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When Is It Time to Replace Your Window Treatments

When moving or updating a house, the most common improvement people think of is paint. After all, painting can change the whole look and feel of a house, and it's DIY-friendly. But have you ever thought about updating your window treatments? This is a less-obvious project that's often overlooked, but it's no less impactful. Installing new window treatments is also quick and easy to tackle on your own. If you're wondering whether it's time to replace your window treatments, look for these signs that it's time for an upgrade. Besides solving a variety of practical needs, new window treatments can really update and elevate the style of your home.

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1. Your shades have dangerous dangling cords.

If you have young kids, this reason alone is plenty of motivation to update your window treatments. Older shades and blinds use looped cords that are a strangulation hazard for small children. Parents should replace all corded window treatments with cordless blinds and shades for safety. If that's not possible, start by installing cordless window treatments in your children's bedrooms and playrooms. Then, get free kits to retrofit any remaining window treatments that still have dangling cords.

2. You have trouble raising and lowering your blinds.

If you have to put a lot of force into raising your blinds, if they don't raise or lower evenly, or worst of all, if they're stuck in one position, you probably know it's time for a change. First of all, it's worth doing some troubleshooting to see if there is a fix (these guides can help). If those tips don't solve the issue, take it as a sign that your windows deserve an upgrade. Especially if your blinds are older, it's possible that the lift mechanism has been damaged or worn out past the point of repair.

3. The slats are warped, bent, or broken.

Another frustrating (and very visible) sign of wear is slats that are warped, bent, or broken. Damaged slats will prevent your blinds from raising correctly, plus they are an eyesore. If you're ready to replace your blinds, consider what type of window treatment that will work best for your climate, your needs, and your family. If you live in an area that gets really hot, be considerate of faux wood blinds as they may warp under extreme heat. Likewise, if you're installing blinds in a bathroom, wood could be affected by humidity. And if you have young kids and pets, avoid aluminum horizontal blinds, as they can easily get bent out of shape.

4. You're seeing other signs of wear and tear.

Window treatments get a lot of use. They're raised and lowered daily, often multiple times a day. Over time, they will start to show their age. If you're seeing frayed cords, frayed edges, broken tilt mechanisms, or other signs of wear and tear, it's probably time to replace your window treatments. They've worked hard, and they're ready to be retired.

5. Your window treatments are stained, discolored, or faded.

If you have fabric window treatments that are stained, discolored, or fabric, you can try spot cleaning or washing them to see if that solves the issue. Be sure to carefully follow the cleaning instructions for the type of window treatment you have. If the discoloration is still there, it's a good time to start shopping for replacements. Also, it's not just fabric that gets affected by sun exposure; blinds can also get discolored and faded, so check all your older window treatments to see how they're holding up.

6. You're noticing drafts/high energy bills.

If you're noticing drafts, it's likely that you need to replace the windows themselves. But new windows can be quite expensive, and if you're a renter they're not an option. Well, did you know that the right window treatments can actually do a lot to minimize drafts and reduce your energy bills? We recommend cellular shades, which have honeycomb shaped cells that trap air and keep it from escaping through your windows (and vice versa). To take it one step further, hang curtains over your shades for another layer of insulation. You'll be happily surprised at how effective this is at keeping out drafts and keeping temperature of your home consistent. Besides looking beautiful, this upgrade has a strong return on investment that means it'll pay for itself over time.

7. You recently installed new windows.

If you decide to get new windows, there's still a good chance you will want to get new window treatments as well...especially if you've changed the size or style of your windows, or if you've added new windows altogether. Instead of covering your brand new windows with old window treatments that don't fit quite right, choose new window treatments that are a perfect complement to the size and style of your new windows.

8. Your window coverings no longer meet your needs.

Perhaps you've recently repurposed a bedroom into a home office and now you want more natural light, or you've rearranged your living room furniture and the sun keeps glaring off the TV, or you're converting a formal dining room into an additional bedroom so you need more privacy. Whatever the reason, you don't have to keep living with window treatments that no longer suit your needs. We give ourselves the flexibility to change how we use our rooms, so we should also give ourselves the freedom to update the window treatments accordingly.

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9. Your blinds don't match your style.

Sometimes, we want to replace our window treatments simply because they're outdated and don't match our current tastes. If your style has changed over time, or if you've moved to a new house and you don't like what the previous owners picked out, that's a perfectly legitimate reason to update your window coverings. As you renovate and redecorate rooms, it's normal to get new window treatments to fit the new look. Don't feel guilty replacing blinds that just don't suit you anymore...even if your reasons are purely cosmetic. You can always donate the old blinds or give them to a friend if they're still in good shape.

10. You don't have window treatments at all.

If you have a new home that doesn't have window treatments at all, don't overlook this important element. Window treatments provide privacy from nosy neighbors, the ability to control how much light enters your room, and energy efficiency that will save you money all year. In addition, window treatments can add beauty, texture, color, and softness to make your house feel more custom and personal.

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