Pros and Cons of Windows with Built-In Blinds
If you’ve ever tried to clean traditional mini-blinds, probably you’ve wondered if there’s a better option. Window manufacturers have designed windows with built-in blinds, also known as integral blinds, to help solve some problems that traditional blinds pose. These blinds are positioned between two glass panes, and you can operate them using a remote control or using a magnetic slider that’s placed along the side. Having windows with built-in blinds changes the behavior and look of your window treatments, and may also change the energy efficiency of the windows.
Although many people find them convenient, they may not be suitable for everyone. Here are the advantages and drawbacks of built-in window blinds to help you decide whether or not they are right for your home.
Benefits of Windows with In-Built Blinds
It’s challenging to operate blinds. However, the magnetized slider makes the whole process simple. If you choose the motorized version, you can avoid the nuances of manual operation entirely. Built-in blinds are an excellent choice for large glass doors because they won’t swing and obstruct the door’s movement.
Window manufacturers claim that having integral blinds eliminates the need to clean or dust them. Properly sealed windows don’t accumulate particles of dust and other allergens as traditional window treatments do. This makes them a better choice for many homeowners because cleaning blinds can be a hectic job.
Safety for Children and Pets
The benefits of built-in blinds exceed mere aesthetics if you have toddlers and pets inside your house. Traditional shades have cords that pose a risk of strangulation to children and pets.
In the past 30 years, about 600 cases of cord-related incidents have been reported by a watch group known as Parents for Window Blind Safety. But since integral blinds are cordless, they eliminate this risk, giving you peace of mind when your young children are at home.
Reduced Risk of Breakage
Since the blinds are located behind the glass, they are safe from regular wear and tear. With increased use, blinds often become brittle, and they end up breaking over time, especially if you have cheap vinyl treatment installed on your window.
However, even high-quality products are not immune to young children and pets that may break or bend the slats. Thus, many homeowners must replace the blinds frequently, probably once every three years. But this is not so with integral blinds. Although integral blinds are not immune to damage, they often last as long as your windows do. Some even come with 10- or 20-year warranties.
Increased Curb Appeal
Integral blinds are visually appealing. They are an excellent way to enhance the curb appeal of your home since they offer a uniform look from outside. These blinds feature a clean, crisp, and no-nonsense appearance in the interior of your home, and you can choose shades that blend with your home decor.
Cons of Built-in Window Blinds
Here are a few drawbacks of integral window blinds.
Lower Energy Efficiency
Manufacturers often insulate windows using argon gas that’s sealed between double pane windows to reduce drafts. However, they may not add this insulation in models fitted with integral blinds to keep the integrity of the window treatments.
Doing this can lower your window’s U-factor, which is a measure of its insulation and energy efficiency. To overcome this problem, choose triple-pane windows and ensure they have a separate layer of insulated glass.
Buying a new window with integral blinds is more costly than buying a set of blinds. Typically, manufacturers classify windows with built-in blinds as specialty products. This means that you will need to spend more than traditional window models.
Some of these models may cost you anywhere between $500 and $1000 per window. Another cost to consider is the price to replace the blinds. Although the glass protects the internal blinds, it doesn’t mean that they cannot be damaged. The cost of installing integral replacement blinds is around or more than $100, and for this price, you can buy a new window.
Limited Design Options
Choosing integral blinds may limit your options. While traditional shades are available in a wide range of materials such as bamboo, aluminum, and pine, your choices may be much more restricted if you opt for in-built blinds.
Also, because of the slider, you won’t find them in various styles such as the Venetian blinds. Although many have an elegant and stately appeal, they aren’t the best choice for a special or unique window treatment.
Windows with integral blinds have many advantages that make them an excellent alternative to traditional blinds and shades. Although you may not want to dress all your windows with integral blinds because of their cost and lack of various options, you can install them in rooms prone to stains, grease, and dust collection.
This translates to ease of cleaning and low maintenance for your shades. For optimal results and satisfaction, combine your window treatments. Remember, if you need to install or replace windows with in-built blinds, consult a reputable window professional.