When we moved into our house, it was new construction so there were no window treatments. The first thing we needed to buy before we even moved in was some type of window coverings for both privacy and light regulation. We have 42 windows in our house that we needed to cover so we wanted something that looked good but also was as inexpensive as possible. We looked at many types of blinds at several stores and decided the best value for the money were the designview Grandwood 2" Faux Wood Blinds from the Home Depot.
Our windows are various widths and lengths. Neither my husband nor I had never measured for blinds before so we were afraid that we would screw it up if we tried to do it ourselves. We decided we needed a professional to do it for us so we did not end up throwing away money if they did not fit. We also did not want to try to hang them ourselves, which was another reason we chose the Home Depot. They charged $118.00 for whole house window treatment installation which included coming out and measuring for them first. We had a choice to pick the blinds up at the store ourselves after they were cut or for an extra $25.00 have them delivered to us when they were ready to install them. We went ahead and spent the extra $25.00 which for us was easier since they were installing them anyway.
Home Depot carries several different types and colors of blinds. The ones liked best were the designview Grandwood 2" blinds in white. We picked them because they looked nice and had a wood grain etched in them. This makes them look more like real wood and not plastic like the plain flat ones do. These blinds come with a 2 1/2 inch matching valance that gives them a finished look, which some of the other brands we looked at did not have. They open and close easily and close tightly for room darkening although they will not completely black out a room. They are heat and moisture resistant so they can be used in any room of the house including bathrooms. The lift control is a pair of strings with wooden balls on the bottom and is located on the right side and the tilt control is a plastic wand which is on the left.
When we had the blinds picked out, the associate at the counter set up an appointment for them to come and measure. Once the contractor measured the house, which took about 15 minutes, he took the information back to Home Depot where they put together a file for us, and called us the next day with the estimate. The estimate we received had a detailed list of the sizes, quantities and prices of each. There is no charge for them to cut the blinds to the correct size, which was great for us since many of our windows did not fit any of the traditional ready-made sizes that they offered. We solved the problem by getting the next size up and cutting them down to the size we needed. For blinds that are too long for the window, they can adjust the lengths, but they do charge an extra $4.00 per blind for that service. We skipped that and let our longer ones pool at the bottom.
When the blinds were cut and ready they called to set the appointment for them to be installed. They were there in just a few days to put them up, and had the house done in a little over an hour. The installer they sent was knowledgeable, courteous and what little mess he did make while installing them, he quickly cleaned up.
We have had the blinds up for a year now and we love them. They look great, are functional and are easy to clean with just a weekly brush with a duster. We open and close them as well as raise and lower most of them, often, and we have had no issues or problems with any of them breaking, sticking or sagging.
Update On May 08, 2010: I noticed this morning that the wider blinds actually have 3 strings for lift control instead of a pair as I stated in the body of this review. This makes sense because the are wide and heavy but yet go up and down easily.