Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category
Sunday, January 11th, 2015
Even though we are in the business of selling blinds, today’s blog will give you some tips about adding additional lifespan to your blinds. Our window coverings are quality products and always come with a Limited Lifetime warranty. By handling them with care and cleaning them regularly they certainly can stay crisp and beautiful longer. Here some additional tips by category:
Cellular shades are made of Polyester and are a strong quality product. The main thing that gets them looking old is discoloration from dust. Key is to dust them regularly or vacuum with a brush attachment with softer suction. Some of our brands like Comfortex even allow you to wash the shade. You can take their cellular shade and submerge it in a tub of water with a mild detergent. Make sure to take the fabric out of the metal components, and lay the shade afterwards flat to dry. Once the shade has dried it should be raised into the open position for the folds to fully take shape again. A properly maintained shade can look beautiful for years and years to come.
Silhouette Shades / Silhouette Blinds
We actually carry the Sheer Shades by Comfortex and Good Housekeeping that are like the Silhouettes. These delicate shades need to be cared for regularly to keep the dust from settling in the sheers. We recommend using a hair dryer for this. Make sure to use it on a COOL setting! The hot heat could melt and damage the sheer material. A hair dryer will also get little insects and particles when blown out to the sides. This will help to keep your shade look crisp and clean. A vacuum cleaner with brush attachment can be used as well.
Wood Blinds / Faux Wood Blinds
For wood blinds one of the most important tips we can give is to raise them properly. One of the first things to wear out on a wood or faux wood blind are the polyester strings. Due to the weight of the blind strings will wear and eventually tear from normal operation. The wider and heavier the blind, the more stress the strings are exposed to. However, when pulling the pull cords at the correct angle which is about 45 degrees inward towards the blind, it will eliminate most of the friction of the cord against the cordlock. Also, additional support when raising wide blinds by supporting the bottom rail with the other hand underneath the bottomrail, will take additional weight and stress off the cords and help the stings last longer.
Regular dusting and cleaning to keep a blind from looking dingy doesn’t hurt of course either.
Pleated Shades / Roman Shades
On fabric shades, simple regular dusting and vacuuming with attachment is about all that can be done. A quality product will stand the test of time and look beautiful just like that!
Mini Blinds/ Vertical Blinds
Same here, regular cleaning with the occasional bath is all that is needed. Besides that, keep in mind that not an entire blind has to be replaced, just because a couple of slats are bent. Simply replace the broken slats to keep your blind looking like new again. Measure routeholes and exact width and the manufacturer will be able to remake these parts without a hitch.
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Even though we like bold and different when it comes to design and décor, truth be told, some of the things we might love because they are different will not necessarily help when the time comes to put your house on the market. Here is a list of things that can be beautiful, but might be things to stay away from if you don’t stay in your home for very long:
- Broken Window Blinds
It happens… your wood blind has a couple of broken slats or the mini blind has a bent slat. Make sure to replace them, the room will appear much more groomed than having a symmetrical product like wood blinds become an eye sore because you didn’t have the slats replaced.
- Bold Colors On Your Walls
Whether it is an accent wall or an entire room, walls colored in strong bold paint are not for everyone. Even if it is quite inexpensive to cover up that strong burgundy or mustardy yellow wall, some people don’t want to bother with it. Most people prefer a house with neutral pleasing hues.
Twisted geometric lace, bold flowers or stripes… wallpaper is such a personal choice. It is easy to not match the taste of the next person possibly interested in your house. It can change the atmosphere of a room so much to where you just lost the next purchasers interest.
- Pet Utensils
Even though most of us lover our four legged friends, we often associate a house with pets as dirty. By leaving out pet paraphernalia, we suddenly smell the dog, look for dog hair and take an additional peek at the carpets for pet stains. Remove all pet related items from your home when showing it.
- Overly Crowded Landscaping
Yes, we enjoy a lush garden with lots of flowers, but when a garden is crowded with plants and bushes a potential buyer worries about the work that is required to maintain it. Focus on small islands that make a beautiful focal point in your garden and keep the rest clean and uncluttered with grass or rocks. A new homeowner might not have the green thump you have and avoid the work.
- Converted Garage
For most people the garage is the place to have your car safe guarded and store some additional tools. When you take this option away by converting a garage into a music room or office, you just eliminated a lot of potential buyers that can’t use this space any longer.
- Gold Fixtures
Even though the gold fixtures you loved go well with your style and décor, for most people they seem outdated and remind of the 80’s. It doesn’t cost much to exchange fixtures and door handles to a brushed brass or iron black to give them a more current look.
- Converted Bedroom
Make sure you can convert your office or game room back to its original purpose of a bedroom. Most people don’t like or can see past the conversion and are turned off when they walk your home.
Friday, September 19th, 2014
We often stress the importance of cordless window shades to keep your young children and four legged friends safe in your home. And while that is very important, today we want to talk about safety of your home and belongings while you are away. Instead of obsessing about the safety, by taking some precautions you will have added piece of mind.
First of all, take a few steps that will make your home appear as if you are home. You can do this by holding your mail and delivery of the newspaper. Having several newspapers in your front yard or a mailbox that is overflowing, you are practically advertising that you aren’t home. So why not invest 10 minutes and call to stop delivery during your time away? Another great way to show some mobility at your house is to have your blinds and shades operated during the day. With motorized window shades you can set a timer to raise them at a certain time of day and lower them again in the evening. While this feature is super convenient, it comes in very handy when leaving on vacation. Also having some of your exterior lights run on timers is a great idea to show some activity. No burglar likes lights, by having your backyard and front flooded with lights, it just adds an additional deterrent.
Now here is a big one. Many people are so excited when the time comes to take off on vacation, they twitter or post a status update that they are about to leave. You really don’t want to project your moves, the entire world doesn’t need to know that your home is about to be vacant for 10 days. Instead, let your closest friend know via text, it might just save you a big headache later on.
And once you have taken all precautions there are to take, let it go! Enjoy your time away from home and have a great time
Monday, September 15th, 2014
Ordering custom made window coverings online is a convenient and easy process. However, custom made also means that the product is made just for you and therefore cannot just be exchanged or returned. That’s why you want to make sure, you know exactly what it is you get. To ensure you will love your blinds, we offer samples… for FREE
Ordering swatches is easy. You simply go to the product you are interested in and find the available colors. Under each digital color image we have a link that says “Request Sample”. Here you click at it and another link pops up underneath “Sample Checkout”. You can add up to 10 items to your request. Once you follow the “Sample Checkout” link, add your shipping info, we arrange for you samples to be sent out. And voila, within a few days you have your cuttings delivered right to your door.
Especially for fabric shades, like cellular shades, roller shades and silhouette like shades; you want to be sure to hold them up in your window. A piece of fabric will look quite different in its color intensity when laying flat on a table, versus up against your window with light filtering through. Once light hits the fabric it appears much paler than with an opaque surface behind it. It also is a good idea to check fabrics or swatches during different times of day. A material can appear very different at night or when it’s overcast, compared to a sunny day.
For wood blinds and faux woods it is also important to make sure the stain compliments the furniture you already have. Woods by no means have to be all matchy matchy, but when they are intended to match but are off by their tone it can be a big fail.
So please, be encouraged, take the additional few days to wait for your samples and enjoy the color of your blinds or shades for a lifetime to come.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
Friday, July 11th, 2014
As 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.
Thursday, May 29th, 2014
It’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.
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
We 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!
Monday, April 21st, 2014
Tomorrow 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!
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…