for homeowners with small children or pets who worry about the potential hazards of blinds cords.

 

6. What are faux wood blinds made of?

Faux wood blinds are designed to look identical to real wood blinds, but often at a lower cost and with easier maintenance and easier cleaning. These blinds are manufactured using vinyl and vinyl compound materials, and some are manufactured using a combination of synthetic materials and real wood to provide an even more realistic look and feel.

 

7. What kind of shades should I purchase for a basement window?

Although they may receive slightly less sunlight than other windows in your home, your basement windows can be a source of unwanted heat and light. Before you purchase window treatments for your basement, it’s important to understand a few facts.

 

First, basements tend to have a higher humidity than other rooms in your home—and that can be bad for cellular shades and real wood blinds, as moisture can accumulate and damage the materials. Second, basement windows tend to attract large amounts of dirt and dust—especially if the basement itself is unfinished.

 

For basement window coverings that will be easy to clean and maintain, Blindster recommends faux wood blinds, roller shades, or blackout shades for the ultimate in light control, privacy, and insulation to protect your basement from heat and sunlight.

How Vertical Blinds Work

 

Vertical blinds are aptly named for their wide slats that hang vertically from the headrail at the top of your window. They are no longer the ugly, one-color-fits-all version from the

past; they now come in a wide variety of colors, fabrics and plastics to fit any décor.  Verticals are some of the most durable blinds you can furnish your windows with, so they are

perfect for doors or windows that see a lot of traffic. While the mechanisms that operate these blinds may seem complicated, they’re actually relatively simple to understand.

brown vertical

Vertical blinds’ mechanisms perform two basic functions, they either completely slide the blinds out of the way, stacking them in the corner, or they simply tilt the slats to allow more light to come through.

The first function is operated with a blind wand. The blind wand is typically a long, thin plastic or metal piece that is attached to the last slat on the blind. Each slat is attached to a sliding plastic piece that is inserted into the track that runs along the headrail.

By pulling on the blind wand to the right or left, you can move all of the slats at the same time to either open or close the blinds. The tilting mechanisms are either operated by turning the blind wand or by pulling on a separate cord that is attached to the headrail. The blind wand or cord is connected to a mechanism that causes the axle that runs along the headrail to turn. This axle is also attached to small gears that connect to each slat and as the axle turns, it twists the gears and opens or closes the slats to more light.

 

Fall Home Preparation Checklist

Although the weather is still warm throughout most of the country, things like Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy are already on display in grocery stores and supermarkets, and that can only mean one thing—fall is right around the corner (pumpkin everything is coming). The days are already getting shorter, and it won’t be long until there’s a slight chill in the air and football takes over the nation’s televisions on Saturdays and Sundays.

And while the seasonal transition from summer to fall may seem like it doesn’t require much more than packing away your flip-flops, shorts, and beach gear, truly optimizing your home and your life for the fall season can require a bit of planning and preparation. To save you some time and make the process as easy as possible, Blindster prepared this list of the top tasks to complete before the autumn equinox arrives on Sept. 23.

Check and clean your gutters

Although rainfall may be heavy in the summer depending on where you live, your gutters are unlikely to experience any major issues due to the overall lack of debris from nearby trees. But as fall approaches, it’s vital to clear out any potential blockages and make them as clean as possible before the autumn rains begin and the water mixes with falling leaves, sticks, pine cones, and other objects that can cause them to clog, leak, or even break.

Seal cracked pavement and asphalt

Small cracks lining your driveway, sidewalk, deck, or patio aren’t a major issue when the weather is nice and balmy outside, but as soon as it dips towards freezing, those cracks can grow and expand seemingly overnight. Walk the length of your outdoor area and check for any small or moderate-sized cracks and fill them in as soon as possible. A complete late-summer seal of your hard outdoor surfaces significantly reduces the chances of them becoming damaged during the fall or winter months.

Get your HVAC inspected

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—or, in the case of your HVAC unit, thousands of dollars in repairs. Even if your HVAC unit made it through the summer months with nary a hiccup, that doesn’t mean it’s going to handle winter weather with the same ease. Before you crank up the heat for the first time this fall or winter, schedule a quick inspection by a certified and experienced HVAC repair service. Allow the inspector to test the unit for any signs that the unit may be in danger of failing or for any components that need to be repaired or replaced.

Check and replace your window coverings

The fall and winter months are a great time to save money on your energy bill by letting the sun’s rays heat and light your home—and that’s best accomplished by installing the correct type of blinds or shades. Consider installing versatile shades like top-down/bottom-up varieties on windows where you need a mixture of natural light and privacy throughout the day, and install roller, blackout, or roman shades on windows where you need extra insulation from the cold air outside.

Schedule a plumbing and pipe inspection

In addition to protecting your gutters, HVAC, and paved areas, it’s also important to make sure your plumbing and pipes are ready for a potentially harsh fall and winter. Schedule an inspection to make sure none of them are in danger of suffering major damage if your region experiences frequent cold autumn or winter weather—particularly temperatures that drop well below freezing. Damaged pipes can burst during cold weather, which not only leaves you without water, but it can also force you to shell out thousands of dollars for repairs.

Get your closets and clothing ready for colder weather

During the spring and summer, your family’s coats, hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts tend to get buried, pushed around, or even misplaced in your closets, dressers, and chests. Take the time to securely pack away your beach gear and summer clothing and restock your closets with cold weather clothing. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the pockets of any pairs of pants or jackets from last winter—you may find a nice surprise in the form of some cold hard cash that was left behind months ago.

Buy a humidifier to prevent and treat dry skin and sore throats

Turning up the heat on your thermostat means more dry air to circulate through your home—and that dry air can cause flaky skin, dry eyes, sore throats, and even nose bleeds. If specific rooms in your home are especially dry or certain people in your family suffer from dry air symptoms, consider purchasing humidifiers and placing them in problem areas and specific bedrooms throughout your home. Humidifiers can make a big difference in the moisture content in the air by significantly increasing overall humidity to more comfortable levels, making air easier to breathe and reducing unpleasant dry air side effects.

Inspect and repair any problem areas on your roof

Much like your gutters and HVAC unit, your roof may have stood up to the summer heat admirably, but fall and winter weather is a different test entirely. The stretch from October to February can be brutal on your roof, as it may be subjected to everything from falling limbs and torrential downpours to heavy snowfall and freezing rain. Take the time to inspect your roof before fall arrives, and if you’re unsure of what to look for, hire a professional to do it for you. A quick repair during the late summer months may not be easy on your wallet, but it’s well worth the initial cost to avoid the possibility of a full roof failure during the winter months.

Reseal your windows and weatherproof your doors

The easiest route for cold air to get into your home is through small cracks in your windows and around your doors. That’s why it’s vital to take the time before fall arrives to reseal and re-caulk your windows. Blocking even small gaps in a single window make a big difference in sealing in warm air and keeping cold air out of your home. In addition, check any exterior doors in your home. If there are any large gaps between the floor and the bottom of the door, purchase a weather strip to help create a more air-tight seal.

Blindster’s Frequently Asked Questions Part 1

Got questions about buying new window coverings? We’ve got answers. At Blindster, we know that many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to buying blinds and shades.

So whether you’re confused about how a specific type of window treatment works, the best way to measure your windows before placing an order, or the pros and cons of specific types of blinds, you’re in the right place.

Check out our frequently asked questions below, and if you still have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives.

 

  • How do you get accurate window measurements before ordering blinds or shades?

Before you place an order with Blindster, it’s important that you have the most accurate measurements possible of the window or area you wish to cover.

 

For inside mounts, measure the height on the far left, middle, and far right of the window and note the largest measurement, as you’ll use it when placing your order. Then, measure the width at the top of the window frame where the headrail will be installed.

 

For outside mounts, measure the full width of the area you want to cover with the shade and, if space permits, add an extra 1” to 1 ½” to each side to eliminate light leakage. Measure the full height of the area you wish to cover with the shade and add 1 ½” to 2” to encompass the flat mounting surface area. Add additional inches to account for things like molding or framework that you wish to cover with the window covering.

 

  • What are blackout shades?

As the name implies, blackout shades are designed to literally “blackout” a room by blocking virtually all natural and artificial light from entering through the windows. When installed correctly, blackout shades can reduce up to 99% of light from entering a room.

 

That makes these shades perfect for home theaters, home offices, man caves, game rooms, bedrooms, and any room where you need the utmost privacy and control over glare and lighting. Blackout shades are also highly effective at insulating rooms and making them more energy efficient during the summer, as they reduce the effect of the sun’s hot rays when it comes to increasing ambient temperatures inside your home.

 

  • How do you buy blinds for windows?

Buying window blinds is a relatively simple process that requires making a few important decisions, such as:

 

  • Do you prefer blinds or shades?

Blinds and shades are both effective window coverings with their own pros and cons. Blinds are easily adjusted and can be opened to let in light without being raised. In addition, blinds are often preferable with certain types of décor and home stylings. Shades may be slightly less versatile and must be raised to let in light (or lowered for top-down/bottom-up varieties), but they offer a much greater variety of color and pattern to match furniture and other home design elements.

 

  • Do you want to install your blinds inside or outside of your window frame?

Inside installations are the most common method for hanging blinds. These installations involve mounting the headrail flush with the top of the window frame and the entire blind being contained within the window casing.

 

Outside installations involve mounting the headrail completely outside of the window frame on the wall, molding, or even the ceiling. This method is generally used when the window frame is too shallow for an inside mount or you wish to cover unattractive woodwork or molding around your window.

 

  • What type of blinds do you like?

Blindster offers a variety of blinds to fit every home, room, and window:

 

  • Faux wood blinds

Faux wood blinds provide the same elegant beauty of wood blinds, but cost less and are often easier to maintain. They’re made from a synthetic material that’s designed to look like real world, but far less prone to problems like cracking, warping, or splitting. In addition, they also hold up better in environments with high moisture or high humidity, such as homes near water or the ocean.

 

  • Wood blinds

If you’ll settle for nothing less than the genuine article, wood blinds are the way to go. No matter what type of décor or style you prefer in your home, wood blinds are the perfect complement. The natural construction, intricate wood grain patterns, and beautiful staining can turn any window in your home into a true showpiece.

 

  • Aluminum blinds

Low-profile and sleek, aluminum blinds are among the most practical window coverings we offer. Durable, stain-resistant, and built to hold up after years of use, aluminum blinds are both easy to operate and excellent at blocking out light. Aluminum blinds are exceptionally common in homes due to their versatility and durability, and they’re easily cleaned and maintained.

 

  • Vertical blinds

Perfect for sliding doors and large windows, vertical blinds have a unique and highly distinctive appearance that contribute to the ambience and mood in your home. Their large vinyl vanes are quick and easy to clean, and they’re easily operated using a simple wand. A quick twist of the wrist opens or closes the blinds, while pushing or pulling causes them to effortlessly glide along a heavy-duty track system designed to last for years and years.

 

  • What are the cheapest blinds to buy?

At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of window coverings that vary significantly in style, design, color, material, and price. If you’re looking to keep costs low, budget blinds may be your best bet.

 

Our 2” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds are our best-selling model of faux wood window coverings and provide an elegant look at an affordable price. Our aluminum blinds are another great option for budget-minded homeowners, with our Privacy Aluminum Blinds providing excellent security for your family and our Cordless Aluminum Blinds providing wand and cord-free operation.

 

  • What color roller shades work best at reducing sunlight?

Roller shades are among the most effective window treatments when it comes to eliminating outside light from entering your home. If you’re looking to maximize your roller shades’ ability to block out light while matching your interior décor, look for darker colors, dark green, grey, burgundy, and brown. Black, of course, provides the ultimate in light blocking functionality, and this color is perfect for home theaters, man caves, and home offices.

How Top Down Bottom Up Shades Work

Top down bottom up shades have become increasingly popular over the last view years because of their ability to provide a simple, customized lighting experience and their clean look. Top-down bottom-up shades can also be installed on a long row of windows and raised/lowered to different heights on the top and bottom, creating an interesting visual effect and dramatically changing the lighting in the room. Before committing to this type of shade for yourself, you may be wondering exactly how these window treatments work. Check out Blindster’s thorough explanation of top down bottom up shades:

Top down bottom up shades are operated using a simple cord mechanism and two top rails. The first rail is called the mounting rail, and it is attached to either the inside of your window or mounted outside, depending on your preference. The second rail, called the floating rail, clicks into the mounting rail and can be disengaged by pulling on the cord or the tab in cordless options.

floating rail

The top and the bottom of the shade operate independently, offering the most versatile lighting and privacy options. Corded top down bottom up shades have a cord on either side of the shade. One of the cords will bring the top down and the other will bring the bottom up.

To operate the top down function with a corded shaded, simply pull the correct cord (it could be on the right or left depending on your shade) towards the middle of the shade to unlock it from the mounting rail and then let the cord lift up until the floating rail reaches your desired level. When the floating rail comes away from the mounting rail if will expose strings inside the window. These are necessary on all top down bottom up shades to support the floating rail. To bring the shade back to the top, simply pull the same cord down until it clicks back into place in the mounting rail.

roman top down

The bottom up function operates like a regular shade, by pulling down on the correct cord to lift the bottom to your desired level. To bring the shade back down, pull the cord towards the middle of the shade to unlock it and then allow the cord to lift up.

cordless top down 2

A cordless shade has plastic tabs at the top and bottom of the shade. To operate the top down function, gently pull the tab down to release it from the mounting rail and stop when you reach your preferred placement. To bring it back to the top, just pull up on the tab and snap it back into the mounting rail. To lift the bottom of the shade up, pull up on the bottom tab. To replace, pull down on the tab.

cordless topdown

Browse our full selection of top down bottom up shades here.