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.