Ballpark Estimate: $30 to $400 a panel
Open up to the benefits that you get when you select window shades and blinds. These modern window treatments can be a great way to dress up your home and keep the heat in and the sun’s glare out as you desire. Most window blinds can be customized in all different styles, colors, fabrics and lengths. Therefore, you can be sure to find an option that fits with your window specs and design taste.
Range of Choices
How much are you willing to spend on your window blinds? You can opt for inexpensive ready-made window blinds that are manually opened and shut. These can usually be bought right off the sales floor or ordered through an internet store. Or you might want to invest a bit more on automatic made-to-order window blinds. This will usually give you a limited range of choices from which to select, so you can put together your preferred combination and design. Of course if you live in a high-end home, you could also consider splurging on custom-made window blinds. This will allow you to pick your own material choices and style and have them made to your rooms’ unique specifications.
You’ll also need to decide if you want simple window blinds that you operate with a pull or rope, or if you are willing to invest in a more sophisticated motorized style.
Automatic Window Blinds
Many people today decide to go with automatic window blinds. These window treatments are motorized, providing ease of use and saving time, particularly for large windows that can be hard to reach. They also offer convenience for homes with so many windows that it would be difficult to open and close all of the window blinds by hand on a daily basis. Most automatic window blinds can be operated by a switch, or you can buy a remote control that makes it even more convenient to open and close multiple window blinds and adjust them as you desire. You can usually use a battery-operated mechanism or one that’s hard wired right into your home’s electrical system.
You’ll need to determine the look of the window blinds you desire. For instance, if you want lever-style window blinds, you can find these with vertical panels or horizontal ones. Some other popular window blinds to consider are solar shades, which block out the sun’s rays but still allow you to see the view outside. For a modern effect, you can also look for single-panel roller window shades that are in a traditional style but made from different fabrics so you can get a custom match for your room. You might also consider roman window shades that have strategic folds to give them a high-end drape. Some people are also drawn to the clean, modern lines of pleated window shades, or the sleek, modern effect of transitional panel window blinds. In addition, you can select window shades that simply filter light or ones that provide room-darkening properties.
Where to Shop
You can find window blinds at most home local decorating shops and window treatment stores. Many chain stores that carry home goods and hardware supplies also sell basic window blinds. Some places to try include Target, Lowes, Sears, JC Penney and Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can also look in your yellow pages under window treatments or do a search online for window blind sources. Another option is to shop through the websites of some of the well-known window blind manufacturers, such as Hunter Douglas, Levolor, and Stoneside, or look for discount providers. Just remember that if you want to order window shades and window blinds online, it can be wise to see a sample first. In addition, if you are ordering custom window blinds as part of a larger home decoration project, you may want to enlist the services of a professional interior designer who can recommend the best proportions, material, texture, color scheme and style.
The cost of window blinds and shades depends on what you select. The size of your window can make a big difference in what you will end up paying for your blinds. If a standard style fits your specs, this will be significantly cheaper than if you need something specially made for your space. The quality of the material will also affect the bottom line. For instance, plastic or vinyl window blinds will usually be on the low end of the spectrum, while fine fabrics and woods can be on the pricier side. If you select an automated window blind, this greatly increases the price. In addition, you can expect to pay for window blinds to be installed. Although you can put up some of the simplest blinds easily yourself, for custom-made styles and motorized ones, you’ll probably want to invest in the services of a professional.
Different Mounting Options
There are several different ways that you can mount window treatments and these will affect the size you need. You can select an inside mount, which means the window covering is secured within the window frame itself. You can also consider a flush mount, in which the window blind is attached further back in the window frame so that the valance is lined up with the opening of the window. Then there’s an outside mount, which will be attached beyond the window frame itself and as such, provides the best light-blocking option. Each of these scenarios requires different measurements so you’ll need to decide which mounting style you desire before you buy.
Cost for Window Blinds
What you can expect to spend on window blinds depends on how high end you want the final product to look. Here are some examples of prices along the cost spectrum to help you determine what you want and how much you’ll need to pay:
- You can find b made of plastic, vinyl or wood particles costing about $10 a panel for some of the most economical choices. You can also find basic window shades in this affordable price range.
- The price goes up as you increase the quality level. Ready-made manual window shades and blinds and ones that have energy efficient properties that come in good quality materials can cost about $25 to $150 for a panel.
- Automated blinds can cost between $250 and $2,000.
- A custom window treatment design can cost between $200 and $1,200 or more per panel. (Note that double and triple windows will either require multiple panels or a panel custom made to fit the size.)
You can expect a cost between $10 a panel on up to $2,000 for a high-end custom window blinds or shades. Many people spend on the lower end of the spectrum, keeping the price to $400 or less for each standard window.
Adding Up the Cost
If you’re outfitting an entire house with window blinds, remember that whatever you spend per window needs to be multiplied by the number of windows throughout your home. This means that if you have 10 single windows and two doubles, you will need 14 window blind panels. (Note that if you are ordering custom window blinds, you might opt for one double-width panel to be made to fit your space instead.) At a cost of $10 per window blind, this would be $140, while a cost of $100 a window blind this would be $1,400. At a cost of $1,000 a custom window blind panel, this could be $14,000, so the prices can span a wide range depending on your desires and your budget.
If you have your window blinds professionally installed, many better companies include the labor in the cost for the window blinds, particularly if they are automated, but you’ll need to ask this up front. (If you shop online, you’ll also need to hire someone to install them if you can’t do the job yourself.) When you pay for installation separately, assume that the cost can range from $10 to $25 per window, so for 14 window panels, this could add a price of $140 to $350 to the overall cost. If you are having custom wooden valences made to match or are paying for the labor involved in motorized shades as a separate item, the cost can be even higher. Whatever you select, remember that the energy savings and privacy you get from your window shades and blinds can end up being worth the investment over time.