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Use our guide to research the best blind and window treatment company for you. Most companies that sell window treatments offer blinds, drapes, indoor shutters, Roman shades, blackout curtains and more. We explain how to choose a retailer that provides the products you need at a reasonable price.

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Considerations for custom window treatments

How much do custom window treatments cost?

There’s no simple answer to how much custom blinds will cost. We priced faux-wood blinds for a 28x36 inch window, and prices ranged from about $20 to $100. The price increased even more if we opted for a cordless operation system. Regardless of which company you choose, several factors will affect the final cost of your window treatments.

  • Materials: The more expensive materials you choose, the more you’ll spend on window treatments. Real wood, designer fabric and insulated options will add to your final price. Aluminum mini blind or vertical blinds are cheaper options.
  • Shipping: Shipping is often free if you live in the contiguous United States. You’ll have to pay extra shipping fees if your blinds are very wide, meaning more than 90 inches, or if you live in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Size: The larger your windows, the more materials you'll need, and the more expensive your window treatment will be. Treatments for very large or oddly-shaped windows will cost more.
  • Operation: Most blinds use a cord or rod to open and close. Cordless blinds systems are safer for homes with children or pets, but they’re more expensive. You can program motorized blinds and shades to work with other smart home features, but the motorized operation can make even a small window treatment cost over $200.

How long will it take to get my order?

Ordering custom blinds or shades online means the items will fit your windows perfectly, but it can take some time to get them. If you’re in a rush to receive your new blinds or window shades, consider how quickly each site will manufacture and ship your items.

  • Item type: Treatments for odd-shaped windows and shades that must be sewn by hand are more difficult to make than others, so it will take longer for you to get them. Most sites have information about manufacturing times listed online. If they don’t, ask a customer service representative whether it will make a difference if you order Roman shades or Venetian blinds in terms of manufacturing and shipping time.
  • Manufacturing time: After you order the blinds, shades or shutters, the manufacturer will have to produce them in the specified size and color. Make sure you understand how long it will take before your products go into production and how long they’ll take to make.
  • Delivery time: A lot of companies offer free delivery if you choose standard ground shipping. Some companies offer expedited shipping for an additional fee. Ask how your order will be shipped once your items are made.

Can I return custom shades?

Because custom items are made just for you, companies can’t simply resell items you return. This means some online blind companies won’t accept returns. Policies vary by company, so ask a customer service representative before you finalize your order.

  • Returns: Some companies will accept returns. You usually need to contact them to let them know there’s a problem within 14 days of receiving your items.
  • Exchanges: Many blinds manufacturers will let you exchange one product for another of equal value. If you choose a more expensive item, you’ll have to pay the price difference.
  • Limitations: Your order may not be eligible for either a return or an exchange if it has been damaged during an improper installation. You might also be ineligible if you didn’t order a sample before making your purchase. Order samples beforehand, and consider hiring a professional installer to take measurements and install the blinds, shades or shutters.

Can I see samples before ordering?

All the companies on this guide will either send you free samples of blinds materials or fabric swatches for shades and drapes before you place an order. Some even have local consultants or showrooms to show you your options in person.

  • Samples: If you look at samples of the fabric or material, you’ll know that you like the look and feel of the material. Request samples to ensure you’ll be happy with the product you buy, especially if you’re ordering items online.
  • Showrooms: Some companies have showrooms where you can see all their materials. If you don’t have any idea what you want, look for a company with a showroom where you can see a lot of different choices.
  • Consultations: If you want help figuring out what kind of window treatments will work best in your home, choose a company that offers in-home consultations. A design consultant will bring samples to your house and take measurements. Some companies offer this service for free; others may charge a small fee for consultations.

Can I have online purchases professionally installed?

Some window treatments, like pocket-rod curtains, are very easy to install. Others, like indoor shutters, are a bit more labor intensive. Having window treatments professionally installed can make the process less stressful. It may also be easier to be reimbursed through a warranty if your window treatments are installed by a professional. If you’re spending a significant amount of money on blinds, shades or shutters, paying for professional installation can bring you peace of mind.

  • Retailer employees: Some blinds and window shade retailers have professional installers who work for them. When you order window treatments from one of these companies, you can choose to have your order installed by those employees.
  • NBI: Retailers without physical showrooms or local design consultants may not employ anyone who can install window treatments for you. Many of these companies, and several on this guide, work with the Nationwide Blind Installer (NBI) organization.
  • Independent installers: If you order from a company that doesn’t offer installation services, search online for an independent installer in your city.

What else should I consider when ordering blinds online?

Custom window treatments can be pricey, so buy them from a company that will support you before, during and after your purchase. Make sure you understand the company’s policies and its reputation before buying blinds or shades from them.

  • Warranties: If your blinds or shades break after a few months, you’ll want a company that will make it right. Look at the warranty information before you buy, and make sure to check what is covered. If a site simply says their products have a limited lifetime warranty, ask a customer service representative for more details.
  • Satisfaction guarantees: A lot of companies advertise a satisfaction guarantee, but don’t assume that means you can just send an order back for a full refund if you’re unhappy. Read the exchange and return policy specifically so you know your options if you aren’t satisfied with your order.
  • Customer service: If you find blinds or shades you like for comparable prices on sites with similar return policies, then rely on reviews when making your final selection. Read about other people’s experiences with the company’s customer service to determine which one will be easier to work with.

Types of custom blind retailers

Online only

Some custom window treatment retailers only sell products online. These companies save money by reducing overhead and then passing those savings to you.

Online and brick-and-mortar

Many companies have traditional brick-and-mortar locations as well as online stores. These retailers are ideal if you want to visit a location to see samples but then order online.

Design consultant only

Some companies believe the best way to serve you is by visiting your home and working with you in person. If you want a lot of assistance, look for a company that has showrooms or offers in-home consultations.

Custom blinds and window treatments customers

Online shoppers

If you prefer shopping on the internet, ordering blinds or window shades online is for you. You can shop for drapes, indoor shutters, window shades and blinds from the comfort of your couch.

Those with unique windows

If your house has unusually large or small windows or ones that have a unique shape, you’ll have many more choices if you buy custom blinds or window shades.

Those who want professional design help

If you need help choosing what kind of window treatments you want and what colors or patterns you want them to be, look for a company that offers in-home consultations.

Blinds and window treatments FAQ

How do I get my blinds to go down?

Lowering your blinds is simple once you get a feel for it. For most types of blinds, follow these steps:

  1. To unlock your blinds, pull the cords to the left, toward the center of the blinds and in line with the top railing.
  2. Let the cord pull upward slowly without letting go.

If that doesn’t work, you may have to remove your blinds and tinker with the release mechanism (called a pawl).

What window treatments are in style?

Bamboo, linen or matchstick blinds are very trendy right now. Organic materials lighten a room and go with nearly any type of design. Other stylish window treatment options include jewel tones, black window frames and sheer curtains. Remember to match your window treatment with the rest of your home’s aesthetic to create a unified design.

What are the different types of blinds?

The main types of blinds are:

  • Venetian blinds: Traditional horizontal slats
  • Vertical blinds: Longer slats that run the length of a window or door
  • Roller blinds: Soft fabric that rolls up and disappears when raised
  • Roman blinds: Soft fabric that folds up decoratively when raised
  • Pleated blinds: Honeycomb-shaped folds of fabric that fold flat when raised

While there are some functional differences between different types of blinds, most people choose one based on looks or budget.

What is the easiest way to clean blinds?

The simplest way to clean metal or wood blinds is to first close the blinds and then run a microfiber towel along each panel’s top and bottom. Make sure to vacuum the floor afterward to pick up all the excess dust that has fallen.

For blinds made out of fabric, attach a soft brush and vacuum your shades, starting from the top.

What is the best material for window blinds?

There is no single best material for window blinds, but if you want specific benefits, there are certain types that are better suited for specific applications. Here’s a short breakdown:

  • Best for decoration: Wood blinds or fabric blinds
  • Best for functionality: Cordless blinds
  • Best on a budget: Vinyl blinds
  • Best for energy efficiency: Pleated blinds

Not sure how to choose?

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