All About The Window Blind Window blinds are coverings for windows, normally attached to the interior side. Window blinds refer to some device to hide from sight or to help reduce sunlight. There are several kinds of blinds, which are covered below. Venetian blinds Venetian is a large category in blinds. The original types were made with wide curved metal slats, similar to a mini slat. The shapes can be curved, flat, or even elliptical. Faux or PVC These types of mini blinds are made from a solid or foamed poly vinyl chloride plastic. PVC is one of the newer materials being used for blind slats. The slat's surface can be smooth or embossed with a wood grain. Although color selection is limited mostly to whites, there are a few wod tone colors available as well. PVC or faux are very durable, UV resistant, waterproof, and simple to clean. The main drawback with faux blinds is the weight of the slats. PVC slats are heavier than both wood and composite slats and when used with large windows, they can make raising the window a difficult task. Composite blinds Composite type blinds are made from a combination of wood products and polymers. Composite is a newer material that's being used for the window covering. The slat surface with composite is a smooth poly coating or even a solid composite material. Similiar to PVC, the color selection is normally limited mostly to whites although there are a few wood tone and stain colors available. The composite blinds are priced in the low to mid range. They have qualities similar to PVC and faux, and are some of the best available. Wood blinds Both value and premium wood blinds are made from real wood. The value wood blind slats are made from assorted Oriental hardwood, and the premium slats are made from American hardwood, which is normally Basswood. If you plan to match a cabinet or trim stain, wood blinds will be your best choice. Wood blinds are among the best, although they are also among the most expensive. All wooden slats can warp and may fade in color over time. They are also the lightest material available and work really good with large windows. Since they were first introduced to the home, window blinds have proven to add style and peace of mind. They offer you a lot for your windows, and they don't cost a lot of money. You have several different types to choose from, all you have to do is select the best types for your home and your needs. Benefits Of Interior Wood Shutters Interior wooden shutters will create the defining touch to flatter any decoration of your home. Wood shutters are a great investment, and should be thought of and treated as fine furniture. Also, they are the only window coverings that are actually appraised into the value of your home. The rich natural appearance and matching quality features they offer make them a perfect choice for your home. Insulation Wood shutters will offer you many insulation values such as energy efficiency, and they maintain interior temperature from exterior temperature extremes as well as help with outside noise. According to experts, it takes nearly 6 inches of brick, 14 inches of concrete, and well over 1,700 inches of aluminum to equal the insulating value offered by only 1 inch of wood. Environmental Opposed to aluminum, plastic, and other types of composites, wood is only material for shutters that is manufactured from a 100% renewal source. Authentic Wood can be made from several sources, including poplar, oak, and basswood. There are several products that feature word wood in their name, although they actually contain little to no wood at all. They are all extremely limited in their custom features, and are only available in standard white colors, cannot be stained, and they have both the look and feel of plastic. All around the United States, wood remains one of the most popular sources of shutters. Wood shutters offer you many features, and they are also easy to install, even if you have no experience with installing shutters. You can find them in your local hardware store, or even order them online if you prefer. They may cost a bit more than vinyl or other types of shutters, although they will last for a long time and give your home the look you desire. Building With Windows In Mind There is a lot to think about when designing a home, as many people simply overlook window treatments. In this article, I'm hoping to help you avoid the common pitfalls involved and help you save some money. When using decorative casing such as shutters and 2 inch plantation size wooden blinds, you should always make sure that you have at least 2 1/2". When you have a double or triple window encased within one window opening, you may want to use a vertical trim strips between each window. Make sure that you include this when measuring the depth. Even though it is less common decorating sliding doors, make sure that you include the handle when you measure, as the usual depth for this is 4 inches. There are several different styles of window treatments, such as circular, arced, eyebrow arched, or even angles. All of them are beautiful and appealing, although very restricted when it comes to choices, especially when you are working with eyebrow and 1/4 arches. When you are dealing with French doors there are a few things to keep in mind. The doors will normally swing open into the home, which could cause problems with the valance you use. Consider using a valance mounted to the door or allowing the doors to swing outward. When you are considering shades, blinds, or shuters, don't forget to consider the handles and locks. Make sure that when you are considering window treatments that you remember window placement as well. There are many restrictions when you have chair rails or base boards going around the opening of the window. There could also be a problem with the placement of the drapery as well. The drapery may not stack back sufficiently or the outside edge may not extend to the outside of the window. Things can go much easier if you have the same amount of space on each side of the window, so you should try to center the window whenever you can. When you place the window, make sure that you leave enough space between the top of the window and the ceiling. There should be at least 2 inches for bracket placement. When installing a wood header, make sure that it extends to the ceiling and that the heavier treatments are mounted in the wood. If you aren't using wood headers but instead mounting into sheetrock you should use molly or toggle bolts for the best possible protection. There are other things you need to consider when it comes to windows. First, you'll need to make sure that all windows are accessible even those in an unfinished attic. This will help make things easier for future decorating or expansion of the room. Also, make sure that the windows in the room are the same style. Buying Budget Shutters Even though there is a lot of value in installing high quality interior wood window shutters, they can sometimes still be too expensive for certain applications. There are some alternatives that include poly, pvc, or even vinyl shutters that are less expensive although much less attractive and look cheaper in comparison. For quality at an affordable cost, you should look for a company that sells individual wholesale discount wood shutter panels that can be installed in any type of configuration. These types of shutters are also referred to as DIY, or Do It Yourself shutters. When you shop for individual shutter panels at a discount price, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important factor is the material that is used to make the interior shutter panels. Basswood is the best wood for shutters, as it has the best characteristics and it's a straight hard wood with very little distortion. Basswood also offers a fine, uniform texture with an indistinct grain, which makes it ideal for staining or painting. Before you actually order the discount panels, it's always best to determine how you will mount your shutters. Sometimes, it is necessary to use hanging strips to attach shutters to the outside of the window opening. Reputable companies will provide information about installation methods so you can decide which way is best to install your specific type of window shutter. Anytime you buy budget shutters, you should always do your research first. There are some brands that are better than others, which is why you should research the types of shutters you are interested in. With a little bit of your time and effort, you could quite possibly end up with shutters at a perfect price which will add more color and style to your home than you ever thought possible. Buying Interior Shutters Online The Internet has become a world of opportunity for home buyers over the years, giving them new and improved ways to buy interior shutters. With the Internet by your side, you can find hundreds of shutters that you can buy with just a few clicks of your mouse. The ease of use is the most important feature for online companies when it comes to interior window shutters. Websites that are poor in design and difficult to navigate are of little use to potential customers. Good shutter websits should display navigation choices on every page, including choices for construction material, styles, finishes, price, measuring, and the ability to buy shutters. The education about window shutters is also a very important feature. Good shutter sites should welcome the questions you have and supply you with the information you need. Sites should also describe all of the information relating to their shutters, including the material used to produce the shutters, and the exact sizes of such components. When you buy your interior shutters online, the website should provide measuring instructions that are easy to obtain. The company should also offer assistance if you need it. If the company doesn't offer advice or instructions that are easily available to you, you should take your business somewhere else. Anytime you buy your interior shutters online, you should always take the necessary time to research and make sure you getting exactly what you want -- for the right price. You don't want to rush into buying your shutters, as you could easily sacrifice quality or price. Therefore, always take your time, think about what you are buying, and be sure to compare what one website offers to another one.
Cleaning Mini Blinds At some point in time, all of us have come across mini blinds at the local home improvement center. They look really nice sitting there, although no one wants to spend a few days removing the dust from them. Regardless of what you may hear or think, it doesn't always have to be this way. Detail oriented It will probably seem obvious, but you should close the slats prior to dusting. Weekly blind dusting is the best way to go, using a lamb's wool duster, as lamb's wool will naturally attract dust and can help prevent buildup as well. If lamb's wool isn't available, a paintbrush may also do the trick. Make sure you place some towels underneath the blinds to catch any excess dust. If you want to be thorough, you can also take the blinds down and clean them in your bathtub. To remove the grease from the blinds, an all purpose cleaner can be used. Spray the blinds good, then let the cleaner work on them for a few minutes. Then, wipe the cleaner off with a soft cloth, although rinsing the cloth will make it even more effective. To clean the other side of the blinds, flip it over and do the same thing as mentioned above. Fast and simple This one is simple -- simply use an old pair of cotton gloves to clean your blinds. Slip the gloves on, dip your fingers into a solution of 1 teaspoon ammonia and 1 quart water, then run your fingers through the mini blinds. If you prefer, you can also use the vaccuum cleaner hose attachments. You can even use the vaccuum cleaner without having to remove the blinds. Putting a dryer sheet on the blinds will remove any static so that dust will no longer be attracted to the blinds. Custom Shutters A lot of companies claim to sell custom shutters, although they may actually be selling customized interior shutters. Customized types of shutters will start as pre-built individual stock size shutter panels, which are then cut down and hinged together to achieve a specific size of shutter. This will generally result in shutters that are a poor fit for the windows of your home. The shutters aren't proportional to the window size and depending on how much of it was trimmed, the panels themselves may also be compromised. Synthetic shutters on the other hand, normally use pre-made stiles, rails, and louvers, then cut them to size for quick production. This can also result in an improper fit and components that aren't in proportion to the window. Other companies out there sell custom made shutters, which are shutters specifically made from the start for each individual window. Even though this may sound very nice, the results are normally those you wouldn't want to display on your home. With your home being very important, the last thing you want is shoddy shutters. Custom made shutters are fabricated so that all stiles and rails can be uniformed throughout the house or office. Even though they claim the custom made shutters are perfectly made for your windows, it generally isn't the case When you go out and purchase shutters, you should always avoid companies that sell customized types of shutters. Instead, you should use the old fashioned method and measure what you need, then go out and buy. This way, you'll know exactly what you need to buy. You can select the shutters you like the best, even those that match the interior or exterior of your home. Before you know it, you'll have the shutters you've always wanted -- your way. Exterior Shutters Installing exterior shutters to a window is a quick and easy way to add style and flair to the outside of a home. Both historical and modern houses will benefit from the timeless accent of having exterior shutters. As with all types of home improvements, the quality and longevity of the exterior shutters should be evaluated before you make a purchase. The exterior window shutters for your home are available in many different shapes and materials. Vinyl or wood shutters are easily available at most home improvement stores, and they can also be a cost effective option. You can also make wooden shutters operable with functional hardware. Exterior shutters can also be made out of several types of wood. The best wod to use is cedar, as it offers outstanding durablity and resistance to decay. Cedar also provides long service with minimal maintenance in applications involving mud, silk, window sahes, fencing, poles, and even exterior shutters. The tannin oil in ceder is what really makes it an ideal wood for exterior shutters. It will prevent moisture penetration -- and bugs hate it. Keep in mind, exterior shutters shouldn't be left unprotected. It is however, best to finish the shutters before you install them, so that all surfaces can be fully covered. The ideal base for exterior shutters is a primer coat of oil base primer that is tinted as close to the final color as possible. The oil will penetrate into the wood, giving better protection. For the best results in painting, you should always consult a professional painting company. You can mount exterior shutters to your home with a 1/2" spacer between the back of the panels and the bu ilding to allow ventilation. If you aren't using functional hardware, you should use rust proof screws that sink flush to the wood. Once you have finished the installation, simply paint over the heads of the screws. By having on opaque finish painted on the wood, it will prevent light rays from penetrating the finish and breaking down wooden fibers of your exterior shutters. If you choose, you can also stain exterior shutters. Anytime you are staining shutters, you should use finishing products that are designed specifically for exterior use, and be prepared to do proper maintence on your shutters to keep them looking good all the time. Exterior shutters will add color and style to the outside of your home, making them a purchase you can't go wrong with. Wooden exterior shutters are the most popular and best to use -- making them something you truly must have for your home. How To Buy Shutters Currently, shutters are made in a number of different materials, with wooden shutters still being the benchmark for quality window coverings. Quality wood shutters are designed to last for the lifetime of your home. Deciding on the material for your shutters is the first step in making things work. Selecting your shutter style There are two basic styles of shutters available. The traditional style uses a narrow shutter panel with 1-1/4" louvers. Traditional shutter louvers are normally wedge shaped, being thicker in the front and narrower in the rear. Plantation type shutters are generally 1-18" thick with larger louvers. Selecting the shutter finish Shutters can be stained, painted, or both. Almost all companies offer a number of paints with stain colors, while some don't. Paint colors will generally include a variety of whites and lights. The stains will help enhance wood grains in a number of tints and tones, starting from light natural tones to an almost black pitch. Keep in mind, both synthetic and wood composite shutters can't be stained. Determine the price Because of their material options, shutters will come in a wide range of prices, with many suppliers calculating the price on the square foot. Prices are calculated based on the exact window size, shutter, style, finish, and number of panels involved. Deciding on the unit Shutter units can use a number of different panel configurations within a window. The number of panels across the shutter is determined by the shutter style, traditional or plantation, and the width of the window. The traditional style panels are normally narrower than the plantation style and would use more panels across the window. Each specific company offers guidelines for the number of panels to be used with a window. If the window is tall enough, you may want to consider a double tier, or two tier shutter unit that uses one set of shutters at the top and one set at the bottom. Each set of shutters will then open independently on the other. You can also use a divider rail, which is is a horizontal bar that creates a top and bottom louver section within a single style of panel. Measure and order Carefully follow the measuring instructions, then determine the window type and installation provided by the company you have selected. The directions should be detailed, yet very easy for you to follow. The company should also offer phone assistance should you have any questions. Installing Mini Blinds Measuring The first thing to do, is to determine the position of the mini blinds, deciding if they will be inside or outside of the window. Inside mounting will look more customized, although outside mounting will provide better control of lighting. For inside frame mounting, measure the width between the points where the brackets will be placed; top, middle, and bottom. Record the narrowest of the measurements you receive. Now, measure the length from the top inside casing of the windowsill. At least 1 inch of flat surface will be needed on the inside casing in order to attach the brackets. For outside frame mounting, you'll need to measure the overall width of the area to be covered. Hang your mini blinds outside of the frame if there is less than 1" of flat surface on the inside casing. The measurement should overlap the window by at least 1 1/2" on each side. Installation 1. Determine if you want inside or outside mounting, and measure your window accordingly. 2. After you have purchased the correct size of mini blinds, remove the window stop from the top of the window on the window casing. 3. Screw the brackets that came with your blinds to the side window casing at the top, using either two or three screws per bracket. 4. With the wand on the left and the lift cord on the right, slide the mini blinds into the brackets you just installed. 5. Once you have the mini blinds in place, secure the caps over the brackets. 6. If the blinds are too long, remove the slats from the bottom of them, as this should help to get them to the appropriate height.
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