Ask the Experts
With 70 years of experience and employees who have decades of industry knowledge, we are proud to offer expert advice on all things related to window coverings. Here are just a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our customers. Have a question that’s not answered here? Contact us and we’ll answer it!
What are custom window coverings?
Custom window treatments are window coverings that are created specifically for your windows. They include many varieties of window treatments: horizontal blinds, vertical blinds, different types of shades, draperies, curtains, and even shutters. They are precisely measured, fabricated, and installed to fit the size and style of your window and home.
Why should I purchase custom window treatments?
Custom windows treatments give any room a long lasting impact one feels the moment one enters a space. They bring color and dimension to the upper levels of a room, control the light and privacy, and enhance your lifestyle with beauty, durability, and even luxury. There are so many wonderful styles, colors, textures, and innovative new window covering products to choose from today! Without being an expert in the field, it may be difficult to know where to start looking and it can feel overwhelming to make a decision without sound professional advice. The team at Strickland’s can help you chose the best window treatments for your home.
Can’t I just get a quote over the phone?
We can provide a general quote by telephone, provided we have the dimensions of your windows. However, a true estimate can only be offered with a free in-home consultation, once all material and design considerations have been estimated and the homeowner has chosen the actual window treatment. The estimated phone price can be more or less than the actual price, once our sales representative has presented the best options for your window coverings.
Can I measure my windows myself?
Yes, you can, but it’s not usually recommended. Most stores will not be held liable if your custom window coverings do not fit due to imprecise measurements that you have done yourself. Because the products are custom-made to your home’s specifications, they cannot be returned. However, if you feel that you would rather measure yourself, be sure and use a sturdy, metal tape measure. Cloth tapes can stretch, and yardsticks are usually not long enough. Also, be sure to measure your windows at least twice and confirm your measurements with your spouse or a friend. Many independent retailers who offer shop-at-home services will measure your windows and give you an estimate for free. Still others will charge a fee, but will apply it to a subsequent purchase. Check with the individual store policy regarding measurements before doing it yourself.
Should I take my measurements to a store?
It is a good idea to bring in measurements to increase the chances you’ll receive an accurate idea of pricing, however it’s wise to have one of our consultants do the final measuring when placing an order. That way, we assume the responsibility of the product fitting and working properly. Please remember to measure both the width and the height of your windows.
Can you match what I already have in my home?
We can usually match your existing window coverings without a problem. We work with many different manufacturers and demand the same level of service with each and every one.
Should I go to a store, or call a specialist to come to my home?
When you call our window specialist to your home, you’re inviting an expert in the industry who knows, from experience, what is available in new products, appropriate fabrics, and materials for any use, plus any special innovations and values from the many window fashions manufacturers and suppliers out there. Your specialist will have suggestions and ideas to add to yours, and will be able to help you create any look your heart desires. To see an even greater variety of examples, as well as actual working blinds and shades, visit our showroom, where you can see how the finished product actually looks and works.
Price versus Value
I’m confused by the ads for mini-blinds at 60%, 70% and 80% off. How do I know I’m really getting the best price and value?
That’s a good question! Ads can be very confusing, and remember that the greatest percentage off doesn’t always guarantee a lower price. When you comparison shop for blinds or shades, be sure to look at the actual dollar amount you will be spending window treatments. As a buyer, it is useful to compare features and benefits of each product. Certainly, you’ll want a product that will last, not one that will change color or have slats that warp over time. There are many other features to consider: for example, do you want a product that has tight closure to ensure good light and privacy control? Or, if you are older, do you want a product that you can raise and lower easily? Both? Take a look at our “Window Covering Elements” page for more information on specifications and amenities.
Also, be sure to take a close look at product guarantees, one of the most important attributes of a home decorating product. The finer window coverings have lifetime guarantees, whereas lower-priced products may be guaranteed for only a year. Once you consider all of these factors, especially in light of your own needs and preferences, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Why are custom window coverings so expensive?
It’s true that custom window coverings cost more than ready-made products. They are individually designed for each particular window and usually carry a lifetime warranty. The quality of the materials and craftsmanship is also far above those of mass-produced shade manufacturers. With Strickland’s custom designs, you’ll find a great deal more to choose from than at any big box store. As with fine clothing that reflects your unique personality, custom window coverings are the ultimate expression of your taste and style. And they don’t have to be as expensive as you might imagine! With the assistance of a consultant who will come to your home, measure your windows, and suggest window coverings that enhance your existing color scheme and architectural elements, the results can be simply stunning. And since your home is your most important investment, why not invest in custom window treatments that will stand the test of time?
Do you offer full warranty on your products?
Yes, please see our warranty on our homepage as it is one of the best warranties in the industry today.
By putting new window coverings, can I increase the value of my home?
If you had your home appraised prior to refurbishing it, and replaced everything, including upgrading old verticals to new horizontal blinds, you could potentially increase the value of you home with the new window coverings. But the only window covering that is known to actually increase the value of your home is the plantation shutter. Once attached to your window, it becomes a permanent part of the home, just like granite counters and tile or hardwood floors. Shutters give the home instant curb appeal from the end of the driveway.
Safety and Maintenance
I’ve been reading about the danger of drapery and blind cords to young children. This concerns me, since I have a newborn baby. What can I do to eliminate the danger?
Safety may be a big consideration if you’re a parent of small children. Window covering cords have been identified as one of the products most frequently associated with strangulation of children under the age of five. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council have joined with major manufacturers, importers, and retailers across the United States to warn parents and caregivers about this danger. Entanglement in these cords and strangulation can occur when a child is left alone in a room for only a short period of time. Parents are advised to keep all window covering cords out of the reach of children. Never put a crib or young child’s bed near a window with a dangling cord. And because young children climb, never put a chair, sofa, bench or even a bookcase near such a window. Do not knot or tie the cords together, since this creates a new loop in which a child could become entangled.
There are also methods for eliminating the loop in two-corded horizontal blinds, pleated shades, and cellular shades. When you purchase new window covering products, you’ll find a warning tag that describes these methods. One option might be replacing your current cords with “safety tassle” varieties. For your child’s safety, we also have cordless window coverings and remote control shades available in a variety of designs and colors.
What about washing or cleaning?
Your expert will recommend the best fabrics and materials for washability or dry-cleaning, and specific window covering products that are more resilient to frequent washing or cleaning if that is your home’s need. Obviously, some ready-made products are washable, but how much should you allow for shrinkage when you measure for them? Will they shrink more each washing? What about color-fastness? Will washing or cleaning hurt the durability and long-life? When you work with an expert, you’ll have the right answers to these and other questions you might have about window coverings up front!
Do your blinds come with strings or that long plastic stick that you have to turn?
You can order blinds through us in both types. That long stick is called a “wand” in the industry, while the strings are generally called “cords.” You have the choice of ordering your blinds with a wand tilt or cord tilt, which is the feature that opens and closes the slats of the blinds. On larger, heavier blinds the cord tilt is more durable. The pull, which is what you use to raise or lower the blind, is, for the most part, only available with a cord. We will be able to advise you on the option that is best for your window treatments.
I love the look of wood. What are my options?
You can go in many directions, from beautiful interior wood shutters to wood blinds, in a variety of slat sizes. With the popularity of cottages and Charleston-style homes in our area, wood shutters are increasingly fashionable today. Additionally, many customers view shutters as a lifetime investment that enhances the value of their home. For a more economical choice, consider wood blinds. In wider slat sizes, they emulate the look of shutters for a fraction of the cost. There are also vinyl products that emulate the look of wood, both in shutters and blinds.
What type of window blinds would be best for my bathroom? And what type of wood are the wood horizontal blinds made of?
Resistance to humidity and heat are important factors in bathroom window blinds. We have blinds made of synthetic materials, as well as shades, that are perfect for your bathroom. They are water resistant and simple to clean, which makes them ideal in steamy environments. All of our wood blinds are made from a high quality basswood. This is a perfect wood for any blind, as it offers strength and flexibility in a premium finish.
My office is based at home and I often get the sun reflecting on my screen but I still want to work in daylight, what window blind do you recommend?
We recommend a shade in a translucent fabric for sunny offices. This will let the light through but prevent the harshness of the sunlight from reflecting on your screen. Blinds or shutters may also be used as the angle of the slats can be adjusted as needed to diffuse light away from monitor, television, and laptop screens.
What’s the best treatment for a nursery?
For a nursery, the most effective window treatment is a lined drapery (called a “room darkening” liner) that helps keep the room dark during the day, so your child can sleep peacefully at any hour. You can get lined shades, too, but those are not as effective as fully lined draperies. With shades, the light is still going to peek through at the shade’s edge, along the sides of your windows. You could design room-darkening shades with stationary panels on the sides to minimize this problem, if you prefer the look of shades to drapery. There are also shades available with side channels that minimize the light coming in around their edges.
What’s the best way to address French and sliding glass doors?
With French doors, the most popular option is treating the doors themselves by attaching a blind or shade to the door and installing brackets at the bottom to hold the blind or shade steady as the door moves. A second option would be to use draperies with a rod attached to the wall above the doors, but this means that the drapery does not move with the door. The formality of your room or the level of traffic through your French door will probably determine which choice is best for you.
Sliding doors are more challenging than French doors. Although they are less popular today than in previous years, vertical blinds are still a good practical choice for those who want privacy and have sliding doors. More high-end options include sliding panel systems such as Skyline from Hunter Douglas as well as the Luminette, a drapery and blind hybrid. Another elegant option is to have a pretty drapery that can be drawn to one side with a valance above the door to conceal the movable track.
If I put shutters on my windows, won’t I lose most of my view?
This is a common misconception about shutters. You will still have approximately a 90% view with the louvers open, and a 100% view with the shutter panels open. If you go with the larger (4 and 1/2 inch) louvered shutters, you will have an even more unobstructed view with the louvers open, because they are spaced farther apart. Take a look at these images for yourself. (link to page will full view photos)
What is a faux blind?
A faux blind is a blind made from synthetic material instead of wood. Faux blinds are usually made of one of three materials: a hardened foam, a type of plastic, or a PVC material. Faux (pronounced foe) is the French word for fake, or more specifically forgery. Though the material is not real wood, it is much more durable and easier to clean than wood, making it ideal for those looking for a cost effective, low maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing way to cover their windows. Did we mention that it’s significantly less expensive than wood?
Faux materials are also available in shutters, however, please be aware that they tend to be the same price as wood shutters.