Introduction To Mini Blinds The mechanisms that are used to open and close blinds range from simple cords and easy to use chains to remote controlled electronic devices. Mini blinds will block out sunlight, prevent people from looking into your house, and also add style to your home. Mini blinds come in various styles and you can even make them yourself at home. Mini blinds are available in a wide range of sizes and colors, along with custom sizes and styles. This allows you to control the direction and amount of natural light while still providing a sense of insulation. There are some blinds styles that even adjust to allow breezes to flow from the window into the room by raising or tilting the slats. With one style, slats are sandwiched between two sheer fabric layers that diffuse light when the slats are open. With another style, the slats are laminated vertically to a single fabric layer for a curtain effect. Mini blinds can come in wood, faux wood, vinyl, and even aluminum. Wood type blinds offer rich, subtle colors along with unique textures. The classic types of blinds look elegantly simple and can help to enhance a contemporary look or even add a classic flair to your home. A less expensive alternative to wooden mini blinds is faux wood, or a synthetic wood made of PVC or a composite material. Aluminum is a good choice as well, as it provides a low cost and durable solution to your window problems. Aluminum mini blinds are also easy to clean and easy to maintain. The least expensive variety is vinyl blinds, that come in standard sizes only. Measuring For Mini Blinds The first thing to do when measuring for your mini blinds is to determine if you need inside mount or outside mount. Inside mount will fit the blinds within the window frame, while outside mount will fit the overlap of the window opening. Inside mount To find the width, measure the exact distance between the inside surfaces of the window frame at the top, middle, and also the bottom then use the narrowest width you receive with your measurements. To find the length, measure the exact distance from the inside surface at the top of the window to the bottom sill at the left, middle, and the right then use the longest length. If you prefer for the blinds not to touch the windowsill, you should deduct 1/4". If there isn't a sill, then you should measure the length to the point where the blinds are to reach. Outside mount To find the width, measure the exact distance between the outermost points where the blinds are to be placed. For the best of light control, the measurement should extend 3/4" beyond the window opening on each side. To find the length, measure the exact distance from where the top of the blinds are to be placed to the top of the windowsill. If there isn't a sill on your window, then measure the length to the point where the blinds are to reach. Measuring for your blinds is very important, as you'll need the measurements to order the blinds. Most companies will deduct for the brackets at the factory, then all you'll need to do once you receive your blinds is to install them -which is easy to do as well. The Benefits Of Wooden Mini Blinds Wooden mini blinds are one type of wood blinds for covering doors and windows. The smaller increments of a narrow slate dimension, wooden mini blinds are more able to control the amount of light that comes into a room and the view that is seen through a window. Wooden mini blinds will also provide light and privacy control within the room apart from giving it an awesome look. They will also provide a warm and cozy look to virtually any room, no matter where it is. Wooden mini blinds are also available in many colors and styles, various shades, and several models. The important things you'll need to consider when choosing wooden mini blinds are the appearance, privacy that is offered, ability to control light, insulating value, and how easy the blinds are to operate. Even though mini blinds are available in vinyl and aluminum materials as well, wooden type blinds are the most preferred despite being more expensive when compared to the other types of mini blinds. Wooden blinds will also give a natural look to any room. They also work much better than the traditional curtains or even shutters. From the inside or outside, they look pretty. In addition, wooden mini blinds are also great insulators from heat or cold -- unlike vinyl or aluminum blinds. Along with the many benefits offered to you by wooden blinds, some materials will even keep bugs away. There are 2 types of wood you can use for mini blinds, which are ramin and bass, with each one offering their own strengths and weaknesses. If you have an older style home, wood mini blinds may be in your best interest. If you have a log home, they can also help add to the value of your interior. Wooden mini blinds have been the most popular type of mini blinds for years -and for good reason. Even though they are the most expensive, they offer you more than other types of blinds. You can custom order wooden mini blinds as well if your prefer. They are simple to install and in most cases, the installation is provided by the manufacturer. If you do it yourself, you shouldn't have any problem getting it done. For the ultimate in style and performance, wood is the ideal material for your mini blinds. Wood offers the most for your money, as well as the best look for your home -- the natural look. Wooden Shutters The best wood for building interior wooden shutters is basswood. The tree can be found from Quebec south to Delaware and the Atlantic coast west to Eastern Kentucky with an average height of 65 feet. Basswood is a renewable resource and careful forest management ensures that the harvesting is done responsibly by balancing the wood growth with wood removal. Basswood interior shutters are very straight and they also have a fine uniform texture with a very indistinct grain. The wood machines well and is easy to work, screws well, glues well, and it can be stained to a smooth finish. Basswood shutters do not warp, they are lightweight yet very strong, offer uniform grain for a superb stain finish, and they offer superior gluing and finishing properties. Oak shutters Oak is a very heavy wood which makes for very heavy window shutters. Oak interior shutters will add a lot of weight to window jambs, with screws requiring pre-drilling. They aren't suitable for painting and the louvers tend to warp over time. Maple shutters Maple is heavy like oak and produces interior shutters that are very heavy. Maple also requires that the window jambs be pre-drilled. The wood louvers with maple are hard to tension uniformly. Poplar shutters Poplar shutters mill and paint very well. The mineral streaks and green color help make popular wood unsuitable for staining. For shutters, poplar wood is moderately heavy. The wood is widely available and less costly, although it also produces a lesser quality of wood shutter. Cedar shutters Cedar wood mills and finishes nicely, although the color varies greatly for staining. Cedar is pretty soft and can dent or scratch very easily. For exterior shutters, cedar works very well. The amazing durability and resistance to decay of incense cedar makes it perfect for exterior use wherever moisture is presented. Requiring long service with very little maintenance, it's also hated by bugs! Alder shutters Alder is an excellent choice for interior shutters, as the tree is very small. Tall window shutters using alder wood will require finger joints. Pine shutters Pine is a soft wood, with many different species and grades available. Always remember that there are also poorly constructed wood shutters that will rank very low on the scale of quality. You should always look for a smooth, well sanded surface, thick durable paing, glued and doweled joints, and a straight light hardwood. Before you commit to any shutter company, always request a sample so that you know what to expect. Mini Blinds If you enjoy the practical and enjoy efficiency, then the mini blind is going to be your ideal choice of window covering. When choosing a blind, you should take several factors into account, such as the appearance, privacy, cost, light control, ease of use, and the ability to insulate. Mini blinds are inexpensive and can easily fulfill all of the considerations above. They are also easy to use as well as efficient. You can also use mini blinds in conjunction with other types of window coverings and window treatments, and they come available in an amazing array of color choices. If you are new to the world of mini blinds and their installation, you'll find them to be very easy to install. Something to keep in mind, which is a common mistake of the window treating novice is measuring incorrectly -- you should always list the width first in writing the measurement. Then, when you order any blinds, be sure to give the width first and not the height. Also referred to as aluminum blinds and Venetian blinds, mini blinds offer a curved slat for extra strength. The most standard and practical choice of mini blinds is the 1" aluminum blind. You should look for a finish that is built to spring back, durable, and resistant to both dust and static. Another stylish option to mini blinds is the 1 3/8" aluminum blind. This type of blind delivers a bold statement, yet it has the same practical features that make mini blinds appealing. For a look and style you really can't go wrong with, mini blinds are the way to go. They are very affordable, offer you an array of features, and they will improve the look of your home. Wooden Window Shutters Almost all wooden shutters are constructed from a solid hardwood. This helps to give the shutters the necessary stability for daily usage. Windows can be a naturally harsh environment, with direct sunlight, fluctuating humidity, and the rapid change in temperature. All types of wooden shutters can withstand all of these types of conditions. Wooden shutters are constructed to withstand harsh climates from the intense heat and sun of the tropics to the intense cold of the North. Keep in mind, not all shutters are created equally, as the selection of wood, types of joints, and overall design will determine the quality of the ending product. In the overall structure of a wooden shutter, the type of wood is very important. All wood is chosen based on durability, weight, straightness, length, and overall finishing qualities. Basswood is one of the best examples, as it builds an exceptional shutter. Basswood also ranks high in just above every characteristic you could possibly imagine. The joints of the wood will need to be solid and strong in order to create a long lasting wood shutter. Finger joints are also important, as they connect two shorter lengths of wood. The finger joints show through the finish of a painted shutter and may look poor from the start for a stained wood shutter. Having strong joints between stiles and rails will prevent the two components from separating or tearing apart. The joints should be glued and dowled for the strongest bond and the best overall performance. By purchasing wooden shutters, you'll get quality shutters at a great price. Before you buy, do your research on the company and make sure that they know what they are doing. If you buy from a reputable seller, you'll get everything you need for excellent wooden shutters, and instructions on how to install them yourself if you wish. Saying Goodbye To Wood Shutters The traditional wooden shutter is normally made from wood, needs quite a bit of maintenance, and looks as if it was right out of an episode of an old comedy. These shutters have been around since the Colonial Times, and are quite a bit old. Most people never close them, yet the hinges still need to be shined and oiled. These days, it may be the time to get rid of the traditional wood shutters on your home and go with a more modern choice such as aluminum window shutters, as they resist the elements and never close. This will help cut down on your replacement and maintenance costs for keeping the exterior of your home looking the way it should. Below, you'll find several different types of shutters offered today. Vinyl window shutters Vinyl shutters are easy to clean, very affordable, and last around forty years. They will give your home a traditional look without the need for replacing them on a regular basis. They weigh a little of nothing and are available in traditional, louvered, board, and even batten panel styles. To make things better, they will arrive primed and ready to paint any color you wish. Composite window shutters These types of shutters resemble a thick particle board that is made from a collaboration of weather and rot resistant material. They are made from molds that offer many different styles that include the louvered, board, batten, and even raised panel styles. You can also find these shutter types in a cupboard style which is hinged at the top so you can open and close them like the old fashioned wood shutters of the past. Fiberglass shutters Fiberglass is the most expensive type of shutter although they will last around 20 years or so. They are molded as well and offered in a variety of designs that include Bahama, louvered, board and battened, and even raised panel styles. Fiberglass shutters are also stronger and more secure than other types and can also be used to protect your windows during storms and hurricanes. Aluminum shutters Aluminum style shutters are offered in a variety of styles that include the faux colonial louvered style and Bahama style. These shutters are strong and offer great protection for your windows, and come in thousands of different colors and textures. The only bad thing about aluminum shutters, is the fact that most companies will only offer a warranty of around three years. Installing Shutters Installing your shutters isn't a difficult process at all. The key here is to work with shutters that are specifically built for each individual window opening in conjunction with detailed instructions. Many companies that install shutters will tell customers that the shutters need to be installed by a certified installer. This isn't the case, as you can install your shutters like a pro with no experience at all. Measuring your shutters To pro perly install shutters to a window opening, you'll need to measure. First, you'll need to determine if the shutters will be mounted to the inside or the outside of the window opening. Inside mount installation The preferred means of installation is to mount shutters directly to the window jamb inside of the window opening. This method is generally cleaner than mounting to the outside of the window and it doesn't require additional hang strips or frame strips. Keep in mind, the window must be somewhat square and have a solid jamb for you to attach the screws to. To determine the window depth, measure from the front plane of the window back to the nearest obstruction that'll prevent the louvers from rotating. If you prefer, the company you are ordering from can also tell you the window depth for the style of shutters you order. On occasion, a supplier of shutters will offer a second inside mounting method that uses rear hanging strips concealed behind the shutter panels that will allow adjustment up, down, left, and right for easier alignment. This method is ideal if the window is out of square or if it has a drywall opening without a solid wood jamb. Outside mount installation Outside mount installations use frames that attach to the wall or existing trim just to the outside of the opening of the window. Normally, the frame will surround the shutter panels on three or four sides, depending on if a lower still exists. If you go with a cafe type shutter style, the hang strips are used on either side of the shutter panels. The frame or hang strips will screw directly to the wall or trim, and the shutter hinge to the frame or the hanging strips. Always play it safe and measure with a steel tape measure, which will give you the most accurate measurements. Don't attempt to measure with a fabric tape or yard stick -- as this will lead you to a poor installation.
Styles Of Blinds Shutters The best parts of decorating your windows are the different window treatments you can choose. This is where you can make decisions on fabrics, colors, and also styles. Each decision you make between contrasting borders, cording or fringe will show off your own individually. If you add repeating fabrics and colors in other parts of the room you could help to add a dash of flair to your home. You also have different styles of draperies and valances to choose from. With draperies, you have the options of rods with tap tops, tie tops with different pleats, grommet rod pockets, flouncy tops or plain rings. With valances you can choose to have them gathered, pleated, shirred, swaged, bundled, formal, casual, scalloped, lace, or even flat. You also have a different variety of shades and blinds to choose from. You can choose between fabric shades or cellular shades. If you don't want to go with shades, you can choose from metal mini blinds, natural blinds, or even wood blinds. With fabric shades you can choose between the Roman, balloon, Austrian, bottom arched, pleated, or even flat panel. If you prefer cellular shades, keep in mind that they will give you a cleaner look and are also available in sheer or non-sheer materials. If you decide to choose blinds, make sure that they meet your homes requirements. Metal mini blinds offer choices in weight and size, special finishes, privacy options, header choices, cloth tapes, and hundreds of different colors. Wooden mini blinds also offer a variety of sizes, tape colors, and finishes. Natural blinds are also known as bamboo blinds, and are available in matchstick, sewn slats, and have several choices of natural fabric like appearance. Selecting The Coverings Many factors play a role in selecting the right covering for your window. The main reasons as to why you should install window coverings are light control and privacy. Other factors include durability, life expectancy, cleaning, formality, versatility, safety, and the price. Light control The most difficult factor to control is light, with most window coverings falling into one of five categories: 1. Transparent -- Clear, without obstruction 2. Translucent -- Diffused light, which prevents the perception of distinct images 3. Filtered -- Muted light in bright conditions 4. Semi-Opaque -- Surfaces imprenetrable by light, yet it also allows some light through the gaps 5. Opaque -- This is where all light is blocked Privacy Privacy can be best achieved with almost any type of window covering. The window treatment simply needs to be translucent or better to diffuse images. Frosted glass or glass block can even help to give adequate levels of privacy. Durability A window opening by nature is a harsh environment that is subject to direct sunlight, humidity, and even temperatures. Add these factors to frequent use and its simple to understand why windows need to be constructed well. The life expectancy is normally less for fabric window treatment that can fade with time. Solid coverings, such as shutters, have a long life span. Cleaning Each and every window covering will collect dust and dirt. Fabric coverings are the most difficult to clean, and are subject to stains. The furniture quality window coverings will normally wipe clean with a light solution. Versatility Some coverings will work well in formal settings, while others will work best in casual living settings. Alternate styles are versatile and blend in well with almost any style of room. Safety Small children in the home will usually come in contact with windows and their coverings. Some coverings will have cords to raise or lower for better visibility. Although they are handy to have, they can be dangerous if they come within reach of a child. Price While there is a discrepancy in the costs of window coverings, it's very important to weigh the overall value involved. The term "value" is often overused, although when purchasing long term household items it is necessary to consider the return on the investment. Window coverings on the low end of the price spectrum will normally have a short life expectancy and low durability. The higher priced coverings, such as shutters, are designed to last the life of the home -- all while retaining the original character. Shutters offer a hard window covering that is semi opaque when closed, although they provide great visibility when opened. The furniture quality wooden shutters can be either painted or stained in order to meet the needs of most decors. All shutters are extremely durable and offer a long life span. Wooden Shutters And Hurricane Protection If you live in an area that is prone to storms or hurricanes, there are several types of security storm shutters available that will help you protect yourself and your home. Storm shutters aren't in the wooden shutters category, although they are durable shutters that move horizontally between the lower and the upper track. Interlocking blades found on the storm shutters are made from aluminum and make up a wall of protection in the shutter. If you have a large area to cover, it can half a center opening with half of the shutter moving to the right and the other half to the left. Even though this shutter doesn't fall into one of the most decorative styles of shutters, it does provide great protection against theft, flying debris, forced entry, and even the dreaded hurricane. Storm shutters will also give you more privacy and help to reduce noise. A great example of a protective covering that will do a great job in protecting from the sun's glare and heat is the aluminum awning. They are affordable in price and very functional, they fit doors, patios, porches, and windows as well. There are two types available -- the standard awning and the winged awning, and both will easily close down to convert to storm shutters. For those who l ive in bad storm areas, storm shutters are among the best ways to help protect your family and your house. They don't cost a lot of money, they are easy to install, and they won't make your home stand out in a crowd. If you want the best in protection from Mother Nature and the peace of minein knowing it -- storm shutters are just what you need. Wood Or Vinyl Mini Blinds? The market for mini blinds has expanded well past those traditional aluminum blinds that break, bend, and warp. A lot of homeowners are now electing to install a 2 inch blind made from either wood or vinyl to add a nicer touch to a room. Proving to be cheaper than wooden shutters and able to allow more light in, these blinds will combine function and design which helps produce a look that everyone will like. Years ago, the purchase of these two inch blinds would break the bank, although now there are many options available for those on any type of budget. Keep in mind that there are both pros and cons to choosing either wood or vinyl. The biggest difference in the material of the two is the price and the color. Normally, wooden two inch blinds are a lot more expensive than vinyl blinds, although they are available in more colors. If you have strained wooden trim and molding around your windows, you should consider adding that specific color to your window treatments. A dark wooden blind or a honey hue wooden window blind can make a big difference when it comes to the look and style of your home. For a price, you can create an inspiring look that makes the difference between and alright room and an amazing room. Always remember that wooden blinds can tend to a bit lighter than vinyl, so they could be an ideal choice for double or triple windows to prevent bowing in the middle of the blind. Just like vinyl, wooden blinds can be custom cut to fit the exact requirements of your window. Vinyl blinds are also a bit less expensive and can easily be mistaken for the wooden variety. If you are choosing a bright white or a soft ivory for your shades, vinyl will be the perfect choice if you are on a budget. Vinyl blinds are also easier to clean, as water can warp wood or even cause the finish to crack or bubble. If you are planning to purchase wood or vinyl blinds, you should consider paying a visit to your local supply warehouse. The selection at most stores can be dramatic, as they offer good prices and a variety of choices. If your budget isn't a problem at all, you should look towards a special window treatment shop in your area, where professionals will come to your home and take care of both the measuring and installation for you. Vinyl Shutters VS Wood Shutters Interior shutters have always been one of the most popular window treatments. They maintain their value a lot better than any other type of window covering, and they aren't only attractive and enhance your home's appeal but they also help to regulate light, insulate, and fit in to almost any decorating style to make your window appear amazing. These days, indoor shutters are more popular than ever before. Therefore, it's really no wonder why many new manufacturers are trying to get into the shutter industry. The most notable addition is the vinyl compound shutters. Wooden shutters: There are many reasons as to why you should avoid using vinyl shutters. Many prefer to have real wood, just as they prefer clothing that is made from cotton or wool as opposed to synthetics. For a warm, authentic, traditional look, wooden shutters are a great choice. There are however some limitations of vinyl type shutters. They are normally made only in white and off white colors. Therefore, you can not precisely color match, making staining impossible. Most interior vinyl shutters are cheaply made with cheap components and poor quality, and should be avoided for that reason -- despite the low cost. Vinyl shutters: Vinyl shutters of quality are definitely worth a consideration. The best types of interior vinyl shutters cost less than custom window shutters. The most important features are those that are practical in nature. Vinyl shutters won't crack, peel, fade, or deteriorate like wood will. Vinyl shutters are also perfect for humid areas such as showers and sinks. Since they are moisture resistant, they are also a great choice near the swimming pool. They are also flame retardant and insulate much better than interior wood shutters. They are easier to clean and won't show any dents or scratches, which makes them ideal for children's rooms. The time it takes to manufacture them is also half the time of a true custom wood shutter. Making that final choice between vinyl and wood all comes down to the type of home you have and your personal preference. Each type certainly offers good and bad points, although wood is the most popular style. Vinyl is quickly gaining in popularity, as they are much easier to clean than wood. Before you make your decision, always compare and shop around. The prices will be different, although you shouldn't base everything on price. Check the quality of the manufacturer and compare with the types of windows you have. Once you carefully put some research into it, you'll have the windows you need in no time at all. Vinyl Mini Blinds For high humidity rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom, or waterfront locations, vinyl binds are an ideal choice. Vinyl blinds with the standard braided cords and non textured gloss stats are easy to clean, unbreakable, and very resistant to sun bleaching. The richly textured embossed prints, elegant neutrals, and wood tones all help to a add a decorative dimension that isn't found in horizontal blinds. Vinyl blinds are available in both solid colors and embossed finishes, and are also available in many different sizes as well. PVC blinds are great as well, as they are a very durable and fashionable solution as a treatment for your windows. They will also remain durable and easy to maintain regardless of the humidity or other weather factors. Lightweight vinyl blinds are the least expensive type of vinyl blinds available, although the thin slats can sag a bit, the cords can shred, and the mechanisms used with the blinds can break or malfunction. On sale, you can find vinyl blinds as low as $5.99. The darkening mini blinds on the other hands, are better quality with less space between the slats, and run as high as $10.99. There are some vinyl mini blinds that are imported that will contain lead, which is a serious hazard for your health. Lead poisoning is acute for pregnant women or tiny children because of their fast growing vulnerable tissue. The vinyl blinds that are made in the United States however, are lead free. Vinyl blinds are also the easiest types of mini blinds to maintain. You can clean them by hanging them on a clothesline pole then spraying them down with a garden hose. Venetian Blinds Anyone who is familiar with Venetian blinds knows just how difficult they are to clean, with laterally slatted strips of plastic with dangling cords that gets on everyone's nerves since they always seemed to get in a tangle. A majority of us can't find anything uglier or messier than blinds that hang crooked. Manufacturers are however, starting to make them more functional, more attractive, and easier to clean. The first thing you'll need to make sure of, is that the blinds are hung properly, as this will ensure that your window covering is successful. If your blinds are hung crooked, then the strings won't properly act as pulleys. No matter how pretty they may be, they won't be any good if they don't work properly. The only time you should use the old fashioned plastic Venetian blinds is if you are going for more of a retro look. If you are going for the retro look, it may be better to consider using the anodized aluminum or painted silver blinds. These types of blinds tend to collect less dirt and dust and will help complete the look better with your retro room. Most manufacturers are now creating Venetian blinds in different colors and textures. They do this by painting, coating, or even anodizing the slats. They have neon colors, metallic bro nze, silver, and even gold to choose from now. The boring blinds of the 90s can be found as institutional window treatments. In the past, when decorating an office, people would have chosen white or black blinds to go with the wood decor. Now, you can choose from shades of olive, burgundy, or even brown. If your office has more of a sleeker look, you can even choose a Venetian blind in cherry red or celadon color. If you feel that your room is outdated or you just need to re-decorate and your on a budget, then a new window treatment may be the answer. Even though Venetian blinds can be considered outdated, they can easily be jazzed up with drapes or sheers. If you are re-decorating a room that it may be hard to find blinds for, such as a boxed shape window or a small window, you may be able to choose the older style mini blinds in various vibrant colors. If you are just trying to make a truly unique fashion statement, then you should consider hand painting your Venetian blinds. You can choose to show off your individuality and your craftier side by painting the blind to show an image once it is closed.
InfoBank Intro | Main Page | Usenet Forums | Search The RockSite/The Web