Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
As every year, the time has come… Hunter Douglas does product and pricing updates in May or June. This year, it was the 5th of May that the new changes have taken affect. In this blog we’d like to briefly outline them and give an overview.
First the GREAT news!!!
No price increases. J The norm is to see a product price increase of about 5% – some products a little less, some a little more. We suppose, due to the economy and the challenges that have come along with that for the housing market and the related industries, the “base” prices for all product categories have not been raised this year.
A few increases however, which are minor, were added to the surcharges like honeycomb cellular lift system surcharges etc.
A GREAT change to point out: There have been some price DECREASES!! Yes, you have heard right: The best selling (and new) Applause honeycomb fabric, Sunterra collection, has had a price decrease of 15%. We have on our blog an entire article on the Sunterra line, which stands out for its nature inspired earthy colors and the great even dye tones they come in. With that, a new Sunterra blackout collection has been launched, which will also be priced 15% lower than the Casuelle or Legends fabric line. You will find that new Sunterra line as soon as Hunter Douglas makes samples to us available.
Another change to point out does not have to do with pricing. Hunter Douglas Duette lifting systems, continuous cord (EasyRise), cordless lift (LiteRise) and retractable cord (UltraGlide) now all offer the same headrail. Now we are talking consistency!! We will feature an entire article in the next few days, including pictures, illustrating that product change. They also made a number of changes to their existing fabrics and brought in some new ones. We will also post them as soon as they are available and post a blog along with it.
Another price DECREASE can be found in the Solar Shades line. The Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Roller Shades have all been lowered. Some just a bit, some considerably. Assuming that in the upcoming hot summer month they will enjoy such popularity as last year, this will be a great product to look at and save.
Wood blinds… on the Chalet wood blinds… another bargain. The Chancellor Valance, which used to have an additional charge, will be now free of charge. The 2 ½” Chalet Wood blinds, can now also be enjoyed with the LiteRise cordless lifting system. When this system is paired with a Wand Tilter – you have a blind free of cords, friendly enough for any household with children and pets.
There you go. This is the broad overview of our most popular products and their related changes. There are many more… but we don’t want to turn you into a window blind expert. We’ll leave that to us.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Comfortex Window Fashions has just announced their certification of the Comfortex ComforTrack insulating sidetrack system for the Federal Tax Credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
We all like saving money on taxes and energy bills. And now, the ComforTrack Plus Energy Saving Sidetrack Insulation System does exactly that. Homeowners qualify for a 30% tax credit up to a maximum of $1500.00 when they insulate their windows with the ComforTrack Plus Energy Saving Sidetrack System. With this system we are actually able to cut our energy and tax bill at the same time J
What exactly is this Sidetrack System? Comfortex cellular shades are great insulating products. However, on the right and left side to the shade there is this little gap. It’s a light gap, as well as an energy gap necessary to lower and raise your shade without it “brushing” up against the casing or frame. Well, this gap can be eliminated with the ComforTrack Plus system, which places a track on the right and left of your honeycomb shade, which will give you a barrier to drafts. They are available in white or brown and are UV stable removable sidetracks that attach to your window frame with magnets. They can be removed for cleaning when necessary.
ComforTrack Honeycomb shades with the ComforTrack Plus System provide a thermal performance rating up to 5 time better than single pane windows alone! For pricing and more information on the ComforTrack Plus System, please contact us or call, this feature is not yet available online.
Friday, April 10th, 2009
Any decorator or photographer can tell you, or even a real estate agent, what makes a room beautiful and makes it pleasing and desirable is a matter of light. And that is exactly what you can control and play with when choosing a window treatment for your home, designed to manage light.
A proper window covering can soften the bright light of noon. A light-filtering shade can welcome the early morning light while not sacrificing privacy. Entering ultraviolet rays can be screened to protect valuable fabrics, furniture and carpeting. When “playing” with light, one should consider the light source. Do you want to control an area that is flooded with daylight? Have absolute light control in a bedroom, where darkening might be required? While managing light, what is the degree of privacy, if any, needed for your specific living area? A proper window treatment can help to achieve any goal you might have when “decorating” with light.
Why is it so important to manage light? Because… light can lift you spirits. Light can reflect your mood or change it. It can energize, or calm. It can be soothing, glowing, subdue or dappled. Light can ease tension or create the mood you want when you want it.
Monday, April 6th, 2009
Wow, 70 years for Bali Blinds in the window covering industry and going stronger than ever! For 70 years Bali has been helping Do-It Yourselfers create window coverings that are perfect for their unique homes, matching their interior décor while filling every practical need.
Spring Window Fashions, the maker of the Bali-brand believes in the “best Experience” philosophy, a commitment to quality window treatments, and the very best customer service with no-hassle warranties to give every customer peace of mind. Today they have developed “green by Nature” business practices that include environmentally friendly material harvesting, high-recycling manufacturing facilities, energy-efficient window coverings and healthy-home window treatments that are tested for low volatile organic compound emission. Also recognized for innovation, Bali has just earned the 2009 Spring Product Innovation Award! So – congrats again Bali J
Regardless of what your practical or decorative needs might be, Bali is a great brand where easy solutions can be found. Offering free sample swatches to ensure that perfect color match, while offering great prices at a solid quality makes Bali a favorite in our online selection.
Celebrating along with Bali, we offer currently all products at a 10% discount and feature their great line in our featured items section.
Friday, March 27th, 2009
What a variety in colors! Comfortex has come out with new Basswood blinds, combining the warmth of premium basswood with proven performance of their operating system. Newports 2” blinds come in 36 colors – yes, the paint and stain offering is extensive! Many whites and off whites to match any trim or paint color; and a wide selection of warm stained finishes ranging from natural to oak and maple to mahogany.
Newport Woods are offered in 3 different slat sizes. The most popular 2” slat provides a classic look for any window. The smaller 1 3/8” slat is a great option for French doors or smaller size windows and the larger 2 3/8” slat size provides better visibility to the outside and is perfect for large windows.
These Wood blinds are offered at a great price point. Also a great value is the routeless feature, which is offered free of charge at this time. Newports blinds are available with the traditional routing system or the hole-less version to give added privacy and a sleek clean look free of routeholes. Also free of charge are the optional rounded slats, giving a softer appearance to each blind versus the standard rectangular corners.
Other optional upgrades include decorative cotton tapes, the cordless lift system for added child safety or our motorized tilt. And as to be expected, every product comes with a Limited Lifetime warranty for peace of mind J Please look for it on our website, we have just added it – and a SALE is right around the corner!
Monday, March 16th, 2009
When installing outside mount window blinds always remember to mount your brackets into a wall stud. Wall studs are typically 16” inches apart and are easy to find with a stud finder or even tapping on your walls and listening for the “hollow” noise. Drilling only into the drywall doesn’t support the blinds enough to keep them functioning correctly. If you are unable to find your wall studs, I would recommend using wall anchors to prevent the screws from pulling out of the wall. Find out what your walls are made out of, example- metal, wood, or concrete. Outside mount window blinds should be at least six inches wider than the width of your window to block the light that will be coming in from the open sides.
When installing 2” faux wood, real wood blinds or other horizontal blinds, install the box brackets using the screws provided, or if you have metal or concrete walls you need the proper screws to hang your blinds. The top rail of the window blinds should fit snuggly into the bracket. Close the bracket, hang your valance and you are done.
Installing vertical blinds are also very easy. Your window blinds will include L brackets and screws. An L bracket should be mounted to the rail at least ever 48“ for stability. Mount your L brackets into the wall using the proper screws and simply snap the railing into the bracket. You will hear a click and you will know that you have installed your blinds properly. Snap in the vertical vanes and you are finished.
Cellular Shades and pleated shades also come with l-shaped brackets, included in your order. The outer supports should be mounted no more than two inches from the ends of the rail and no more than 48” apart. If the width of your window is wider than 48”, you will have extra hardware included with your shades to support the middle of the rail.
Many times in order to clear your wood frame you will need extension brackets, to extend your shade far enough out from the wall to clear such trim. This hardware can be requested at the time of ordering and is free of charge J. Please remember, all detailed installation instruction come with your order, and most can also be found in our “How to Install” section our website.
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
Light blocking window shades can be grouped in two categories: blackout shades or room-darkening shades. A blackout shade does not filter ANY light (blocks it all); while a room-darkening shade will allow very little light inside the room.
Popular blackout shades are the cellular honeycomb shades with foil technology. The inside of the cell is lined with an aluminum liner, blocking all light. These shades are also fantastic insulators. Room darkening shades are usually found in the fabric shade category, like the roller shades or roman shades. These fabrics are blocking most light, darkening the room considerably, but are not necessarily a blackout shade. Also available in the pleated shades and woven woods shades are materials that are semi-opaque or light-filtering, but can be paired with a lining to achieve the room-darkening or blackout affect.
All light blocking window coverings help with insulation and protect your home from harmful UV rays. Any room that is stripped of light when the shade is lowered will help to keep a room cool during hot months. All cellular shades have an additional benefit in regards to insulation, trapping the hot or cold air inside the cell, helping to reduce your energy bill year around.
Light blocking window blinds should therefore be considered for rooms with entertainment systems, where unwanted glare needs to be reduced. They are a great and popular choice for bedrooms or any room where light needs to be controlled. They are a must for the sleepyhead waking up around noon on the weekend J
Friday, February 20th, 2009
The top down/bottom up is one of our most popular upgrades ordered on pleated shades adding versatility and functionality. Shades with standard lift only allow for the bottom to be lifted. The top down/ bottom up shades give you the control and the freedom to move your shade to cover or expose any part of your window you prefer. With this feature you don’t have the compromise privacy for natural light. While exposing the upper half of the window, you can keep your privacy by keeping the lower half covered.
This feature is especially popular with light-filtering or room-darkening materials. In bedrooms a blackout or darkening window shades are often used. During the day however, instead of needing to turn on electrical light, the upper half can be exposed without losing the necessary privacy on the bottom.
The way a top down bottom up shade works is with two cord controls (unless combined with the cordless feature). The right side cord lowers the top down, while the left side cord raises the bottom up or vice versa. This type of window shade utilizes an intermediate rail or “second” headrail. The top headrail is mounted to the top of the window, while the intermediate rail lowers down. All rails are connected with slim polyester cords. The polyester cord can vary from 2 to more cords depending on the width of the shade. Pricing for this feature varies depending on brand but is usually within the range of $25 – $50 and can be found as a “free” upgrade at times of a promotion J
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
When shopping for window blinds or shades there are two routes one can go. The ready-made blind / shade or the custom made product. There really could only be one single reason opting for a ready-made product. That would be price. Ready-mades are cheap, but also cheaply made L Usually available in discount chain stores or some department stores, the selection is small and sizes will be usually longer than most windows, in order to fit as many windows as possible.
Window casings generally do measure slightly different even if designed to be the “same” size. What does that mean when hanging ready-made products in these different size windows? They all fit differently with bigger and some smaller light gaps are often too long with the bottom of the shade bunched up, creating a sloppy ill-fitted look.
This is already giving us some clues about the benefits of custom made blinds and shades. Every custom blind will be fabricated after point of order, and cut to the nearest 1/8” inch. This ensures a clean tight fit in width and height so every window can be dressed and fitted correctly. By the way, we do not exactly impress either, when wearing clothes that are too tight or too baggy and long
Custom blinds have much better quality hardware, components, fabrics & materials; this translates into thicker more durable slats, better woven and designed fabrics, thicker materials and made to last cordlocks, tilt-mechanisms and so on. Also far superior is the range of products, colors, fabrics and materials, ensuring to find something for everyone’s taste and decor. A custom made shade always comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, usually for a limited lifetime.
When creating a comfortable and inviting living space around us, it is so important to create a harmonic and beautiful environment that we can enjoy, feel good about and that is pleasing to our senses. A quality window treatment will help to do just that.
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
For those of you who have small windows on either side of your front door know that providing privacy and cover for these windows can be tricky and hard to find. Many people do not realize the possibilities available for side windows and resort to sheers or leaving them bare, which will rob you of the often needed privacy in these areas. Another added benefit when covering the thin tall windows on the sides of your front door is the added insulation. Any window treatment will be better than none. When covering your front windows you should consider that all of the window coverings in the front of your house could esthetically match. You don’t want the front of your house to expose three or four different window treatments, which will take away from the outside appearance.
Today, you can easily find custom window blinds or shades for your sidelights. Depending on brand, you can find cellular shades that are made with a width as small as 6” and they provide privacy while still illuminating a soft glow in the room from behind the shade. Hunter Douglas goes even down to 4”, however, this shade wouldn’t be operable. On narrow windows like this you are limited to the standard cord lift option; therefore a cordless lift or retractable cord will not be available. Also wood blinds or faux wood window blinds (for example Hunter Douglas’) can be made as small as 6”. This narrow blind would be made with a center tilt only up to 11”, at which width a tilt AND lift is possible. Same thing with the aluminum mini blinds. Many of the Roller and Roman Shades are starting at 12” or 16” in minimum width and are therefore usually not ideal for most entry-door windows.
Please keep in mind that different manufacturers have different minimum widths and heights, therefore, contact us anytime for specific product information on any window treatment you might be interested in.