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Limitations Of Window Blinds and Shades

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Being a company that sells window coverings, we usually talk about the benefits of our product lines. We point out what a product can do in your home and how it performs. Today however, we want to show what some of the limitations are regarding specific blind or shade categories. It is important to know what some of the draw backs might be in order to find that right product for you.

Sheer-Shades
Sheer Shades

Our popular Silhouette like shades are versatile as well as beautiful! But one should know that the light-filtering materials give privacy, however they aren’t as private as a cellular shade will be. The materials are delicate and very fine, so shadows and silhouettes of items can be seen outside. This might not be enough for some to feel comfortable in regards to privacy.
Another limitation could be seen in the room-darkening fabrics. Due to the construction of the shade, the vanes do not lay fully flat on top of each other, therefore creating little gaps. Those gabs allow light to be seeping in, which could be an issue to some. The longer the shade is, the more of an issue this could be.

cellular-shades
Cellular Shades

While fantastic insulators and available in a wide array of colors, cellular shades have either an up or down position. Like all shades there isn’t a partial opening. However, it can be somewhat compensated by getting the top down / bottom up feature, which allows to lower the upper half while enjoying privacy at the bottom.

roller-shades
Roller Shades

Roller Shades again can only be lowered or raised. A top down feature like in cellular or roman shades is not an option. While fabric selection and print offers are big, often fabrics do not have a neutral backing. When looking for uniformity towards the streetside, fabrics with a white backing have to be chosen.
Also, Roller shades have often a +1” deduction taken off the fabric. When ordering for narrow windows, this gap can be a lot and should be considered.

roman-shades
Roman Shades

Limitations here are very similar to cellular shades. In addition, many fabrics aren’t available in wider widths. Many don’t exceed 75”, so for a majority of windows not an issue.

wood-blinds
Wood Blinds

Wood blinds have the flexibility that they can be opened and closed while in the lowered position. Since they are made of a natural material, as the name states, wood can change its shape. Warpage over time can be an issue, especially on wider windows. Slight warpage is therefore not warrantied and normal. For the person that has the perfect eye and likes lines to be completely even, a faux wood product might be the better option.
Wood blinds are also heavy. While most people just open and close slats, one should be aware the raising wood blinds, especially larger ones, is a lot of weight to raise. It is hard on strings and cords and the wider the blind, should be supported by giving the bottom rail a lift by hand as well. Since wooden slats have a thicker slat, when the product is raised a quite large stack will be hanging in the window. For the person that wants an unobstructed view out this could be an issue.

faux
Faux Wood Blinds

Bowing slats like with wood blinds isn’t an issue here. However, like wood blinds, the weight of the blind is heavy and slats are thick. Also here stacking will occur when raising the blind, it should be supported underneath the bottomrail due to the weight of it.

5 Tips for Staying on Budget for Your Remodeling Project

Friday, July 11th, 2014

estimateAs exciting as a major home-remodeling project may be, it can also be a financially stressful situation. Drafting up and sticking to a budget is vital in order to ensure you will get the most bang for your buck, and it will increase the likelihood that you will be satisfied with the final product.

Sometimes, it seems difficult to stick to a certain plan that fits perfectly within a given budget. After all, many remodeling projects are meant to be smart long-term investments, so there’s definitely incentive to “go all out” with modern materials and designs, but spending more money than expected can transform an exciting time into one of uncertainty.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to replace your roof, remodel your kitchen or bathroom, or even give your windows a makeover with a specific window treatment involving blinds & shades, or window coverings, you will need to follow these very simple yet important tips for remodeling, which will afford you the opportunity to save money and set the stage for a successful renovation. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when planning and maintaining a remodeling budget:

1. Dedicate Plenty of Time to Planning

If you’re unsure about the details of your renovation, you almost certainly will wind up wasting money. In fact, small details can make a particular renovation a huge mistake. The wrong type of construction could actually compromise the infrastructure of a home. For example, a new roof that drains runoff water in the wrong spot could lead to costly property damage.

2. Discuss Plans & Budget with Your Contractor

Even after you’ve examined your goals, the costs and your financial abilities, it’s a wise idea to discuss, in detail, all aspects of the project with a contractor. An experienced, professional contractor will be able to provide more accurate price estimates.

The contractor also may be able to propose a more affordable means to achieve your goals. Perhaps you could use less-expensive materials, or maybe it’s wise to add or remove certain aspects of the renovation plans. Additionally, a contractor can give you reasonable expectations of the final product, which will help you decide if the project will provide a significant return on investment.

3. Low Budget? No Problem

Remodeling projects aren’t always luxuries; some parts of the house demand occasional maintenance or replacement—especially windows, roofs and doors. As such, renovation projects are sometimes unplanned, so the funds might not be there. If this is the case, it’s usually best to stick with more straightforward options during the planning and budgeting stages.

Remodeling with more of an aesthetic focus can always be done later, when it makes more financial sense to invest in such a project.

4. Repair or Replace?

Many homeowners end up spending more money on new installations rather than investing in a low-cost refurbishment. The same is true for the opposite; it’s far too often that homeowners expect to save money by refurbishing or repairing the home when, in fact, a new installation might be cheaper in the long-run.

5. Stick To The Plan

During a remodeling project, it’s sometimes tempting to find other jobs for the contractor. After all, why not knock out all these renovations at the same time?

Although these small tasks might seem like they’ll cost very little, that’s not always the case, and many projects just don’t pay off. For example, according to Usnews.com, a home-office renovation will provide less than a 50-percent return on average when the homeowner sells the property.

No matter what the goals are, sticking to a renovation plan and budget is the key to getting the most out of your remodel. Keep in mind the differences between luxury and necessary renovations, and develop the plan with an experienced contractor to ensure the best possible ROI.

 

About the Author:

Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement and strives to educate people about lifetime remodeling solutions such as metal roofing. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov.

Beat The June Price Increase!

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

price-increaseIt’s that time of year again where prices are going up on some products in the window covering industry. Comfortex Window Fashions usually has their increase June 1st, so now is the time to beat them.

Which products are affected?
One is a customer favorite. The Silhouette shades like product by Comfortex will have an increase of about 3%. All Shangri-La Sheer Shades in 2” and 3” vane size are included in this increase.

Pricing will also go up for Comfortex cellular shades. Also here all categories like the double honeycomb shades, ¾” and 3/8” single honeycomb shades are included.

These increases come from the manufacturers to offset rising manufacturing costs.
At Ace of Shades we always keep increases to a minimum and ensure that our pricing is competitive. That’s why we are giving a heads up; to make sure your money stays in your pocket.

The Danger Of Window Blind Cords

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

cordless shadesWe have written many blogs about it and included pointers about blind and shade safety features in even more blogs. After yet reading about another story where a young child lost its life because of dangling cords, we again find a reason to write about it and bring awareness to this issue.

Most people rarely think of blinds being a health hazard for their child, but in reality it is. Unfortunately it can be a health hazard and in the worst case a household item that can kill. Young curious children want to explore everything around them. What more interesting thing cords…

However, the window covering manufacturers have reacted to this health hazard and have come up with very smart solutions. So now it is all about bringing awareness to this issue and making a decision to replace one blind and one shade at a time in homes where children are present. Today honeycomb shades, pleated shades, roller and solar shades all come with cordless lifting system. Utilizing a little handle at the bottom rail will eliminate dangling cords. By pushing the bottom rail up or pulling down the shade is lowered and raised. Even blinds like wood blinds and faux wood blinds are now available with cordless lifting systems. When pairing them with tilt wands all potentially dangerous cords are eliminated.

We recommend replacing shades in the rooms where children spent most time first. This includes their bedrooms, game rooms or play areas. Having cordless shades in your home will not only make it safer for your children, but also for our beloved four-legged friends. We often put out promotions that offer cordless upgrades at no cost to you, so be on the lookout for them. We want you to enjoy a safe and beautiful home!

Earth Day

Monday, April 21st, 2014

EarthDayTomorrow on April 22nd is Earth Day, globally celebrated in over 192 countries. On Earth Day we honor the earth and the concept of peace.

Earth Day is about acknowledgement of all the gifts and wonders nature has to offer. It is also to acknowledge how fragile it is and realize that protecting our earth is essential. We all know that in reality we aren’t exactly gentle to our planet earth.  As a matter of fact the pollution that mankind creates is just staggering.

Dirty drinking waters kill children daily says a Unicef study.  14 billion lbs. of garbage are dumped into our oceans every year. People that live in areas with high air pollution have a much higher chance to die of lung cancer. A staggering 40% of our lakes in America are too polluted to swim in them or fish. Americans make up less than 5% of the world population but produce 30% of the world’s pollution. This list could actually go on as to what we create in waste and pollution, so let’s see about our steps we can take right at home to help mother earth:

  • Since we are in the window covering industry, we will bring up this point first: Let’s insulate our windows!! Cellular Shades are a great insulator saving energy all year around and keeping heating and cooling down.
  • Let’s turn off our lights, too often we leave lights on when we have long left a room.
  • Are you recycling? Let’s separate our garbage as much as we can. Most communities have now recycle service, let’s participate.
  • What about using less water? Such a precious recourse, but we keep over-using. If everyone scaled back 10%, what a difference we could make. I have personally stopped watering my lawn in the summer time – and we are talking Texas heat!!
  • Are you using re-usable shopping bags? I know I am, it’s so easy to do.
  • Turn down the heat, especially the water heater. A few degrees can make quite a difference, but you still will be just as warm taking your shower.
  • Go Solar! It isn’t a sensible solution for older homes, but for new homes in the right regions it could make all the sense in the world.
  • Carpooling, so many times we could ride together. Why not? You might enjoy socializing as an added bonus.

Of course there could be so many more things one can do. At the end of the day we should all put on our thinking caps and realize where we could cut down on waste, energy or pollution. We can make all the difference if everyone just puts in an effort. Happy Earth Day!

Spring Is Here – Let’s De-Clutter

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

walkin Even though today feels more like a fall day here in Texas, fog outside and misty rain, spring has sprung and trees are starting to bloom. This is the perfect time to get spring cleaning done and de-clutter our homes. Here are a few suggestions that will help get your homes ready:

  1. Our blinds and shades of course! They are dusted over and somewhat dull looking. Get out that vacuum cleaner, duster or even hairdryer (on a cool setting!!!) and get in the corners of every slat or in-between vanes. This will bring out the sheen in your wood blinds again and brighten your shades just a little bit.
  2. My windows definitely needed a deep cleaning! Dirty and no sparkle they needed a good washing from the inside and outside. It has given me a clear view outside again.
  3. Closets are a good place to de-clutter. I like to look what I haven’t worn in a long time or at all last summer. All of that will go into the donation pile. I like to group shirts by color refold and restack clothing and create some space for the new pieces that will be purchased this spring. My kids have grown out of many of their items. All of that will go to donations as well. Worn out, too small shoes… out they go.
  4. How about rearranging some decor? I have taken some pieces and moved them around to freshen up the look. It’s the time to get lighter pieces out, couple of brighter vases and put those dark oil paintings into the attic.
  5. This is also the perfect time to get the carpets steam cleaned. If you do-it-yourself or have someone come out, I always like to give it a deep clean at this time of year.
  6. For me this is also a good time to de-clutter small spaces like cabinets in the bathroom, medicine cabinet as well as the pantry. Throw out what is past the expiration date and organize by size and groups.

Getting these few things done might take most of a weekend, but it will make all the difference to start spring. Off to the yard…

Let’s make sure our children are safe!

Monday, October 1st, 2012

It’s October 1, and that means it’s National Window Coverings Safety Month! Being in the window covering industry, we unfortunately are well aware of accidents that happen every year due to window covering hazards. This is the perfect time to review some of the steps we can take to protect our children and keep them safe from harm.

Accident related to window coverings are always caused by dangling cords which post a serious choking hazard. Kids and cords simply don’t mix! Before 2001 window blinds and shades were manufactured without safety kits to protect our young children. Here are some steps we can take to make our homes safer and up to date:

  • Check your window shades for dangling or exposed  cords and retrofit the cords or replace them altogether with today’s safer blinds and shades.
  •  In nurseries or children’s bedrooms cribs, beds and furniture should be moved away from windows and window coverings with dangling chords, preferably to another wall.
  •  If you are in the process of purchasing new window coverings you should opt for cordless shades and blinds, especially in a young child’s bedroom or sleeping area. Most products depending on size are available with cordless lift options including cellular shades, roller shades as well as pleated shades. Even wood blinds can now be cordless when paired with a wand tilt.
  •  Window coverings installed before 2001 should preferably be replaced with newer and safer products.
  •  In case replacement of older shades isn’t an option, please keep all tasseled pull cords and continuous lift cords out of reach. Tasseled pull cords should be shortened or wound around out of reach cord cleats. You should also make sure that cord stops are properly installed and inner cords are adjusted to minimum movement.
  •  For window shades with continuous cord loop option, retrofit kits can be ordered to permanently anchor the loop inside the casing.

We hope these are some helpful tips when it comes to childproofing your home. To help promoting this very important cause we are offering free cordless upgrades on many of our products during Child Safety Month. Please refer to our home page to view cordless lift promotions or simply give us a call. Let’s keep our children safe!

NEW – Good Housekeeping Brand

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Good Housekeeping has launched their new window covering line!
And we carry it ;-)

Glad to announce, that Good Housekeeping is carrying their line of window coverings. And yes, it’ll have their seal of approval!! What does that mean for you? Products have been evaluated by the  Good Housekeeping Research Institute and that means they are backed with their Seal ;-)

So what products will this include? A wide range! Cellular shades as well as cellular insulating blinds, roman and roller shades, wood & faux wood blinds, sheers as well as solar shades. The range is wide, the patterns are beautiful and the array of colors is plentiful!

Ace of Shades is super excited to be part of this program. Browse our online selection today and look at the free samples that will help you to find the right color for you.

Reviewing 2011 Trends

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It went too fast! 2011 is over and a good year it has been. The window covering industry has experienced fun trends, and the good news is, some of them are here to stay. Who wants that trend, and based on that, purchased new window coverings, that are soon to be outdated? So what have we seen?

Our favorite trend: Energy efficient products. With government incentives in place and manufacturers cranking out products that will give serious insulation, we have had a tremendous amount of interest in this area. Cellular shades or honeycomb shades were here the main focus. The honeycomb design of the material traps air inside the cell and helps to lower electric bills, keep our houses cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Another trend were our eco-friendly products. Here the Woven Wood shades stand out. They are made out of all natural products like bamboos, reeds, or woods. The rustic look creates warmth  and comfort and a much more inviting atmosphere next to the industrial type mini blind or Polyester shades. Going back to nature couldn’t be more beautiful!

Another big hit were the Solar Shades, which combine sleek beauty, UV protection and heat reduction. Solar shades were huge this year. With more people asking to have a view out and enjoying an open design, this product helped to reduce damaging UV rays and cut heat. Functioning just like a Roller Shade, Solar materials are often made of PVC / Polyester blends, but are also offered in eco friendly materials. The look is very modern and fresh. A few years ago materials came only in standard industrial looking fabrics. This year new  textures and woven designs have been incorporated, giving Solar shades a new feel and appearance.

With trends and preferences always changing, we can’t wait to see what will come in 2012, but I am certain that energy efficient products, nature’s beauty and functionality are here to stay.

A Splash Of Color

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The winter months are here. Leaves are falling, grass is turning brown and overcast colder days make for a dull atmosphere inside our homes. We have all heard about the term “winter blues”. Fewer hours of sunlight, grey skies and dull colors get us into a subdued mood, some even get the winter blues.

So why not use a splash of color inside our homes? Any little bit can help here. Using light-filtering products that allow what little light we might have at this time of year to filter inside our homes along with some color. Great products for this are window shades. Cellular shades, which by the way give that additional insulation, roman and roller shades with light-filtering properties or Silhouette like shades. Any of these shades offer fabrics in a variety of patterns and most importantly color. A soothing blue, a happy yellow, a warm soothing orange can be a choice. Why not go for invigorating and energizing? It can off course also be soothing and calming, depending on what we want to achieve. Face is, coming into a room with inviting colors can most definitely be a mood changer.

Most often we want to go the “safe route” and get a window treatment in neutral color. Neutral color makes sense we believe, because we do not have to commit to a certain theme. But what a difference it makes to walk into a room that has a shade in a neutral off white or a vibrant blue or yellow. We encourage you, be a little daring, go for color. You deserve the effect you will get out of it!

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