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Window Coverings Overview – Blinds vs. Shades

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Choosing between blinds and shades can be difficult because they both appear to have the same functions. An window treatment expert can walk you through the subtle differences between these window treatments to help you make your choice, but there are some basic differences you can use to determine which type of treatment is best for your situation. Once you have purchased your choice of window coverings and you need someone to install them, give the experts at Handyman Connection of Carmel a call! Until that time, allow us to provide an overview of these 2 popular window coverings.

Structural Differences

Blinds and shades sometimes get referred to in the same manner, but they are structurally very different. Blinds are made by piecing together slats of material either vertically or horizontally using string or chain. The slats overlap, and can be flipped over when needed to give a different lighting effect.

Shades are traditionally made from cloth or vinyl, and are made using a single piece of material. While the mechanism to move a shade can sometimes be similar to a blind, the single-piece construction of a shade is what makes it stand out.

Manipulating Light

Blinds tend to be more versatile when it comes to manipulating light. The slats on a blind can be oriented to either cast light upward or downward. If the slats on a blind are relatively flat, then the blind can generally block out a majority of the sunshine coming through a window. But blinds, in general, are not able to block out all light.

Shades are made with a variety of materials and in a range of thicknesses that all treat light very differently. You can get shades that filter light and create a colorful hue in a room, or you can get shades that block the light out completely. While there are light manipulation options with shades, they tend to not be as versatile with light as blinds.

Privacy

Blinds have a difficult time with privacy because even a completely closed blind does not offer a solid shield of protection. Vertical blinds tend to offer more privacy than horizontal blinds, and that is why most people prefer vertical blinds to cover their sliding glass doors.

Shades are a better choice if privacy is your concern. Since a shade is made up of a solid material, it offers a much better barrier for privacy. This is one of the reasons why shades tend to be popular in bedroom and bathroom windows.

Maintenance

Blinds tend to be easier to clean because they are made with a rigid material that is accessible on all sides with various types of cleaning devices. You can dust, vacuum and even wash blinds with a cloth safely and easily. Blinds are difficult to stain because they are generally made from metal, vinyl or wood. Real wood blinds can stain, but they can also be protected with a coat of sealant.

Shades that are made from cloth can be extremely difficult to clean, especially if something is spilled on them. Vinyl shades are much easier to clean, but they do not offer the soft and warm look that many people like with cloth shades.

Should you choose shades or blinds for your home? The final answer depends on many factors, but your satisfaction is ultimately the deciding factor. Call on Handyman Connection of Carmel for a free, no-obligation project estimate to install your new window coverings. We are happy to help!

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