I’m the CEO of SelectBlinds, and a do-it-yourselfer on almost every home improvement project that I can get away with. My wife and I moved into our current house about one year ago. The house was built in 1980, and was in really good condition, but as far as we were concerned, there were quite a few things that we wanted to upgrade, including the window coverings. As I mentioned already, I am the CEO of SelectBlinds, so access to the latest and greatest was not a problem.
We covered all of the windows that needed to be covered, meaning the bedrooms, and the front facing windows. The beautiful view of the backyard was a big selling point, so we left the rear facing floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors bare, just like the people from whom we bought the house did.
We hung battery-powered motorized cell shades in the bedroom. I measured and installed them myself, and I have to admit, it was a fairly easy process, and when I was done, I had a feeling of accomplishment. The other windows were covered with roller shades, roman shades, and non-motorized, cordless honeycomb shades.
The price was not a big concern, but I was aware of the price, and was also aware of the fact that the shades were fairly priced, and they are all excellent quality products. I ordered them through our web site, just like any customer, and all of the blinds and shades that I ordered were delivered promptly, and without damage or issues. Overall a really positive experience. Go, SelectBlinds!
Fast forward to the present, which is mid-December, 2014. We live in Phoenix, and you might have heard that it gets a little warm in the summer. Those rear facing windows point to the north, so there is no direct sunlight on them, but, man, you can really feel the heat. So we decided that we were going to put solar shades on the windows and doors, and we were going to have them motorized. Battery powered is ok, but after using the ones in our bedroom for a year, and having to replace batteries in some of them, I decided that we were going to have these shades motorized, hard wired. I also decided that I was going to take this opportunity to experience a full-service design center, and have a “professional” take care of everything.
October 15th was the date of our first meeting with a Hunter Douglas full-service window coverings design center/dealer. The meeting went well. They brought out sample books of the types of products that we were considering, but surprisingly to me, the swatches were not even as good as the ones that we send out for free to any visitor to our site. Our swatches are bigger, and they are made in a way that it is easy to hold them up to your window to get a real good feel as to how they will look on your windows.
We had the dealer measure the windows, and knowing that I am “in the industry”, he was kind enough to work with the manufacturer, Hunter Douglas, in order to get me a discounted price. So there was a little delay in getting to the point where we said “GO”. The exact date was 10/31, and they confirmed the order on Nov 1st. I’ll skip the details, but December 16th they finally installed our shades.
Am I happy? I’m always happy! I don’t feel good about the in-home, Hunter Douglas design center dealer experience though. I spent a ton of money, got the shades in an unacceptable amount of time, and the results, well, I’ll let you decide.
Moral of this story? You don’t have to pay more for perceived quality. Just because something costs more doesn’t mean its quality will match its price.