What type of blinds should go in a window? It's a centuries-old question, and roller shades are among the simplest and most elegant solutions available. You should understand the basics before investing in window roller shades so let's take a look at 5 facts you'll want to know.
The rolling action in this class of shades is driven by one of two main mechanisms. Some use a combination of a pulley and either a chain or a heavy rope. Others use a spring-loaded mechanism that can be triggered by pulling on the shade.
Cords are commonly used on mechanical models. Newer cordless models have rails that users can touch to activate the system. It's also possible to purchase remotely controllable models.
Automated Roller Shades
Automated versions are also common, and they usually use a drive that employs the pulley system. Thanks to advances in smart home systems, these can be tied to voice assistants and home automation software to adjust the shade as the position of the sun changes.
Some folks consider automated versions to be overkill. However, they're very handy when window roller shades are situation in difficult spots, such as high on the wall. They also can reduce trouble around young children and pets that might want to play with cords that are often used to operate the manual versions of roller shades.
High-quality window roller shades usually use fabric materials. You can find cheaper versions that use vinyl or plastic, but these tend to age poorly when exposed to UV rays while sitting in windows. They often fade and crack. Conversely, they are easier to clean than fabric.
Both versions can be produced in any color you'd like. The fabric versions, however, also have some texture thanks to the threads in the fabric.
If you don't want the shade to be visible when it is retracted, you'll need to install a topper. This is essentially a piece of fascia that covers the rolled-up shade. Usually, the topper is styled to blend in with the surrounding walls or the window.
Common Installation Issues
The biggest concern with any roller shade is that there's a spot for the roller to attach to either the window or the wall. Some folks install the mechanisms for their shades inside the wall during construction or renovation work. If you want an automated system, you'll also need some space to account for the motor and the accompanying wiring to supply electricity and provide remote control.