This was a question I was asked by a client in our showroom “Blinds are all the same aren’t they ? We can’t understand why the prices vary so much”
There are two main factors that will affect the prices of the blinds you are looking for.
The quality of the fabrics and components.
The level of service you require.
If we take these points one at a time starting with quality, a lot of the components used to cheapen the cost of different blinds are not always visible, but will have a huge impact on the reliability and lifespan of your blinds.
Here’s so insider knowledge to help you make an educated decision.
The most important component that will directly affect the reliability of vertical blinds are the carrier trucks.
These are the runners that hold the strips of fabric and run backwards and forwards inside the rail.
Good quality carrier trucks have stainless steel links connecting each truck, cheaper alternatives will have plastic links.
You would never see these components so it is an easy way for companies to reduce the cost of their blinds without their customers knowing.
To give you an idea of the cost savings the companies can make by choosing the cheaper links, it would save us over £3750 per year just by changing this one component.
Another way of reducing the cost of manufacturing vertical blinds is how they secure the pockets on the top and bottom of the louvers.
The cheaper ways are to glue or sew with a clear thread, these are both quick and easy to produce but direct sunlight will affect both of these options.
I bet you’ve seen blinds with the weights hanging out of the bottom because the pocket has come away.
The best method of securing the pockets is to sew them with coloured spun polyester thread, this method is far more time consuming as we need to change the thread colour for the different coloured fabrics, but the big benefit is that direct sunlight will have very little affect so there is never an issue with the pockets falling apart.
Wooden Venetian Blinds
The most important part of a wooden venetian blind when it comes to reliability is the headrail. This is the box section at the top of the blind where the cords pass through, this is usually covered by a wooden pelmet, so it is again something that is not visible.
These rails are generally made from 3 different materials, Plastic, Aluminium and Steel.
The reason the headrail is so important is due to the weight of wooden blinds, they can be very heavy to raise and lower and this puts a lot of pressure on the headrail, so the stronger it is the longer your blind will last.
So my recommendation would be a blind with a steel headrail, an easy way to tell if you get to see a sample of the blinds you are interested in is to use a small magnet, if it sticks its steel, if it doesn’t it isn’t.
These are just some examples of things that are not always noticeable but have a big impact on the price you pay for your blinds.
The second factor is the level of service that you require.
This will largely come down to your confidence and diy skills.
If you know your way around a tape measure and have the equipment and skills to drill a few holes and fit your own blinds then this is a good way of keeping the costs down.
The internet is probably the best place to start particularly if price is most important.
High Street Blind shops may also offer a self fit service where you can call in with your sizes, have a good look at the blinds and fabrics and get the blind made to your exact requirements.
The other option is to let a professional window blind company take all of the responsibility and hassle of making sure your blinds are measured, made and installed to your exact requirements.
Choosing the right blinds / fabrics for each room is important, if the fabric or blind you have chosen isn’t suitable or doesn’t perform the function that you require, you will be disappointed and end up replacing them with the blinds you should have bought in the first place.
The real advantage of this option is that a professional can visit your home, see your windows and be able to give you the best advice as to the type of blinds and fabrics that would best suit your requirements.
You will pay more for this level of service as the companies will have to cover the cost sending someone to measure, install and to offer an on-site guarantee.
I hope this helps, and remember to look a little closer to see exactly what you are getting for your money because “Blinds are not all the same”