I ordered four of these solar blinds, 5% openness factor, spent $2240, and overall I'm happy with a few notable exceptions. (I was originally going to go with The Shade Store, but they were about twice as expensive, and wireless shade technology is new to me, and one of my shades is really big, so I wanted to proceed with caution until I know they work well. If a super polished look is critical to your aesthetic, and you need to see and feel fabric and parts before you purchase, and you have the budget, consider The Shade Store or another premium shade vendor.) These SB solar shades will give you a higher end look, but as you read below, there are some compromises that come with that value pricing.) They are nice overall, with clean lines. I was looking for something sleek, that would look good without a valance. I ordered the metal bracket upgrade for $30/unit, which made the bracket better looking, but is only a snap on metal skin with otherwise plastic showing parts, so definitely a part that the manufacturer is going a little cheap on. I suggested to SelectBlinds that customers likely would not mind paying for this upgrade, but there should be value with the upgrade, or a lower charge for the metal skin. $30 for a $5 metal skin part seems quite a reach. The aluminum bar that is used to weight the bottom of the blinds is a problem, if you have a light colored material and select 5% openness. The loser weave allows you to see through the fabric a little (maintaining some of the view) but also allows you to see what is inside the bottom rail pocket. The manufacturer does not appear to clean, polish or otherwise coat the bar so that it has a uniform color, for shades that will allow this see through effect. If you have darker colored fabric, or a tighter weave, this likely shouldn't be an issue. But with my bright white 5% shades, those scratches, dirt and/or other imperfections show through the material on all the blinds, and make the bottom of the shades look a little dirty in places. There are a couple locations where it is especially noticeable. Using a powder coated aluminum that matches the shade material, instead of raw, would be a cheap and easy fix, for lighter colored blinds. The bottom pocket comes sealed at the edges however, so you can't fix the problem yourself. I told SelectBlinds about this problem, they suggested in an email that I was seeing an "optical illusion". I sent them pictures of the "optical illusion" three weeks ago, haven't heard back. As for the controller, I ordered a hub, to use in my smart home. I received a remote control instead, and contacted customer service three weeks ago. (The remote works fine, and came pre-programmed for all the blinds, which was a nice touch. I have used the remote and it works fine. However, I paid for the hub because I want the shades to automatically go down at a set time, to reduce the sun damage that will happen if the shades aren't down during the afternoon. The remote I received is not programmable, it's very basic, so if you need that functionality you have to get the hub.) The rep I spoke with was very nice, and got back to me in a couple days to say they were mailing me out the controller. That was three weeks ago. I haven't received it, or any further info, so not sure if this is a covid issue, or the hub is taking longer to ship. I have ordered several blinds from SelectBlinds over the last 10 years, and am always happy with their products, and their customer service. I realize covid has really shaken things up, so I give a lot of slack, and realize patience is required, not optional. Delays do not necessarily equate with faulty customer service. I will update this review if possible, when the issues are resolved. On a final note, I noticed one of the blinds has a bit of a ripple from the outside. Minor, you can't see it from inside, only outside, but issue is present. I know this can be a factor in wider shades, regardless of who manufacturers, (that's one of the reasons why blind makers have to split up some blinds if the run is too wide) but at this width I should be "safe," but I suspect this might fall into the category of a compromise, based on the value of the product. So, I would recommend these blinds, they are pretty and function well. The wireless component is sexy and cool. The metal bracket is not a huge deal, just something they could do better on. The bottom rail is really the only bigger irritation for me, and when I look at the blinds as a whole, and remember that I am likely the only one to notice the "smudges", I am happy with the look. As for install, I found it very easy to install myself, and wireless was user friendly, took about two hours for all 4 blinds (one was 99" wide, two blinds were about 60" wide, last was only about 27" wide), but I am more DIY than many. If you can hang a regular blind or shade by yourself, no worries. Otherwise you might need a helper.
Would you recommend this site to a friend? Yes
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