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How Much Does It Cost To Install Blinds Or Shades?

Typical Range: $213 - $1,205

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In almost every finished home, there will be some kind of window treatment in place. A window treatment can be a curtain, a blind, a shade or even a shutter, but the purpose is always the same: to give the residents a level of privacy. In addition to making the home more private, a window treatment can actually insulate the home, potentially reduce energy costs and add to the overall decorative effect of the space. Although blinds and shades certainly have a lot in common, they also have some differences that can affect cost as well as appearance.

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National Average
Typical Range
$213 - $1,205
Low End - High End
$60 - $2,500

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,186 HomeAdvisor members in .

Blinds vs. Shades

The most basic way to differentiate between blinds and shades is to think of blinds as hard window treatments and shades as the softer counterpart. Blinds have slats, also called vanes, that can be adjusted as needed. Shades, on the other hand, are made from a continuous roll of material. Both blinds and shades can be a beautiful and practical addition to the home, but they also both have drawbacks that may influence the buyer's final decision. Blinds allow for the adjustment of both light and scenery since the slats can be tilted, opened or closed completely depending on a person's preferences. In addition, blinds are available in a variety of colors, materials and styles. Their drawbacks include a potentially unpleasant sound when the wind blows or they are rustled, they are often more expensive than shades or curtains and they can be harder to keep clean. The advantages of shades include the fact that they are very light, they let in natural sunlight, they may be easier to clean and they add an elegant softness to the room. The downsides of shades are that they create an unsightly stack when they are pulled all the way up and the fact that there is no middle ground in the level of light coming through: they are either open or closed.

Horizontal vs. Vertical

After deciding between blinds and shades, it is time to determine whether horizontal window treatments or vertical window treatments are the better fit in any given space. If cost alone is the primary factor, then horizontal blinds are generally the best pick. However, horizontal blinds can be a unique look, particularly in homes that are aiming for a quirky or vintage style. Just like the name suggests, horizontal blinds have slats that run horizontally, and they can be pulled up or down to open and close, which results in a stack of blinds at the top of the window. Vertical blinds, sometimes called Venetian blinds, have slats that run vertically, and they are pulled from side to side in order to open and close, which results in a stack of vertical blinds on one side of the window. Shades are less likely to come in vertical designs, but it is possible to find them or to have this style custom made.

Materials for Blinds

Blinds come in a number of different materials including aluminum, wood, vinyl and faux wood (as used for shutters, too). Aluminum and vinyl tend to be the cheapest options, faux wood hovers in the middle of the price range and wood is the most expensive type of blind material. Aluminum is very durable, are easy to keep clean and come in a range of different thicknesses and colors depending on the room's style and decor. Similarly, vinyl blinds can be easily wiped down and dusted, are easy to install and come in numerous colors. The major drawback of both vinyl and aluminum blinds is that they can look low-budget in some cases. Wood is an attractive, warm material to use for blinds, but it can also be quite expensive and challenging to maintain. A good compromise for many homeowners on a budget is to choose faux wood blinds, which look just like they are made from natural hardwood but are more affordable and much easier to clean and maintain over time.

Materials for Shades

There are also several different types of shades available, each of which may come available in a different style or material. Some of the most popular types of shades include roller shades, which can be pulled up or down to let in varying amounts of light, honeycomb shades, which look similar to blinds and offer a more contemporary look, Roman shades, which hang neatly and are made of a thick fabric that stacks at the top of the window, and solar shades, which give people inside the home a clear view of the outside without letting in UV rays or any direct sunlight. Just like blinds, shades can come in a variety of sizes, colors and materials depending on the budget of the buyer.

Factors That Affect Cost of Blinds and Shades

Aside from the cost of the material, several factors can influence the total cost of installing blinds or shades. A big factor is whether the window treatments are installed professionally, which will add to the total cost significantly. Other factors that may play a role in the expense of installing new binds or shades include:

  • Whether the window treatments are custom made
  • Extra-large or unusually shaped windows
  • Old window treatments that need to be removed
  • Window treatments for second- or third-story windows
  • Bulk orders, since more windows can sometimes mean lower prices
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