The Best Window Treatments for New Construction Homes
Can’t listen to or watch the podcast about window treatments
for new construction homes?
No worries, read the summary below.
The home-building process is long, stressful, and many times uncertain. In this podcast episode, Ben Crotteau, owner of SunCoast Blinds in Bonita Springs talks about what you need to think of when it comes to window treatments in your new home. When should you call in an expert? Do you need window treatments? What do I tell my builder?
This and so much more.
How do you know where you need window treatments in a new construction home?
When planning window treatments for a new construction home, there is no universal template that you can use. There is no one-solution fits all.
Unfortunately, most people tend to put my industry last in line when designing their new home. They are planning flooring, kitchen cabinets, fit and finishes of the house, architectural elevation from the exterior, and the view exposure. All these things come into play and once you get into the house you realize the sun is in your eyes. What are you going to do? And that’s when you start thinking of window treatments.
So, a lot of times I become the after-effect, the problem solver. So the answer to the question is simple. The problem areas you notice during the construction period won’t disappear. These are the areas we’re going to have to address at some point during the process.
At what point should you bring a window-covering specialist into the process?
There are two different inflection points in which we can be brought into the process.
If a customer is proactive in its search for window treatment the first meeting can happen as soon as windows are in and the client is looking at things and realizes that there are problems they have to solve. It might be the sun shining in, the privacy from neighbors, or a window in the shower. At this point, it’s a good idea to let a specialist in your home try to figure out what products will work best for you to not only solve the issues but also add the look and feel that you want. This will give us a good start, but it will also allow me to give a good solid budget number.
The second inflection point is going to be when the windows are framed, the window sills are in, and when the drywall is complete. At this point, we can physically design the window treatment and take our exact measurements of each opening. At SunCoast Blinds we are about 30 days out from final measurement to installation. So with the correct planning in place, we can install your new window treatments before or immediately after closing, depending on the builder. This way, you will have your new window treatments in place from day one.
Do you help homeowners understand where they need window treatments?
Yes! I’ve done this for a couple of decades now. So I tend to be able to see problems maybe before my client. A lot of times I’m just pointing out a problem area to make sure that they stay aware of it going forward. I had a situation with a client years ago that had a frosted window in her bathroom. The visibility out her window was more than most people would consider comfortable, and she had no idea until we pointed it out to her and showed her how it looked from the outside.
Measuring for price assessment versus final measurement.
As I said previously.
Price assessment measurement can happen at any point once the windows or even the window openings are in place. This will provide a rough idea of what products work best in an area and provide a budget number.
The final measurement can take place once the window sills are in place, the drywall is completed, and any potential tile in bathrooms for example. At this point, we can do an accurate measurement that we will use for ordering the custom window treatments.
Working with builders
We have a fair amount of builders that we work with regularly. We also have some builders we do a fair amount of work with, but not regularly and not always directly with them. If it’s one of our preferred builders, they generally get us in before closing. So there’s no question we will window fashions installed by the first night.
If it’s builders that are a little less inclusive with outside trades, we generally have to wait til the closing day or the day after closing. We’re okay sharing space with movers and punch-out work. We want it to be easy for the end homeowner. The building period is stressful and we’re always striving to be one of the easiest trades to deal with.
What are the benefits of working with a window specialist early in the process?
This is a really good point. And the answer looks a bit different depending on the product.
Automated shades are a very popular product within the window fashion industry. There are a couple of different ways to power the shades, we specifically use three different options.
The most convenient and easy option is our lithium-ion rechargeable motorizations that don’t require any power source. This is going to be the best fit for the homeowners that didn’t pre-power their windows. All you have to do is charge the shade, just like you charge your phone every 500 cycles.
The other option is to either wire in your motor or plug it in via an outlet in the wall, just like you plug in a lamp. We can do this with either a normal 110v or a low-voltage motor. There are benefits and drawbacks to all of them, and in the end, it comes down to what works best for the homeowner. There isn’t a big price difference so that won’t be a deciding factor.
So these are conversations that benefit from having early in the process. This will allow the builder to put outlets in our requested areas. The chance of an outlet being in the correct spot without these conversations is very unlikely. If we don’t have these conversations the homeowner will either have to bring in an electrician and do drywall repair after closing, do a rechargeable motor, or have a visible cord running from the shade down to the closest outlet. If we can avoid any visible trace from our motors, then that’s what we want to do.
If we can prepare plantation shutters together with the builder, we can make a big visual difference. We do this by making the window sill flush. A flush window sill, that doesn’t come out into the room will allow us to put a 4 sided frame around the whole window. This is by far the best way to create a true picture frame look in your window.
This request is so small for the builder, to them, it makes no difference. But on our side, it will make a huge difference in the final result.
Anything else we should know?
The time frame is really something I want people to pay more attention to. Let’s think about the window coverings earlier in the process. Don’t wait til 30 days before you’re ready to move in to start the process, don’t cut it close. The sun won’t go anywhere. The sun you experience every time you visit your building site, it’s gonna be there when you move in as well. So are the neighbors.
So start planning for your window treatments, and speak to your builder about outlets and window sills. In Southwest Florida, we are living close to our neighbors and we have plenty of sunshine to create an issue inside. Those problems will exist. We don’t build homes with the idea of having to do window fashions, but when we live in them we quickly realize that they are a part of our reality. So don’t kick that can down the road. It’s just deal with it ahead of time.