Mini blinds began years ago with the Venetian blinds which were made out of wood. Aluminum blinds entered the scene for the first time in 1946. Vinyl mini blinds followed and then cellular shades were introduced during the last energy crisis when the inventor was looking for a window blind that provided insulation.
When it comes time to buy mini blinds for your home it can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many different types from which to choose.
Choosing which mini blinds are right for you will depend on three things: your purpose, your style preference and your budget.
Before you begin to shop for blinds it is helpful to know what is available, what you want them to accomplish and approximately how much they are.
Things You'll Need
- tape measure
- paper or notebook
KNOW THE TYPES OF MINI BLINDS AVAILABLE:
Aluminum slat mini blinds: Aluminum mini blinds, like all slated blinds are drawn up and down with a pull string. When down the slats can be opened and closed with small twist pole to adjust the amount of light that enters the room. They are available with 1/2 inch, 1 inch and 2 inch slats. They are available in a variety of colors from white to black. They range in price from $25 to $65 for an average size window.
Vinyl mini blinds are less expensive than aluminum mini blinds but come in similar slat sizes and a variety of colors.
Faux wood blinds look like wood, with a wood grain, but are made of PVC. Slats are 2 inches wide. They are available in white, off white and natural wood tones. They range in price from $20 to $75 for an average size blind window.
Real wood mini blinds come in sizes and colors similar to the faux wood blinds but prices are much higher at approximately $100 for an average sized window.
- Cellular shades are used in place of mini blinds but are not mini blinds in the traditional sense. They are raised and lowered by a draw string but cannot be opened and closed while in the down position. They have a honeycomb design to provide insulation. They range in price from $40 to $85 for an average shade.
MEASURE YOUR WINDOWS
You have two mounting options: inside mount and outside mount and what you choose will affect the size of the mini blind you purchase. Mounting them on the inside provides a custom fit look and is the mounting option used most often. Outside mount gives you more control of the amount of light that comes into the room.
Inside Mount: Measure from inside the window frame from side to side and top to bottom.
Outside Mount: Blinds are mounted on the window frame itself. Measure accordingly.
NOTE: The type of mount determines the type of brackets you will need to purchase to install the mini blind.
The width of the slat you choose will have an effect on the look of the mini blind. A tiny slat (1/2 inch) works well in very small windows but not so well in larger ones. Generally speaking, the larger the window the wider the slat.
Wood mini blinds are a good option for a casual look or to blend with natural wood trim. Real wood mini blinds are almost always custom made. They are the only blind that is actually considered as part of the house when you sell it. They last indefinitely and are a serious investment and convey with the house.
Cellular shades have become a popular choice in recent years for their insulating properties. They are more costly to purchase than vinyl or aluminum mini blinds but the cost will be recouped in saving energy costs.
LIGHT FILTERING & OPTIONS
Some blinds block more light when they are closed than others. This will depend on the thickness of the slats. Aluminum blinds usually block more light than vinyl blinds.
Cellular shades come in a variety of light filtering properties. Ask for black out shades if you want total darkness.
Mini blinds can be purchased that can be lowered from the top as well as raised from the bottom. Most quality mini blinds come with a valence piece that slips in a casing at the top to give the blind a more finished look.
You get what you pay for when it comes mini blinds in most cases. Hunter Douglas and Levelor are the two top brands in custom mini blinds. For standard sized mini blinds you will find inexpensive blinds at Wall Mart, Target, etc. Mid-range mini blinds are found at Lowes, Home Depot, and similar stores. JCPenney carries a good selection of mini blinds.
If you know how to measure and what you want, you will probably find the best price buying mini blinds online.
Tips & Warnings
- Take some time to shop before you buy.
- Photo Credit http://www.blindsgalore.com,http://www.primoblinds.com,
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