Window Covering & Window Treatment Types

Window coverings are a necessary feature in any home. Functionally, window coverings control sunlight and provide privacy from curious neighbors. Sunlight is a welcome addition in most homes, providing light to create open room feeling. However, intense or direct sunlight can be difficult visually, contribute unwanted heat, and fade carpet and furniture. Therefore, it is important to choose a window covering that adds both function and style to your living environment.

interior window shuttersA variety of window covering options offer a multitude of features. Each treatment has both positives and negatives. Price and budget is usually one of the many determining factors in selection of a proper window covering. It is best to also take into consideration the durability, available styles, effectiveness, application, type of window, features, and expected life of the contending window coverings.

Metal Mini-Blinds $ - $$
+ Large number of colors from which to choose to match home
+ Easy to measure for and install
+ Retractable for unobstructed view
- Can be easy to bend or dent which lends to short expected life
- Average ability to block sunlight
- Dangling cords and tilt wand
- Difficult to clean individual slats

Roller Shades $ - $$
+ Retractable for unobstructed view
+ Clean look
+ Some shades are thick and block light very well
- Some shades translucent, allowing a lot of light to penetrate through the shade
- Some shades may look really cheap

Wood Blinds $$
+ Available in painted and stained finishes
+ Blend well with shutters in the same home
+ Several louver sizes
+ Easy to measure for and install
+ Retractable for unobstructed view
- May not be able to span across wide windows
- Generally less formal than other window coverings
- Medium life expectancy
- Dangling cords and tilt wand

Vertical Blinds $$
+ Ability to cover tall window or door openings
- Difficult to keep uniform
- Hard to block direct sunlight

Woven Shades $$
+ Easy and quick to install
+ Can contribute to a casual or rustic decor
+ Available in a number of materials (woods, grasses, fabrics) and finishes
- Translucent, allowing a lot of light to penetrate through the shade
- Dangling adjustment cords

Honeycomb & Pleated Shades $$ - $$$
+ Some styles block light very well
+ Some styles can open from the top or bottom
+ Retractable for unobstructed view
+ Soft appearance
- Dangling adjustment cords

Roman Shades $$ - $$$
+ Mostly retractable for unobstructed view
+ Softens room appearance
+ Some styles can open from the top or bottom
+ Some shades are thick and block light very well
+ Many patterns available
- Some shades translucent, allowing a lot of light to penetrate through the shade
- Can fade over time
- Collect dust and difficult to clean

Curtains & Drapes $$$ - $$$$
+ Custom curtains can match fabric in a room
+ Thicker curtains can block light very well
+ Can be a very formal or very casual window covering
+ Softens room appearance
- Will fade over time
- Collect dust and difficult to clean

Shutters $$$ - $$$$
+ Extensive life expectancy
+ Most durable window covering available
+ Can open louvers or panels for light and/or visibility
+ Unlimited paint and stain color options
+ According to the IRS, the only window treatment considered a capital home improvement
+ Can be installed in a number of panel configurations
+ Many louver sizes available
+ Can have a very strong formal appearance
+ Only furniture-quality window treatment
- May be more difficult to install
- For best fit must be custom made