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All You Need to Know About Roman Shades

Roman shades in pet-themed bathroomRoman shades can be a gorgeous way to accent any room in the home. At Southwest Blinds & Shutters, we offer a variety of Roman shades in Chandler, AZ that are sure to fully pull your home together. There are a variety of different types to choose from and they are perfect for homeowners who don’t want to take up a whole lot of wall space with their curtains. Below are some of the different types of Roman shades available for the home.

Flat Roman Shades: Flat roman shades are perfect to pair with drapes for a multi-dimensional look with your window coverings. When pulled up, they fold into each other, creating a flat and paneled look.

Relaxed Shades: Relaxed shades have a slightly more traditional look to them, but can be stunning in a bathroom above a sink or in a little girl’s bedroom. There isn’t much construction to them, so they have a slight bow in the middle, providing a rounded look.

Butterfly Shades: Butterfly shades look best in a traditional home and have the same bowing as relaxed shades, but there’s an extra bunch of fabric on either end. These are beautiful shades to use in a large bathroom or living area.

If you’re interested in learning more about how these gorgeous shades can fit into your home, contact Southwest Blinds & Shutters today at (480) 415-8542. You can also visit our showroom located in Gilbert, AZ.

Somfy Blinds Arizona – Motorization by Southwest Blinds

We are a leading provider in Arizona of Somfy Blinds and Motorized Solutions. We offer their full line of products including battery powered blinds and shades, hardwired blinds and shades, and the Somfy My Link. We also work with automation companies and integrators on more complex systems that need to integrate with home automation systems like Control 4 and Crestron that require an URTSI and programming.

Window Treatments Queen Creek AZ- Blinds – Shades – Shutters

Southwest Blinds and Shutters is proud to provide homeowners in Queen Creek, Arizona and San Tan Valley with the very best in custom blinds, shades, and shutters. We offer Free In Home Design Consultations Monday thru Saturday in Queen Creek and the surrounding areas. We also have a showroom that is minutes from Queen Creek, 1 mile west of the San Tan Mall in Gilbert. We have many staff members who live in Queen Creek and we love to add beauty to the homes in our backyard.

To see our current special offers click here and save. We have installed hundreds of window covering projects in neighborhoods like Trilogy, Cortina, Sossoman Estates, The Pecans, and more.

Browse thru our inspiration gallery to get ideas and the best in affordable window treatment design. You may request an estimate by calling 480-415-8542, filling out the form on this page, or emailing a request to info@southwestblinds.com

 

Southwest Blinds Arizona Staff Picture

Arizona Staff Picture 2017

Custom Plantation Shutters Chandler AZ

 

Plantation shutters are the most popular window covering in Arizona. At Southwest Blinds and Shutters,  we offer an exciting array of custom plantation shutters for our Chandler, AZ customers in a variety of materials, styles, finishes, and price ranges. Here is a short list of our product line. For more information you can request a Free In Home Shutter Consultation by calling 480-415-8542, filling out the form on this page, or emailing a request to info@southwestblinds.com.

 

Poly Shutters

Because we deal with extreme heat in Chandler, resistance to sun damage, durability, and energy efficiency are prime concerns when considering which shutter to put in your home. The right Faux wood shutter is energy efficient, extremely durable, waterproof, and will not yellow, warp, or crack. Poly shutters are available in shades of white only.

 

Poly Shutter Chandler

Custom Poly Shutter

Composite Shutters

Composite shutters are a mixture of wood fibers, fillers, and binders, that are coated in plastic. Composite shutters are an affordable option and a good option for a homeowner on a budget. Composite shutters are not waterproof so they should not be installed in bathrooms, above kitchen sinks, or in wet areas.

Wood Shutters

Wood Shutters are the most versatile shutter option because they are available in so many different styles. Wood shutters can be painted, stained, glazed, distressed, custom painted, and custom stained. We can build them in any color and virtually any shape. It is extremely important, especially in Arizona, that you choose a quality wood shutter. Low budget wood shutters are low budget for a reason and many of the critical steps that ensure the integrity of the product are skipped.

 

Wood Shutters Chandler

Custom Wood Shutter

  To see these wonderful shutters in person please visit our showroom at the border of Chandler and Gilbert on Williamsfield Road.

 

 

 

Window Treatments Scottsdale

Window Treatment Scottsdale

There are so many exciting window treatments available for Scottsdale homeowners to enhance their windows and create beautiful spaces that are energy efficient, stylish, and functional. At Southwest Blinds and Shutters we’re excited to carry the latest and greatest window fashions from brands like Alta Window Fashions, Horizon Shades, Q Motion, Somfy, Graber Blinds, Norman Window Coverings, and more. With so many options, narrowing down the choices and choosing a window covering can be a daunting task. Here are some things to consider when making this choice.

  1. How important are privacy and light control?  Window coverings can generally be broken down into two classes – Tilters and Lifters. A tilting product like a wood blind or shutter has louvers or slats that can easily be tilted to control the light that enters the room. While a wood blind can be raised they are generally heavier and not designed to be raised frequently on large windows. A lifting product like a cellular, roller, or roman shade are designed to be raised up and down easily, exposing the full view. Full privacy can only be achieved when the shade is completely lowered, covering the window. A new class of window covering has emerged that is both a tilter and a lifter called an Allure shade or Dual Shade. This shade has horizontal bands of fabric that can be raised up and down to control the light and privacy. The bands can also be fully raised to expose the view.
  2. Do I have specific light control needs? How dark or bright do you want the room to be? Some window coverings like a honeycomb shade give you full privacy while still allowing light to enter the room. A screen roller shade can filter light and still allow view thru. For bedrooms, room darkening fabric shades are available to block the light from entering the room. Side and bottom channels can also be added to seal off even more light creating a dark and comfortable sleeping environment.
  3. Can I access the windows easily?  There are a variety of lifting systems  available depending on the windows accessibility including standard cord lifts, continuous cord lifts, cordless lifts, retractable cord lifts, and motorization. You’ll want to consider how you will reach and operate whatever is covering the window and if you have child or pet safety concerns.
  4. Is energy efficiency a concern?  Living in Arizona and living thru 120 degree summers I can tell you that choosing the right energy efficient window treatment can literally save you hundreds of dollar a year on your energy bill. Some of the most energy efficient window coverings include cellular shades, roman shades, shutters, screen roller shades, and solar screens.
  5. What do I want to look at everyday?  The final element and typically the primary concern is finding a window covering that will enhance your space and fit with your homes design style. This is where working with an experienced window covering designer can be critical, relying on their expertise to create a great design.

Window Coverings Scottsdale

So with all these choices to consider what should you do? At Southwest Blinds and Shutters we offer a Free In Home Design Consultation which we feel is absolutely critical to any successful window covering project. These Design Consultations are not a quick quote, get in/get out estimate. We take the design process seriously. Our Window Covering Designers are window covering specialists who take time to listen to your needs, review your space, and work thru the design process with you. We carry hundreds of variations of blinds, shades, shutters, and draperies and are versed in the pro’s and con’s of each treatment and seek to educate our clients so they can make informed decisions. It is not uncommon for us to do multiple Free visits before deciding on the final design. If you’re interested in booking a Free No Obligation Design Consultation with one of our Window Covering Designers call 480-415-8542, fill out the form on this page, or email info@southwestblinds.com.

For inspiration visit our product gallery

We currently offer valleywide service in Arizona including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, the east valley, and the west valley.

How To Guide For Wiring AC Motorized Blinds and Shades – Phoenix AZ

Motorized Shades in Living Room

 

Here is a quick how to guide for wiring AC Motorized Blinds and Shades. There are 4 phases – The Planning Phase, The Installation Phase,  The Wiring Phase, and Final Walk Thru Phase. **Always make sure you work with a licensed electrician and follow your cities building codes and best practices to keep everything safe and in compliance with residential or commercial laws.

Phase One – The Planning Phase

What do you need to know in order for your motorized window covering project to be smooth and seamless?

  1. What type of window covering are you doing? Motorized roller shade, dual shade, curtain, cellular shade, woven wood, etc. Different window coverings are available with specific motor types and not all are available with an AC motor. For this article we will focus on roller shades with an AC motor. You will also need to determine what type of remote, wall switch, hub, or automation system you will be using to control the shades.
  2. Where and how is your window covering being mounted? Shades can be mounted either inside mount or outside mount. Many factors come into play when determining which mount is ideal. The window sill depth, window cranks, desired light gaps, aesthetics, valance or fascia type, and bracket type/placement are just a few things you’ll want to consider. If you don’t plan properly you will inevitably create a situation that may be difficult and costly to overcome.
  3. Where is your power source and how will it be accessed? You will need to decide, with the help of an electrician, the best way to get wiring from your power source to the window covering. Oftentimes this involves cutting holes into the drywall and interior walls to run wire from the window to the power source. This can be easy or difficult depending on the home and wall type. The window covering professional will be specifying the motor side when the shade is ordered so this should be discussed as well.
  4. How is your shade being controlled? Most hardwired shades are wired for power and not control. Typically, remotes and wall switches are operated using radio frequency. If you are planning on wiring for power and control you will have more to consider. We will focus on radio frequency communication for this article.
  5.  Pro Tip – It’s absolutely critical that you plan for a quick disconnect option at each shade. One mistake novices make is to have each window covering hardwired to a power source and then drywall over everything making any future programming near impossible without cutting into the wall. If a motorized shade fails at some point in the future or loses it’s programming, you’ll need to be able to isolate that shade. This means you’ll need to be able to disconnect this shade and other shades from power individually. If you are not planning an easy way to disconnect your shades from power you are making a BIG mistake in your planning. We recommend having either an outlet at the window or a junction box.
  6. Pre-Ordering Meeting – Before you order window coverings, you will want to make sure that you have a group meeting with the window covering company, electrician, and yourself to ensure that everyone is on the same page. I can tell you countless horror stories where a homeowner relied on their contractor to do all the wiring without consulting a window covering professional and the job was wired incorrectly. In one extreme case in Paradise Valley we ran into, the wiring was done and then concrete walls were poured. When we were brought into the project the house was complete but the desired motorized shades were not compatible with the wiring that the contractor had recommended. The homeowner was off the rails upset and couldn’t believe what we were telling them. I would have hated to be that contractor, UGHH!!

Phase Two – The Installation Phase

  1. In most cases, we prefer to install the motorized blinds or shades before the electrician does the wiring. At installation, we set the brackets, connect the shades to temporary power and input all the programming so the remotes, hubs, and shades sync. Then we disconnect the power and the window coverings are ready to be connected to a permanent power source. The automatic window coverings are able to save their commands even when disconnected from power. Depending on the complexity of the project an installer may need to stay on site to remove valances, fascia, drapery panels, etc so that the electrician can access the window opening.

Phase Three – The Wiring Phase

  1. The electrician should already have a clear understanding of the the project from the planning meeting and at this point they will be executing that plan. We recommend using a 14/3 wire with ground. 14 is the gauge of wire and 3 is how many conductors or wires are in the wire bundle plus the ground wire, so essentially there are 4 wires in the bundle including the ground wire. Make sure your electrician is following codes and ensuring the project is done safely using best practices. You will also need to make plans for drywall to be patched, walls to be touched up, etc.

Phase Four – The Final Walk Thru

At this point, the window coverings should be installed, connected to power, and operational. Make sure the window covering professional goes over basic operations, programming, and troubleshooting with you until you are comfortable operating your new shades. Most issues that happen after the initial installation are due to operator error so be careful to use your shades and ask questions if you have any concerns.

Final Tip

  • Hire A Motorization Pro – Motorized window covering projects can be quite complex and require the guidance of a skilled professional. Make sure you do your due diligence and hire a pro! Most builders, contractors, and electricians aren’t familiar with motorized blinds and shades and don’t understand the requirements and specs. Failing to hire a window covering specialist is forgetting to implement the most critical element to any motorization project. At Southwest Blinds & Shutters we are proud to work with homeowners, commercial clients, and hospitality clients to execute  their motorization projects. Whether it’s 5 windows or 500 we have the skills and manpower to ensure the success of your project and would love to work with you. Call us at 480-415-8542 or fill out the form to request an estimate. You may also submit requests to info@southwestblinds.com.

We currently service:

Arizona – Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Gold Canyon, Tempe, Peoria, Goodyear, and all of the cities in the east and west valley’s.

Nevada -Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Reno, Carson City, and Lake Tahoe

Utah – Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, and Park City

California – Sacramento, Fulsom, Roseville, Manteca, and Modesto

Side Note – Why AC Motors instead of a DC or low voltage motor? AC motorization or line voltage motors are ideal for large windows. An AC motor can lift shades that are hundreds of pounds. In Arizona, a popular home trend is the extremely wide sliding glass door. Some of these doors are up to 300″ wide and will require multiple shades to be coupled together creating a heavy load for the motor to raise. An AC motor is capable of pulling that kind of load without burning out the motor. For a complete guide to wiring DC shades click here

 

Plantation Shutters Phoenix

Plantation Shutter Phoenix

Plantation Shutter Phoenix

 

Plantation Shutters are incredibly popular in Phoenix, AZ and one of the very best window covering solutions. Quality custom shutters are energy efficient, stylish, versatile, and extremely durable. At Southwest Blinds and Shutters we’re proud to offer our Design Home Plantation Shutter line, a full fashion shutter line. We have Design Home Faux Shutters and Design Home Wood Shutters. Here’s a little information about both lines and why you might consider faux shutters vs wood shutters and vice versa.

Design Home Poly Shutters are made from a synthetic wood material that is designed to look like wood with none of the disadvantages. Our poly shutters will not warp, crack, chip, peel, or fade even in the harshest environments. They are also waterproof, fire retardant, anti microbial, and are the most child and pet safe window treatments available. Design Home Poly Shutters are manufactured with an aluminum I beam support in the shutter louver and an aluminum support in the vertical shutter stile. Both of these enhancements allow our shutters to be manufactured wider than competitors faux shutters without warping or sagging. The shutters have a water borne baked on finish that gives it both a strong, luxurious, and kid friendly finish. Markers, crayons, dirt, and dust can easily be removed with normal household cleaners without damaging the finish. Design Home Poly Shutters are energy efficient and great at controlling the harsh Phoenix sun.

Design Home Wood Shutters are made from a proprietary wood species that is one of the strongest and lightest woods in the world. These shutters are available in over 30 different paints and stains and 15 different frame styles. Wood can be very sensitive to heat and light so it is extremely important, especially in Arizona, to not cut corners or go cheap. Cheap wood shutters are cheap because important processes are skipped and cheaper materials are used. Many companies use a lower grade wood, poor quality primer and paint, cheap staples, cheap glue, and cheap hardware to lower their costs.  Cheap shutters are typically built in garage shops that lack the equipment it takes to build fine wood furniture. Quality wood must be used.  It must be dried and stored properly before it is ever cut and finished. All of our wood shutters are kiln dried to a specific moisture content. The wood is then inspected for straightness. The factory is state of the art and uses the very best machinery to create shutters that are uniform and beautiful. Shutters are inspected thru every phase of the build process for exactness and any flaws or defects that would detract from the finish.  Once the shutters are built, they are painted or stained using a 6 step process of priming, sanding, and painting creating a super smooth finish. We’re very proud of the beautiful shutters that we install everyday around the valley. Some of the unique features include mortise and tenon joinery, German staples with flare outs, and recessed magnets.

 

Wood Plantation Shutters

Design Home Wood Shutters

 

Both of our shutter lines can be made in any shape including arches, rakes, angle tops, circles, octagons, sliding doors, french doors, and more. Call Southwest Blinds and Shutters  at 480-415-8542 for a Free No Obligation Shutter Consultation to see the very best in Arizona shutter design. We offer valleywide service including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Peoria, Queen Creek, Tempe, Mesa, Goodyear, Glendale, Cave Creek, Carefree, and more.  Click Here To See More Photos of Shutters and Click Here To See Our Special Promotions!!

The Benefits of Installing Motorized Shades in your Home

motorized shades Phoenix AZAs a homeowner, it is important to find the right type of blinds for each room in your home. When searching for your ideal window coverings, motorized shades can be a fantastic option to have installed in any room. Southwest Blinds & Shutters wants to share just a few of the many benefits installing motorized shades can provide for your home.

  • Convenience- If you have a room with very tall windows, it can be almost impossible to reach the top to open and close the blinds. With motorized shades, you no longer have to worry about reaching them, as you can adjust to your liking with the push of a button.
  • Automatic- Automatic blinds can be programed to open in the morning and close in the evening at whichever time you desire. This is ideal for when you are out of town because it will appear that someone is home and prevent passersby from peeking inside.
  • Different Power Sources- You can also choose which power source you want your new blinds to run off of. The available options are solar solutions, hard wires, or battery powered. We can walk you through the benefits of each choice during a consultation.

Make your home your own with our convenient, automatic, motorized blinds. You can count on Southwest Blinds & Shutters for motorized shades in Phoenix, AZ. Give us a call today at (480) 415-8542 to schedule a free in-home estimate.

Shutters For Sliding Glass Doors In Arizona – Southwest Blinds

Plantation shutters are one of the most popular window treatments in Arizona and most homes have a sliding glass door that will require a window covering. Why mix and match when you can have a beautiful Plantation Shutter for your Sliding Glass Door. Here is a short video explaining the types of sliding glass door shutters including Closed Bypass Sliding Shutters, Open Bypass Sliding Shutters, and Bifold Shutters on a Track.

 

 

Bypass Sliding Door Shutters

Here is an actual picture of a chestnut stained Closed Bypass Shutter on a Sliding Glass Door. Notice that the frame is constructed of 2 side legs approximately 1″ thick, 6″ deep, and 98″ tall. The header that holds the tracks is 6″ deep, 1 3/4″ thick, and covered with a decorative valance. The 2 tracks are installed under the valance and allow each shutter panel to move completely from left to right so that you can clean both sides of the glass. We typically do not install a bottom track unless a special request is made. Bottom tracks can be a nuisance to people entering in and out the door.

Shutter For Sliding Door in Arizona

Bifold Shutter For Sliding Door

Here is a Bifold Shutter for a Sliding Glass Door. This option is not as common but works well in instances where view thru is important. Bifold panels can be folded off the glass to expose the window. Bifold Shutters can be made with and without a track.

Bifold Shutter on a Sliding Door Arizona

For more information or to schedule a Free In Home Shutter Consultation call (480) 415-8542.

How To Wire For DC Motorized Shades – Southwest Blinds

Understanding how to wire for DC motorized shades can be difficult to understand so we’re going to make this the quick reference go to for your average everyday motorized shade installation. Let’s make it simple and focus only on motorized window coverings that need power wired to operate the shade.

DC Motors

DC or Direct Current are motors that are powered by either batteries, D.C. power supplies, or A.C. to D.C converters. Here are the 3 types explained.

Battery Powered Motors

If you are purchasing battery powered shades you won’t need any electrical work done to your home. The batteries are typically clipped to the back or top of the shade like the picture below. The angle was shot from underneath and in between the battery pack and the shade is an LED light strip for our showroom. The battery pack is clipped to the wall. No tools are required to unclip the shade and replace the batteries. The shades are ready to go once they are installed and programmed.

Battery Pack On Roller Shade

Q Motion came up with a slick design that incorporates the battery tube into the tube of the roller shade eliminating any external battery packs. It looks like this:

Q Motion Battery Pack

Plug In Motors

If you prefer not to change batteries, one way to power DC motorized shades is with a transformer. The transformer is a little white or black box that converts your homes AC power into DC power that the shade can operate with. A transformer is common on most electronics. Think about  the big plug on your cell phone charger. In that big box is the transformer which keeps your phone from being fried by your home’s AC power. The transformer plugs into any standard outlet in your home and looks like this:

motorized shade with transformer

 

Full Home DC Shade Wiring

Most homes do not have outlets by every window and most people don’t want a cord and plug running from their automatic shades, down the wall, to an outlet. The final method to motorize a DC shade  is commonly used to power multiple shades with one power source.  Using low voltage wiring, you can run wire from each shade to a central power source called an MMPS or Multi Motor Power Supply that looks like this:

Multi Motor Power Supply

Notice how the blue wires come thru the wall and into the box where they are wired to the MMPS. You can also see in the picture that the MMPS is plugged into power strip below the box. The plug is taking AC power from the home and the MMPS is converting that power to DC to power the shades. This is the preferred method when wiring multiple DC shades in a house. There are limitations with low voltage wiring to consider especially regarding the length of the electrical run so you’ll want to consult a professional before taking on a project like this. We recommend hiring a licensed window covering company with expertise in motorization. For more information or if you’d like to hire us to design, build, and install your motorized window coverings call  480-415-8542.  We offer commercial and residential window covering services in Arizona, Northern California, Utah, and the whole state of Nevada. From one motorized shade to a complicated commercial project like this one, we are the motorization experts!!