Anyone who has ever tried to clean traditional mini blinds has probably wondered if there was a better option. Take a look at the basics of built-in blinds to decide if they're right for your home.
Purchasing Windows with Built-In Blinds
You have a few options when it comes to window brands that come with built-in blinds. Each has their advantages; be sure to do some comparative shopping to ensure you get the product you are looking for.
Pella Designer Series
Pella is a well-known window company with a quality product. The Designer Series uses a snap-in mechanism for installing the internal blinds in windows and patio doors. They offer shades, blinds, decorative panels and grilles for the windows. The snap-in option makes it easy to change the built-in blinds if you decide to redecorate. It also makes it easy to take the windows apart for easier cleaning. This feature sets them apart from most other brands of built-in blinds which only come with a few options that aren't changeable.
Jeld-Wen Sliding Doors
Jeld-Wen offers sliding patio doors with built-in blinds. They thermally seal the blinds inside the windows to help keep them clean. They offer a remote system that allows the blinds to be manipulated in very small increments, which can help you position them exactly the way you want them. The doors themselves come in multiple colors and styles, but the blinds are standard.
ThermaTru offers blinds built-in to many of their entry door lines. The blinds have a tilt option to help let in some light, but they do not move or function the way ordinary blinds do. This option works well for providing some privacy and security at the front door, but does not let in much light.
ODL offers both blinds and shades built-in to their windows. This gives you a different option for the appearance of your windows than most companies offer. The blinds block light while providing privacy, while the shades allow a soft light through. The blinds both tilt and slide, while the shades can be moved from the top or bottom for greater control and placement. Both are maintenance free; the shades are guaranteed not to yellow over time.
- Look at actual samples and homes with the built-in blinds if possible.
- Make sure you really like the built-in blinds. Because they are part of the window, you can't simply remove them and go back to a normal window.
- Compare the warranties offered on the windows. Read the fine print to determine if the warranty covers the blinds as well as the rest of the window.
- Compare the features offered with each window to find the best value that also fits your lifestyle.
Basics of Built-In Blinds
These specialty windows feature blinds or shades sandwiched inside the glass. They typically use a slide feature that raises and lowers the blinds. Depending on the brand, you'll find the built-in blind feature for both windows and doors, particularly patio doors. The built-in blind feature is appealing for patio doors because you don't have to deal with opening and closing traditional sliding door blinds to go outside.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Built-In Blinds
It's always important to weigh the pros and cons of a major decision like new windows. Choosing built-in blinds has distinct advantages and a few disadvantages to consider.
- The blinds don't collect dirt, grease and grime like normal blinds.
- Because the dust and other allergens don't collect on the blinds, this option is better for people with allergies. You get rid of the traditional blinds that collect allergens, keeping your home healthier.
- The internal window blinds don't use cords like traditional blinds. This eliminates the strangling hazard for young children.
- You won't have to wrestle with installing traditional blinds.
- The slats of the blinds won't get bent or damaged. This is another big draw for parents of young children.
- The blinds stay looking like new because outside factors are eliminated.
- Most companies say the blinds inside the windows create more insulation, making the windows more energy efficient.
- Regular, high-quality blinds installed by a professional are expensive. If you need new replacement windows anyway, you might save money with the built-in blind option over a separate replacement window and traditional blinds.
- It is a specialty window so it is an expensive endeavor if you decide to replace all of your current windows with them. It's best to do all of the windows for a consistent look both from the inside and outside of the home.
- You can't change the blinds like you would a normal window treatment. Some of these specialty windows allow you to replace the blinds, but you'll be limited to that company's selection. Others don't offer the option to switch.
- Many companies offer plain blinds. You won't have the option for more decorative blinds to fit your décor.
- Cleaning can be difficult. If the seal is broken and dust gets inside the window, they do need to be taken apart to be cleaned. This frequently means removing the window or door from its casing.
Built-in blinds give you an alternative to traditional replacement windows and hanging blinds. Consider all of your options before making your final decision.