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Pros and Cons of Vertical Blinds

Pros and Cons of Vertical Blinds

Sliding patio doors and very wide, expansive windows can be difficult to cover.  Vertical blinds offer a great window treatment option, but are they the best option for you?  Read on to find out the pros and cons of installing vertical blinds in your home…

Until recently, vertical blinds were the only solution for covering sliding doors and wide windows.  While other options are now available, vertical blinds still offer an affordable and functional way to control the light and view at large windows and doors.

 

Wood vertical blinds

Crosswinds Wood Vertical Blinds by Hunter Douglas

Vertical blinds are available in a very wide array of color and material options.  The vanes – the long, narrow strips that hang from the headrail – can be either fabric, wood or hard vinyl, offering options for any decor and lifestyle need.  While the fabric options are among the most beautiful, vinyl vanes are easy to clean and more resistant to staining.  Some vertical blinds, like the Cadence product from Hunter Douglas, offer shaped hard vinyl vanes, which look more like a drapery than a vertical blind.

 

Hunter Douglas Cadence Vertical blinds

Cadence Verticals by Hunter Douglas

One of the best features of vertical blinds is the price.  Verticals are among the most affordable options for sliding patio doors.  However, you will get what you pay for when it comes to vertical blinds.  If you purchase a very inexpensive blind, you can be sure that in a short time, vanes may break or the headrail may stop operating properly.  As with most home decor items, it’s best to purchase the best product you can afford.  Not only will it save you aggravation, it can often be the most inexpensive option when figured over the long term.  A $700 blind that lasts 10 years is more affordable than 4 $200 blinds over the same 10 years.

larger vertical blind

XL Vertical Blinds by The Shade Store

The versatility of vertical blinds is another selling point.  Not only can you move the blinds completely out of the way, but you can also simply tilt the vanes open and closed to allow as much light or view as you wish.  Not every patio door shade or window shade offers that much versatility for the price.

Vertical blinds aren’t the best option for every window, however.  One common complaint about verticals is that they can be noisy.  Whether the vanes are blown around by the wind coming through an open window or by a heat register nearby, vertical blinds can produce a “clanking” sound that some homeowners find objectionable.  This is especially true with hard vanes – wood or vinyl.

Hunter Douglas Somner Custom Vertical Blinds

Somner Custom Vertical Blinds by Hunter Douglas

Depending on the vane style, vertical blinds can also produce a large “stack” at the side of the window, which takes up your light and view.  To avoid this, consider purchasing a vertical blind wider than the area you wish to cover, so the vanes can move completely off the glass when it is opened fully.

Folks also complain that vertical blinds just break too often – whether it is vinyl vanes cracking at the top or the headrail.  This can be avoided by purchasing a quality blind with a good warranty, as I mentioned above.

Vertical blinds have long been the workhorse of the window treatment industry.  While they aren’t for everyone, they can be a great, affordable option for those large areas of glass in your home.

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4 Responses to Pros and Cons of Vertical Blinds

  1. sunraider says:

    I did up a holiday home in a hot climate where we use fans in the rooms. I made the unfortunate mistake of going for venetian blinds for the windows because they were easier to clean, made the room look bigger and were MUCH cheaper than drapery.

    Unfortunately the fans blow the blinds around like paper in a storm. I was wandering whether anyone had any tips on how i can keep the blinds open or closed whilst the fan is on, without resorting to pulling them to the side of the window and tying them back with something?

    It is also proving to be very much of an inconvenience when its night time and the blinds need to be closed to avoid people outside viewing through the window.

    • Teri says:

      Hmmm….that’s a tough one! Unfortunately, I don’t know of anyway to keep the vanes on a vertical blind from blowing around. Some of them come with a ball chain through the bottoms of the vanes, which keeps them in place – sort of. Short of that, it would seem that a different type of treatment may suit your needs better. Something with a top-down/bottom-up feature would allow for you to let in some air at night, while still maintaining your privacy.

  2. kyle says:

    Verticals are most practical for large opening. I purchased a condo attached to the Hilton built 30 years ago. It came with cloth verticals blinds on 24ft window, they must been original. Anyhow I took a chance and removed the blades and threw them into the washing machine with alittle beach. They came out clean and smelling clean. Air dried them and up they went for another 30 years. They’re not the best looking but they work like a charm and keep the sun out…

    • Teri says:

      Hi, Kyle – thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. You are absolutely right- they work great on a wall of windows that large. Sometimes, they are truly the best option. And, thankfully, there are some lovely new options in vinyl, wood and fabric vertical blinds that punch up the style a bit, too.

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