Monday, 10 October 2011

Replacement vertical blind slats can bring your old blinds to life

replacement vertical blind slats
The thing with vertical blinds is that although the headrail system will last virtually forever after a few years the blind slats begin to look shabby! Some blind slats are washable see our article on how to clean vertical blind slats some aren't however and even if they are, after a couple of washes even washable blind slats can look a bit worse for wear. Thankfully you can easily buy replacement vertical blind slats or blind louvres that are made to the same sizes as your old ones and simply hang on your existing blind head rail. Most vertical blind systems are universal and so it doesn't matter if it was your local blinds company or a national company such as Hilarys Blinds who supplied your vertical blinds, chances are replacement vertical blind slats would fit. If in doubt call the supplier of your replacement vertical blind slats and ask the question

Buying blind slats only is a cheaper option than new blinds and the end result will be just as impressive. your old blinds will look like new again

A point to consider when buying new vertical blind slats is to remember that slats are available in two widths. 5 inch (127mm) blind slats and 3.5 inch (89mm) blind slats. It's important to order the same width slats as you currently have as 5" slats wont fit on a rail designed for 3.5" slats and vice versa. To find out which slats you have simply measure the width of one slat.

Measuring your existing slats is easy, Click here for our guide on how to measure vertical blind slats

Choosing new vertical blind slats opens up a whole new level of choice. You can find a wide array of colours and fabrics available. You will find that the choice of 5" vertical blind slats is smaller than 3.5" vertical blind slats as the most popular width is 3.5" these days. Why not go for something a little fashionable, click here for ideas on vertical blind colours

Click here to buy 3.5 inch vertical blind slats from just 95p each
Click here to buy 5 inch vertical blind slats from just £1.20 each

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How to wash vertical blind slats / louvres

Only certain types of vertical blind slats are washable and even then you need to follow guidelines. If you have a stitch bond fabric that looks like the picture below then unless its been treated to be FR (fire retardant) then it should be washable.

If your blind slat fabric doesn't look like the one in the picture then we would suggest simply using a sponge an a very mild detergent mix taking care not to wet the fabric too much. Lay flat as you sponge and hang up to dry.

If however you do have a stitch bond fabric (sometimes stitch bond is plain as in the picture and sometimes it has a pattern printed onto it usually in white) then you are able to wash either by hand in the bath or by following the instructions here to wash in the machine.

Remove all the chains and weights from the bottom of the blind slats and then unclip the louvres from the headrail taking care not to break or damage any of the hangers. Roll the slats up in batches of no more than 5 at a time as tightly as you can and secure with either elastic bands or string. Place the rolls into a pillow case or several pillow cases and tie the pillow case up securely. Place in the washing machine on a cool delicates wash with no spin.

When the cycle has finished then unroll the slats and hang them up to dry over the bath or somewhere not in direct sunlight. Once dry you can hang them back at your window and re-attach the weights and chains. Your vertical blind slats should look like new.

In case everything goes disastrously wrong, you can buy replacement vertical blind slats here from as little as 99p each.

Click here to buy vertical blind slats

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The truth about fitting blinds to UPVC windows

We get asked a great deal about fitting blinds to upvc windows, In fact this has turned out to be such a big deal that there is now a system called perfect fit that eradicates the need for any fixings these are generally available as pleated blinds and are now manufactured by various companies each of which have their own name for the system such as perfect fit blinds, neat fit blinds etc. However some people want traditional blinds so we thought we'd dispell the myth about this voiding your warranty.

We have consulted an expert with over 20 years experience in the UK glass and glazing industry before compiling this article. 

Will I be invalidating my guarantee or warranty?

First of all, you must remember something about the replacement window market. It's predominantly a high pressure sales industry that has come to offer unrealistic warranties on it's products in order to sell. Can you think of anything that carries a ten year warranty other than a new build house and a upvc window? The latest Bentley costs well over £100,000 and yet has a three year warranty so how can a bathroom window costing a few hundred pounds have a 10 year warranty? Quite simply it doesn't. 

If you look closely at your window guarantee you will see that the only thing covered for 10 years is the UPVC and then its only covered for discolouration etc. The glass usually will carry a 5 year guarantee and the hardware (handles, hinges etc) just 12 months.

So how do I fix blinds to UPVC windows?

Well ideally you would have a recess to fit to, you would use top fix brackets and fix them to the head of the window recess. If however you don't have a recess, such as in a conservatory then rest assured you can fit your blind to the head of the UPVC outer frame using face fix blind brackets. This will in no way invalidate your warranty (for what good it is). Take a look at the pictures below

fit blinds to upvc windows
A cross section of a typical UPVC window
blinds for upvc windows
A cross section of the outer frame

Can you see that you would be fitting to the face on the left hand side (this is the side indoors assuming you have internally glazed windows). 

You will see that window profiles have multi chambers and so will provide an adequate fixing to hold the weight of even the heaviest vertical or venetian blind. In the centre of the profile is either steel, aluminium or more recently a composite material that acts as reinforcing. We would advise using screws no longer than 35mm so that you don't penetrate further than the reinforcing channel. There are no moving parts, no drainage channels in the way in fact nothing at all that would invalidate a warranty. 

So why is it a common belief that you shouldn't screw into UPVC?
Quite simply, the more unscrupulous window companies would do anything to get out of their guarantee obligations. Many window companies go out of business after just a few years as they cannot sustain the remedial work that arises after a few years trading. 

If you are still concerned then call the customer service department of the company who installed your conservatory or windows and ask them is it ok to install blinds onto UPVC windows. If the answer is no ask them to put it in writing for you stating their reasons. We'd love to see the replies! 

Click here to buy vertical blind brackets for upvc windows
Click here to see a video on how to measure blinds for a conservatory or bay window

If you are renting and really can't use fixtures or fittings then consider these instant peel & stick blinds. 


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Blinds for bay windows

1 in 3 of the properies that we visit have a bay window. The Warrington area and certain suburbs of Manchester seem in particular to have a great number of property that were built with a bay or bow window. Measuring and fitting vertical blinds into a bay window isn't as difficult as it may seem.

For clarification a bay is typically 3 or less sections and can be either a square 90 degree bay or a splay 135 degree bay.  A bow window is typically more than 3 sections of equal size. 

A bay window is simple to install blinds onto. A blind is made for each section with an individual control. Deductions are made by the fitter when measuring to ensure that each blind fits and operates correctly. Most types of blinds, vertical, roller, venetian etc can be fitted to this type of window although vertical blinds are usually better as they provide better coverage when in the closed position. To see a how to measure a bay window for vertical blinds click here. We've made videos to make the whole process clear and simple.

A bow window is a bit more of a challenge. Typically the best type of blind to install here is a vertical blind with a curved headrail. This can be operated with one control but the rail system need to be professionally measured and installed.  The cost is usually comparable to the cost of fitting 3 individual blinds to a bay. The result is very impressive and an ideal solution to a challenging problem. 

If you live in Merseyside, Cheshire or Greater Manchester then we can provide a measuring and fitting service. If you live outside this area then you can buy curved vertical blind headrails from our online blind shop

Blackout blinds - are they worth the money

At this time of year blinds companies begin to be inundated with enquires about Blackout blinds. Because of the light nights both infants and people who work unsociable shift patterns struggle to sleep whilst daylight stretches into the night. 

I thought I'd share with you a few misconceptions about blackout blinds to give you more of an insight when considering them for your home.
A traditional choice amongst homeowners is to buy vertical blackout blinds. Whilst aesthetically pleasing a vertical blind by it's very nature is unable to provide true 100% blackout. Because each slat or louvre has a bottom weight which is up to 1/8th inch think this enables a slither of light to penetrate between each slat. In addition there has to be a clearance gap around the blind to enable it to operate freely. You can purchase blackout vertical blinds or even replace your existing blind slats with replacement blackout vertical blind slats  but bear in mind that it is the fabric that is blackout and not the blind for the reasons detailed above.

For a true blackout blind consider a cassette type roller blind. This is a roller blind normally enclosed in a header cassette and that normally has guide channels on either side providing 100% blackout. These blinds are ideal for domestic applications and also for use in commercial premises such as photographic dark rooms. 

Just bear in mind when purchasing blackout blinds that although vertical blinds will eliminate a huge amount of light, only a cassette type roller will provide a true blackout. 

Just Blinds offer a free fitting service on all blackout blinds around the Bolton, Manchester, Warrington, Wigan, Widnes and St Helens area Visit our website for more information.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The truth about blind offers

Beware of misleading "Special Offers"
Beware of the blind companies whose offers aren't just competitive but rather down right ridiculous, it is these companies who are offering such unbelievable prices who will in fact turn out to be the most expensive.

Very often these companies will have an old stock vertical blind fabric in a terrible colour and pattern (when we say terrible we mean olive green with pink flowers) and it is this fabric that they will have on offer. 7 blinds for £100 isn't possible, It really isn't.

We have genuine blind offers all year round including white and cream blinds. Our offers are for blinds in Bolton, blinds in Wigan, Blinds in Warrington, Blinds in Manchester and Blinds in St Helens and are usually 3 blinds for £95, 5 blinds for £140 and 7 blinds for £185 including fitting.

You can read more about vertical blind offers in the North West on our website