High Price Does Not Mean High Quality – A Personal Experience from CEO, Al Silverberg

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.

Brand Name Window Blinds for your Home

Window coverings are purchased less often than a new car. When buying a new car you normally start with the brand. If you want a new Cadillac, you don’t go to a Chevrolet dealer. We all have some perception of what each car brand stands for. Window coverings have brands as well. But really, who knows what each brand stands for. I’m a 34-year-old man and I shopped for window coverings for the first time in my life just last week. What an eye-opening experience.

Brand Name Window Coverings

I’m not as savvy as a teenager when it comes to computers, but I know how to shop online. So to the home office went I, in search of the right window coverings for my new house. I found certain brands that I was familiar with like Levolor, but discovered that just like cars, these window blinds brands do not address all types of window coverings.

I cruised through several sites that sold national brands as well as their own brand. In most cases, their own brand was just a generic version with less features than the national brands that they also carried. All in all, those sites confused me more than anything.

I did visit one site, SelectBlinds.com, that carried only their own brand. At first I hesitated to dig deeply into their offerings because I never heard of SelectBlinds. There were a couple things about their website that brought me back a second time and then a third. First of all, they claim to be the most reviewed, highest rated brand on the Internet. Do a Google search for window blinds or window shades and you’ll see that the claim is true. They have more reviews than all of their competitors combined. So just for kicks I started putting together an order. Much to my surprise, they fulfilled every window covering need that I had.

 

Real Basswood wood blinds went into my home office. A faux wood blind covered a window in my garage. Honeycomb shades in a blackout fabric went into my bedroom. I’m a single guy now, but I was married, and have a little girl. So obviously I have a bedroom for her, and I found a Disney window shade for her room. Every single window covering that I ordered was comparable or better than any national brand, including Hunter Douglas, that I could find on any other site.

I was still not sure that I was going to buy from SelectBlinds, and had a couple questions regarding inside mount versus outside mount. So I called their customer care department. They answered the phone, they were courteous, they knew their stuff, and helped with the last couple of issues I was unclear on.

Buying blinds is not a fast endeavor. I had spent approximately 2 hours measuring, ordering, on the phone with customer service, and creating an account. So I figured what the heck, put in my Amex number, and placed my order.

All of the blinds showed up within two or three days of each other, and I hung them myself. All in all it was a really satisfying experience. In my opinion SelectBlinds.com is the number one brand of window coverings on the Internet. Come to my house and you’ll see why.

Which Window Covering Is Right For You?

Window coverings are really anything that covers your window. Most people think of window blinds or shades, plantation shutters, or even drapes. But the fact of the matter is that even an old sheet hanging over your window, is a window covering. I’m not advocating the use of old sheets to cover your windows; I’m just saying that your idea of what should be covering your window is not necessarily the only option.

Solar Shades vs. Wood Blinds

I recently changed the window coverings in my home office. Recently being this past weekend. I can save you reading the rest of this by telling you the end result. My wife was right. But you already knew that. The interesting thing about it is the details. My home office is a nice size room, and two of the walls face outside, and include 4 French doors each. And actually, two of the French doors are faux French doors. I had hung motorized lift solar shades on the windows. They had a handy remote, with which I used to raise them and lower them. The shades were beautiful, and although the privacy factor was less than 100%, they blocked harmful UV rays, and there was the “cool” factor. I mean any time anyone was over, I found the need to raise or lower the shades, and always got the desired response of “wow”.

So my really cool solar roller shades, due to the motorization, had some issues. Although these issues were not a deal killer for me, my wife pointed out the deficiencies in their operation. These shades never seemed to go up or down at the same speed. These window shades were battery operated, and it seemed like there was always one or two shades, out of the eight, that had to have the batteries replaced, which is no easy feat. Oh, and on two of the roller shades, I couldn’t get the battery case to fit behind the head rail, leaving the battery case exposed.

My thinking had been that the solar roller shades were the window covering that made the most sense for the room. Now that I have replaced them, I can easily see that my inclination towards window shades, specifically roller shades, and even more specifically solar shades, was not the best solution. So, I decided on the 1″ basswood, real wood blinds to cover the windows of my French doors, and faux French doors.

I love them! The solar shades provided limited privacy. The basswood blinds give total privacy. The solar shades blocked harmful UV rays, but only when they were in the lowered position. The 1” wood blinds have a tilt rod, and I can tilt against the rays of the sun, and still have the ability to clearly see out through the slats. The roller shades had motorization, which eliminates cords, and is really cool. The wood blinds, well, never mind. They do not have motorized lift, but they don’t have to be raised. Just tilt the slats where you want them. The wood blinds look amazing, and I have to admit that they actually enrich the look of the room.

Both the shades and the blinds are great window coverings, and they both can be found at www.selectblinds.com, where you can find all of your window covering needs.

Ready your Home for the Holidays

Update your blinds for Christmas

Do you have holiday guests staying with you this season?

If so, you probably are freaking out a little bit about making sure that your house is going to look as good as possible. And unless you have just redecorated, you know that there is some room for improvement. Well time is running out, and the things that you can do to ready your home for company, shrinks with every passing hour.

Window coverings. What a great idea! Transform your home with new window blinds and window shades and accomplish more than just impressing your company, which you will surely do. New window coverings are a good idea for several reasons. Please allow me to share some thoughts.

Window shades give the entire room a feeling of transformation. The visual impact of going from a horizontal blind, whether a real wood bind, mini blind, or faux wood blind, to a fabric shade, such as a Roman shade or honeycomb shade, is impactful.

Window blinds and shades are easy to change out. Each window covering can be replaced in a matter of minutes, and unlike new wallpaper or paint, changing the window coverings requires no prep work. Either one, paint or wallpaper, will require so much more time to prep than the required brackets being changed in order to hang new shades. Plus new paint will smell up your house for a period of time.

The visually pleasing impact and the ease of installation are enough in the way of reasons to make a change to your window coverings, but there is more. Energy efficiency will likely be better than your current situation, making the new window covering idea even more appealing. If you already have a fabric window shade installed, the impact might be negligible, but if you are going from a horizontal blind to a fabric shade, there will be a positive difference.

It all sounds good, right? I know what you’re thinking . Thanks for the tip, but it must be too late to order window fashions for delivery by Christmas. For the most part, this is true, but at SelectBlinds.com you can order with a guaranteed delivery by Christmas, or FREE!! So get those windows measured, jump on-line, and visit www.selectblinds.com.

Use Window Shades for Energy Efficiency

Double Cell Blackout Shades for Energy Efficiency

Window shades provide a certain level of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency, in the case of window shades, relates to two main benefits, which are summarized here, in the order of how they affect you.

Energy Efficient Window Shades

  1. Cover your window with an insulating window shade, and the first thing you will notice, when standing by the window, is that you are not feeling the weather outside. Honeycomb shades are good insulating window coverings, and the double cell honeycomb shades are better at insulating, than the single cell shades. The insulating benefit is realized in every season. The window shade, whether it’s a room darkening shade, or a blackout shade, will provide the insulating, energy efficiency, from both the heat and the cold.
  2. The second noticeable benefit of a window shade is true energy efficiency. To varying degrees, depending on the construction of the shade, your energy costs will be less than if you did not have a window shade covering that window. This is true even if your window is covered with a real wood blind. Window blinds are great, and I have several in my home, but a real basswood wood blind will be trumped in the insulation factor, by a cellular shade, every time.

Window shades offer benefits beyond energy efficiency, including privacy and light control. And for the record, a window blind is not the same thing as a window shade. Both are window coverings, but a shade is made of a fabric material, and a blind is made of a more solid material, like wood or faux wood, or even aluminum. Another characteristic of a window blind is that it will have slats. Horizontal blinds have horizontal slats, and vertical blinds have, well you know, vertical slats.

Winter is fast approaching, so if there are drafty areas in your home, that are originating at a window, now is a good time to consider changing your window covering for an energy efficient, insulating window shade.

Genie in a Bottle Themed Home Redesign Project

We finally updated our family room furniture. We have been in this house for nearly 3 years, and we had old furniture to begin with, so it was time, even though as the man of the house I could have probably been okay with the old stuff for the rest of my life.

Genie In a Bottle Living Room

I’ll admit that we did use a designer to help us, and they were great. The couch and chair are custom made, which this is the first time I’ve ever done that, and it was worth it. The theme, chosen by my wife, is Genie in a Bottle! Everything tied in with the Roman Shades and Cornices that we bought from SelectBlinds.com when we moved in.

My chair! I actually got to do a “Sit Test” on it before it was completed, to make sure the cushion was right for my cushion. And I love that rug, which we initially had some doubts about. Thank you SelectRugs.com

When we go out for dinner, I like to sit at a high top, or at the bar, so we put one in the house. This is where we eat, not at the dining room table.