After waiting 2 years (Dec 2018 – Feb 2020) for us to paint the house interior, 7 months (February – September) to research best options for blinds and save up the money, and 6 weeks for delivery & install, our family room shades are here.
It sounds like a long journey, and it was. We started looking at new blinds soon after installed custom blinds for the Lounge, but we struggled to find a solution for the family room. We had four windows, and two were high up. I wanted something automated and smart, but pricing was insane. Also, we didn’t know what color we would be painting the house. Much thinking and waiting and researching and saving. The major contenders were products from Somfy and Lutron. There are pros and cons for all products.
Our regular Budget Blinds team only handled Somfy so I looked into it first. Quite simply, you can use many different manually controlled shades, and you add the Somfy motor to pull the chain, so to speak. The pro is that you can use products from many companies so you have a lot of choices. The con is that the motors aren’t particularly quiet, and I’d need another bridge and system in the house to control 4 windows.
The other major company I liked was Lutron. We already use 20+ Lutron switches riding on one bridge and app. While you have fewer choices available, I find it was a simpler solution. They’re also near-silent. The argument to be made is that Lutron is an automation company first, and window treatments company second. Still, it was with a shot. I liked the simplicity and quietness of their products.
Our regular Budget Blinds team didn’t over Lutron, so they got me in touch with another franchise in Freehold. He came over in Feb, and we looked at the products — see and listen to a demo model operate, and check out the options. We wanted to find a nice roller shade that offered some transparency as we had a nice backyard.
We liked the product, but it does cost a lot. You’re looking at least $700 per window, so be prepared for the sticker shock. We held off on purchasing until we got the house painted, and saved up the money. By Sept, I knew it was time to order so we could have them delivered & installed before Thanksgiving. Interesting enough, we ended up changing our original selection once we looked at it with the new paint color up.
The install was fairly easy, except for some minor initial programming issues. They’re all set up now, with scenes and schedules configured in the Lutron app. They look good, have the right level of transparency, and are super quiet.