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View Full Version : blinds better than curtains or drapes?



Stephen Tashiro
09-19-2012, 4:48 PM
It's a subjective question whether blinds are better than curtains or drapes, but I'm curious about some aspects of this.

1. Fire resistance
I'd think that blinds would be more fire resistant than curtains or drapes. I don't know there are fire resistance standards for the manufacture of any of those window treatments. Some drapes feel like they have a coating of something on them, but it might just be starch.

2. Insulation value.
I'd think that, when closed, drapes and blinds would offer about the same insulation value. Curtains would come in third. I supose all of them wiould benefit from having a pelmet.

3. Convenience of adjustment
To me, curtains win, hands down. It's much more convenient just to grab a curtain and pull it open or closed that to hunt for the drapery cords or remember which set of cords raise the blinds and which set opens them.

4. Clean-ability
Curtains are easy to wash. Most modern drapes can be washed but they don't look crisp unless you iron them afterward. Blinds are a nuisance to cleen in-place, but the fair comparison woudl be how easily they would be to clean if you took them down and hosed them off. I've never done that.

5. Pet-resistance. Drapes and curtains aren't very resistant to cats who want to get them out of the way to look out the window. I don't care if they are pushed out of the way, but they get holes clawed in them and they collect a lot of cat hair. I haven't tried binds in this context yet.

Bruce Page
09-19-2012, 4:57 PM
We replaced all of our windows several years ago with Pella windows that have the mini blinds between the glass. I don’t miss the drapes even a tiny bit.

David G Baker
09-19-2012, 5:49 PM
I have blinds on most of my windows along with curtains for cosmetic reasons (as instructed by SWMBO) I like blinds because my eyes are sensitive to excessive light.

James Baker SD
09-19-2012, 6:01 PM
we are gradually replacing curtains with vertical blinds. They have less surface parallel to the ground to collect dust, so they stay as clean as curtains. They do have two cords for opening, one that rotates them and another to pull them to the sides, but I never confuse the two cords (one is a loop, the other a pair of lines with knobs). They don't have much insulation value. A west facing window gets very hot in summer and much of the caught heat eventually radiates into the room, but I think curtains would be the same. Only dual pane windows would help there. All in all I like them and will continue the replacement schedule as funds permit.

Charlie Velasquez
09-19-2012, 6:51 PM
If the blinds are highly reflective you can adjust them so almost all the sunlight reflects into the room without the glare. On most shades you are restricted to the level opacity manufactured into the shades or the glare from direct sunlight.

phil harold
09-19-2012, 7:16 PM
I have cellular blinds by bali
I like the insulating quality for hot sun and cold winter, I have bunch of 4'x6' windows
I also love how you can pull the blind down by hand and have them shade just the bottom, top, or middle
http://www.baliblinds.com/ProductLine.do?productLineId=59
241428

Larry Frank
09-19-2012, 7:24 PM
I am not so certain that I know the difference between curtains and drapes. I think that drapes are usually heavier. We use insulated drapes and I think they are much better in the cold months at keeping the cold out at avoiding drafts coming off of windows or sliding doors.

Shawn Pixley
09-19-2012, 11:23 PM
I hate curtains or drapes. We have vertical blinds on some windows. Most windows in our house don't have blinds or curtains. We have a lot of glass in our house but live in a mild climate. Vertical blinds need a lot less dusting.

Rich Engelhardt
09-20-2012, 7:34 AM
I like blinds - my wife doesn't.
End of story.....

Epilogue....there ain't a blind in the place...well,,,except for me,,,I'm blind in one eye so I guess we have a half blind..

Jason Roehl
09-20-2012, 7:53 AM
Just from experience. Cats may/will chew on blinds.

Leigh Costello
09-20-2012, 7:54 AM
We had drape/curtains in our old house. I did not like the maintenance and the dog did not like them at all. When we built our house, we put in lots of windows. I use cellular shades, top down bottom up, colors complement the rooms and no hanging fabric. I love them. I did have to concede to some lacy valance in my daughter's room. Small price to pay to avoid "But, Moooommmm!"

John Lifer
09-20-2012, 10:11 AM
In my old home in MS, we had replaced all the windows with horizontal sliding windows. And then put up vertical blinds.
One rod - twist to open/close, grab and pull to move entirely out of the way. I loved them. current home has horizontal blinds, which are old and crap, and drapes. Wife likes them, I hate them. I like to see out!

Belinda Williamson
09-20-2012, 11:51 AM
I live in a small space with wonderful views. The girly side of me occasionally feels the need to put some frippery on a rod and place it over the windows. Insulated drapes would be nice in the winter but I don't like feeling like I live in a cave. I have horizontal blinds which I find aren't difficult to clean if I never bother to clean them. I like that I can adjust them to let some light in but still block the harsh sunlight we have here. Drapes would not work with my cats. The cats have never chewed or climbed on the blinds. One cat will climb on me in the wee hours of the morning to get me to raise the blinds so he can listen to/watch the birds wake up.

So, I guess I come down on the blinds side of the discussion. My female friends, I'm sure, wonder when I will "fix the place up" because I get those disapproving looks whenever they come to visit. Ask me how much I care . . . In my perfect world I would live WAY out in the country and there would be nothing covering my windows.

Mike Cutler
09-20-2012, 12:32 PM
You can have both in one package. Roman blinds combine the attributes, plus and minus, of both.

Kevin Bourque
09-20-2012, 12:40 PM
The previous owner stole all the curtains, but left the hangers and rods. I hang my plants from the rods.

ray hampton
09-20-2012, 5:42 PM
I live in a small space with wonderful views. The girly side of me occasionally feels the need to put some frippery on a rod and place it over the windows. Insulated drapes would be nice in the winter but I don't like feeling like I live in a cave. I have horizontal blinds which I find aren't difficult to clean if I never bother to clean them. I like that I can adjust them to let some light in but still block the harsh sunlight we have here. Drapes would not work with my cats. The cats have never chewed or climbed on the blinds. One cat will climb on me in the wee hours of the morning to get me to raise the blinds so he can listen to/watch the birds wake up.

So, I guess I come down on the blinds side of the discussion. My female friends, I'm sure, wonder when I will "fix the place up" because I get those disapproving looks whenever they come to visit. Ask me how much I care . . . In my perfect world I would live WAY out in the country and there would be nothing covering my windows.

I f the world were perfect I would ask YOU to to build my house away from other houses

Larry Edgerton
09-20-2012, 5:56 PM
Belinda

Our new house is 150 feet off of a seldom used gravel road, and it is 30 miles out the back door to the next house. People come in to check it out and are appalled at the four large windows and full length glass door in my bathroom. The door is for the outside shower. Two long windows will be at tub height, a clawfoot tub sunk in a marble slab that is also the widow sills. I will be able to sit in the tub and look at the garden or watch the elk in the back yard. Eat your heart out.:p

I may have to put blinds up for company I guess.........

Larry

Larry Edgerton
09-20-2012, 6:34 PM
A word of caution on tight fitting drapes in cold climates.

I am seeing more and more problems with window sash rotting on the bottom in modern tight fitting house with infloor and to some extent baseboard heat. When the curtians fit too tightly condensation forms on the glass at the bottom of the sash, and with no air movement to carry it away it sits there and molds and causes paint failure and rot.

I noticed this in my current house with new Andersons, infloor heat, and a very tight envelope. In a room that we never open the curtians in the winter the sash were black in the spring. If I lift my curtians about 2" so air can stream through behind them, no problem. I checked on several of the houses that I have built that have the same setup, and in each one that the curtians were tight there was excess moisture buildup on the window, a couple that rot had already started.

This is one of the reasons that I switched to forced air on my new house. I do not have a humidifier in my current house, just two of us and we both work, so no breathing in the middle of the day, we do not cook a whole lot, and we still have a problem. I may be too tight.

Larry

Ted Calver
09-20-2012, 8:40 PM
".... a clawfoot tub sunk in a marble slab...."Larry

From what I've seen on TV, those tubs are supposed to be installed in pairs, side by side :) :)

Belinda Williamson
09-21-2012, 9:09 AM
Belinda

Our new house is 150 feet off of a seldom used gravel road, and it is 30 miles out the back door to the next house. People come in to check it out and are appalled at the four large windows and full length glass door in my bathroom. The door is for the outside shower. Two long windows will be at tub height, a clawfoot tub sunk in a marble slab that is also the widow sills. I will be able to sit in the tub and look at the garden or watch the elk in the back yard. Eat your heart out.:p

I may have to put blinds up for company I guess.........

Larry

Been there, done that, miss it tremendously. Years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I lived in my dream home (almost, there was a troll that lived in the basement). His and hers baths. Mine was all White Cararra marble. The huge whirlpool tub was open to the bathroom and the other three sides were glass from tub splash to ceiling, with glass overhead. It was like floating in the middle of nature. The fact that the wet bar was just on the other side of the door may have contributed to that sensation. I could relax and watch the deer wander through the yard, look at the stars, watch fireflies, watch the water ripple in the swimming pool . . . it was a little piece of heaven. I cried when I had to leave that house.

P.S. The best was when it was raining or we had a thunderstorm.

Bill Cunningham
09-23-2012, 9:03 PM
We have drapes.... We also have a cat that can make it all the way to the ceiling..:mad:

Gordon Eyre
09-24-2012, 3:39 PM
Probably the classiest and easiest to use are wooden shutters. They are also the most costly. If it were strictly up to my wife we would order them tomorrow. Problem is I have a lot of large windows and it would be $10,000.00 to have them installed.

Jim Becker
09-24-2012, 8:26 PM
I always choose blinds over curtains, although we don't actually use either with the exception of our guest suite, preferring the bare window look. (No neighbors to worry about...)

Leigh Costello
09-28-2012, 11:32 PM
About the only time we close the blinds in the living room is when we have overnight company. The office/guest room are only closed when we are hiding our accumulated treasures while entertaining. The master bedroom is often closed on one side because of neighbors with nosy tendencies but the north facing window is 35 square feet of gorgeous views of forest and sometimes whitetails and coyotes. Oh and the daughter's room? When she's home she closes it. Like Belinda, my gal pals do not share my window dressing tastes.

Jim Matthews
09-29-2012, 9:22 AM
I installed horizontal blinds (no cords, single honeycomb) on our windows for heat management.

After putting them in, condensation no longer forms on the interior of our windows during heating season.
They performed so well, I put in vertical blinds over a couple key doorways.

This reduced the heat loss through our glass sunroom enough that the adjacent kitchen seating area is pleasant on cold mornings.
Installing the same vertical blinds over stairwell doors has made adding more baseboard zone controls redundant.

They're relatively inexpensive (less than the fuel costs saved) and make palpable improvements in the comfort of our house.

I like the translucent shades, in an off-white or cream color.
Other colors really show dust build up.

YMMV but I think honeycomb shades are a cost-efficient window covering that look sharp.