Window treatments

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I have a new house with blank windows. I have never added window treatments myself. Is it an easy task to measure, order, and install by ones self or should a service be used instead. What is a good place to buy them at? Some tell me spending big money on window treatments is a waste of resources. I welcome any ideas or experienced stories.
Dave
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walk or bike or drive around and look at houses, then ask the people who, what, where and how....
DS wrote:

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I went on the parade of homes tour hoping to get some ideas, but I discovered that model homes do not worry about full function window treatments. All of them including a $525k home used a facade on the windows, no full blinds, curtains or drapes. I just want to add that this board is the best one out there. I always get so many good, analytical minds with ideas and suggestions! Is there anyplace on line that might have some pictures?
Dave

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Most decorator homes these days don't use draperies at all, just short treatments at the top of the windows.

self
at?
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Most model homes only use top treatments.
There has been a return to full window treatments in the last two years I have installed more full draperies in the last two years than in the previous 10 years combined.
Been doing this 20 years.
--
Colbyt
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You mentioned that you'd like to see some pictures, and I found that www.smithandnoble.com has some good ones. They do all kinds of window coverings but you have to measure and hang them. I haven't purchased from them, but I've used their web site to look at costs and they will also send you samples. Plus they have a catalog that they will send you on request.
I've been a homeowner for almost 30 years, and I've always found window treatments to be a challenge. So continue getting input and at some point, you will figure out what you like as well as what makes sense for the type of windows you have and your environment.
I also used a decorator when I moved into my second home. She saved me a lot of money at the time, both in avoiding mistakes and in the actual treatments. I was lucky finding her as she was just starting out and we got along well. The treatments have to be 'you', not the decorator. A good one will determine what is 'you' and recommend accordingly.
Myrna
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Thanks everyone! I got lots of help here. I have J.C. pennies coming in next weekend for a quote from their decorating service. It's funny, a lot of my single guys like me tell me to just go with the cheap plastic ones and hang them yourself. I know just enough about decorating to understand that I have no talent for it, so that approach concerns me. I am told that Home Depot has a service, but I do not believe it involves decorating. Maybe hiring a real decorator for the whole house at once is the way to go??
Dave

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DS wrote:

I have no idea what the price is now, but 20 yrs ago I had Hunter-Douglas Duette honeycomb shades installed throughout my house [except for living room & dining room vertical blinds], and have been very satisfied with them.
I added no other window treatments, because they insulated the windows very well here in the south. Only now that the house has *settled* do I feel the need to add draperies. Living in MN though, you probably will need some drapes as well.
If you have any interest in HD shades or blinds, here is a link to their web site which has pictures:
http://www.hunterdouglas.com/hdg_product_detail.jsp?id=6
Any major department store near you should have free design advice, and many types of window treatments available. I'd shop for that place that will install for you, for a reasonable price. I haven't regretted my decision.
Barbara
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I have to second the Hunter-Douglas rec. I have them installed in two homes, on in FL, one in MA, and they have been wonderful -- the difference in electricity (energy loss) in both homes has been amazing. Also, I haven't had a single problem with them in the 2/7 years I've had them. Empire installed them, and they did a great job. They aren't cheap (neither empire, nor Hunter Douglas), but after years, I am content that I got my money's worth.
Donna
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DS wrote:

I forgot to mention Hunter-Douglas has an interactive photo gallery, where you can choose various rooms with the products of your choice:
http://www.hunterdouglas.com/index.jsp
bj

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What kind of window treatments are you thinking of? Curtains? Miniblinds? Honey-comb blinds? Vertical blinds? What is your budget? Are you wanting window treatments for decoration, privacy, energy loss, or any combination of the above? A few more details would be very helpful.
Donna
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I would like to have something that would provide privacy, look good, and if they can provide insulation that would be great. I live in MN where we get both extremes for weather. Blinds are appealing to me, maybe with curtains to boot. My budget is limited to about $1k. I had someone come in and the estimated me $2400 for wooden blinds and one vertical to cover the sliding glass door. That was more than I was expecting.
Dave

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DS wrote:

There are ready made curtains and yard goods with "insulated" backing, which is a rubbery feeling application. I had drapes from JC Penney years ago with this for cold climate on window with aluminum frame and no storms. It did a good job of insulating, but any heavy, tightly woven fabric probably would work.
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2400 doesn't sound unreasonable for high-quality, installed honeycomb shades. If you are looking to save some money, you could try the ready-made blinds and curtains from country curtains. Try these?
http://www.countrycurtains.com/jump.jsp?itemType=GATEWAY&itemID 7
Donna
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treatments
Remember the sticker shock the last time you bought a car?
You are about to experience it again.
Gives us some idea of what you want and we can comment.
I have some measuring information at www.lexkyweb.com/windows/
--
Colbyt
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I agree with the others since you need to know more about what you want to do in order to know if you can do it yourself. Some treatments are easy to hang if you are handy. Others are more work. You should probably ask folks in your neighborhood who they've used and whether they'd use them again. Once you decide what you want, you can get estimates from any vendors that have been recommended. In the past, I ordered pleated shades from American Blinds and Wallpaper and I was very satisfied. They now charge for samples so I'm not sure I'd buy from them again. Samples are a must.
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Myrna wrote:

Their samples are $5 and they refund the money on your purchase. Hardly a deal breaker.
R
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As people have said, you need to boil it down to what you (and other occupants?) want. To do that, IMHO, you need professional advice.
Whoever told you that "spending big money on window treatments is a waste of time" is out to lunch.
What do they mean by "big money" anyway? That's too vague.
Window treatments can make or break rooms!
It's definitely worth getting advice from an good interior decorator, if you can find one who's on the same wavelength as you (and other occupants). They know how stuff is going to look on the windows, as opposed to looking in a catalog or at samples.
Sometimes stores that sell window treatments will offer free or discounted interior decorator advice. As in all such transactions, need to keep your head on your shoulders and don't go for something you'll regret.
Shop around. Ask your friends whom they used.
Remember: penny wise, pound foolish.
Good luck!
Aspasia
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Some people at work have told me it's not worth spending good money on a professional installer that comes out and takes a look, checks some measurements and installs. Of course, I have never seen the inside of the homes of these people for cheap window treatments. They quote prices of doing windows for $60 a pop themselves. Big money to them was $1200 to $1500 so I mentally prepared myself for that. I have had a quote for wood blinds and one vertical at $2400 installed from a vendor that only does windows. He even had pictures of some restaurants and other businesses they did. They would even put up temporary covering till my stuff comes in. I have a town home with one sliding glass door and five other windows I want covered. He suggested leaving the two other high windows in the two story living room blank. he told me most people don't cover those and I should think about those maybe after adding other furniture or decor before worrying about them.
Dave

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DS wrote:

You can spend an arm and a leg on window treatments, but can save a heap of money by doing it yourself. We are in the process of shopping around to cover one window 95" wide and two triple sliders which are 11' each. The 95 window will have a bamboo rod - $25. A mfg. rod for draw drapes would be $125 or more. About $25 for wood rings, about $100 for 60" wide cotton fabric, a few more for inexpensive lining. You can get simple metal rods that take "clip" rings - can then just hang a straight, flat panel of fabric if you don't mind the open/close method of not pulling a string to do it.
If you have small windows, it it much easier to find inexpensive curtains or drapes. Mini blinds can be had for not much money. We bought mini blinds for another 95" window, don't recall cost, but the installation was a little tricky because brackets aren't simple "slide in" type.
Box stores have a lot of the gear; shop there at least to get ideas. "Woven woods", like bamboo, can be had for low prices. Can see through them, but someone handy with sewing could put a lining on the outside for privacy.
I bought plain muslin - $3 yard? - stencilled design on it to make curtains for kitchen. Stencil $20, paint about $6. Roman shades are nice, relatively easy to make, but not easy to take down to clean. Magazines about window treatment give some good tips - can even use pvc pipe to make rods that will be covered by the curtain.
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