One of the most frequent problems customers come to Blind Faith LLC about is the heat coming into their house through their windows. As we all know, the summer months can be brutal here in Texas. Not only does the heat come in through your open windows, but the sunlight can damage furniture and flooring after prolonged exposure. There are a lot of reasons to add window treatments, but what kind of window treatment is best for you? Window coverings that provide the most protection include roller shades, shutters, interlined draperies, sheer horizontals, and window film. In this article, we’ll focus on my favorite product – roller shades.
When I mention roller shades, I’m frequently met with opposition as my customer remembers the spring tension shades with scalloped hems detailed with fringe and tassels that they grew up with. Pictured above is my grandfather with his shade shop down in Corpus Christi, TX. As you can see, almost every type of hem, fringe and color was available. However, today roller shades are sleek, modern and functional.
There are 3 things to consider when choosing a roller shade system that will work for you. First, do you want the shade mounted on the exterior of the window or the interior of the window? In many applications, an exterior shade will work best as you can catch the heat before it even enters the window. Exterior shades are becoming extremely popular especially for patio areas with beautiful views. By adding motorization and sensor options, exterior shades can operate automatically without ever having to touch them. If you’re considering exterior shades, be prepared to spend quite a bit to get a quality system that will last for you. You’ll want to make sure that the system has an anodized aluminum casement for the roller along with either a cable or track system to hold down the shade.
Another thing to consider is the fabric selection. Most fabrics that you can see through have an openness factor. The openness percentage is how much of the fabric is actually not fabric. That openness factor can vary from 1% to 15%. So, a 1% shade is more opaque as 1% of that fabric is air while a 15% fabric will be extremely transparent. Quality fabrics will have fenestration data that will inform you of how much of the sun’s energy is transmitted through, absorbed or reflected by the shade along with how much visible light is transmitted which produces glare. This information is all important to consider while choosing a fabric.
The last thing to consider is the operating system. Although this is an option least focused on, it’s an important one. Many of the industry’s standard clutch and rollers are mediocre, at best. For a smooth and effortless lift, you’ll want to make sure your roller shades have a sprint assisted clutch. Also, if you don’t plan on operating your shades frequently, you’ll want to make sure that you have an encasement around the roller to protect the fabric from collecting dust which can settle in the tiny holes in the fabric. For high windows or just for convenience, you may want to consider motorization. There are battery operated, plug in and hard wired systems. Battery operated systems are more affordable, but will be noisier, slower and less convenient than hard wired systems.
As you can see, there are a lot of options with window coverings and we’ve just barely touched on one product! Whether you have one window or fifty windows, it’s important for you to consult a knowledgeable window covering consultant so that you can get the best product for your application. As you consider how to protect your home from the sun, I hope you’ll find this article informative. If Blind Faith LLC can help you with your window covering project, please call us at 512-968-8677 or visit us online at http://www.AustinBlindFaith.com. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Thanks so much,
Blind Faith LLC