Many different styles of low-maintenance window treatment are on the market. Whether you prefer a traditional drapery or a factory-made blind, expect to benefit from years of dependable light and privacy control, while boosting your room’s style. Manufacturers of factory-made treatments, such as vertical blinds, offer repair services and factory warranties to ensure a low-maintenance product experience.
Traditional pleated draperies are a mainstay of soft window treatments. Lined draperies installed correctly on a well-constructed traverse rod provide years of low-maintenance window coverage. Opt for room-darkening or thermal lining to extend the life of draperies that are exposed to weather extremes and to decrease your room’s exposure to harmful ultra-violet rays. Avoid colors, such as white or black, that are extremely light or dark and can magnify dirt and soiling. Choose sill-height curtains to minimize dust that is attracted to full-length drapery hemlines. A lined, board-mounted Roman shade, a soft-fold shade that makes neat overlapping folds that require little maintenance beyond an occasional dusting, has an installed cord lock for easy height adjustment.
Factory-made window coverings are available in a wide assortment of low-maintenance choices. Honeycomb shades provide energy-efficient window coverage with contemporary cellular pleats, much like their name suggests. Vertical blinds provide a low-maintenance alternative, with traversing and rotating slats that resist dust and signs of aging, especially in the solid vinyl styles. Horizontal blinds are available in vinyl, metal, wood and wood alternative products, but regular dusting of blind slats is required. Some manufacturers offer features such as anti-dust, ultra-violet ray blockage and anti-microbial finishes on certain products. These added benefits can further reduce the need for maintenance or early replacement, but they can increase costs.
Incorrect installation of your window treatment requires more maintenance than one that is installed following manufacturer’s instructions or recommended guidelines. For drapes, choose heavy-duty traverse rods and drapery hardware to avoid headaches, such as broken cords, bent rods and brackets. Use a cordless drill, a rigid tape measure and a sturdy ladder of adequate height when installing window coverings. Verify the location of wood studs, which is the preferred placement of hardware, prior to installation, and use molly screws when installing directly into sheetrock. Opt for inside-mounted treatments with a clearance of 1/4 inch on each side when choosing blinds and shades, for ease of operation, installation and maintenance.
Research and compare product specifications, such as the thickness gauge on vertical blind slats, since not all products are created equal. Manufacturer’s warranties and repair charges also vary, so compare the differences to ensure you get the most product for your money. Products that incorporate nylon cords, such as wood blinds and traversing draperies, should be inspected for frayed cords, especially if the window treatment is operated on a regular basis. If a window treatment is well made and installed correctly, it should live up to your expectations without the need for unplanned maintenance or repair issues. If a warranty claim is required, request a local company to do the work to minimize shipping and repair time.