New Home Owners
There’s nothing more exciting than buying a new home; building one is even more thrilling. That ‘brand new’ feeling is hard to recapture, perhaps only superseded by falling in love! And never more so than when it is a long awaited event. The culmination of all hopes and dreams. A well-deserved reward for hard work! I also happen to be terribly obsessive with details. Even the new clock must match the color scheme prevalent in the foyer, or in the kitchen, all indoor plants must originate from one family, etc. One always finds ways to complicate one’s life, eh?!
According to an NAHB (National Association of home Builders) analysis done on consumer expenditure, the biggest outlay in the budget for new home owners is furnishings, the biggest ticket item among them being bedroom furnishings, followed by sofas – outspending non-movers by a factor of 2.8. The differences in spending are even larger when it comes to window coverings – new homeowners outspend existing homeowners by 7.7 times.
Even so, there are a lot of folks out there who consider window dressings their lowest priority. They move into a new home and are all excited about the nice large windows and the brightness and the view. But this does get old, especially in neighborhoods where the distance between properties is not much, and privacy becomes an issue, especially at night. Many homeowners don’t consider the benefits of window coverings –
Most new or modern homes are built with high-performance windows with low-E coatings – what this means is that windows are double or triple glazed (glazing refers to a pane of glass) with gas filling in between, with a low-E coating (a microscopically thin transparent coating, thinner than the human hair, that reflects solar long wave IR energy and significant amounts of solar shortwave IR energy), so heat gain by windows is drastically reduced. In addition, if products that improve energy efficiency are used in compliance with green building practises, Valuable LEEDS points can be gained to be used as tax credits. Window coverings with High R-Values (above 5) will help homeowners gain valuable Credits over and above energy savings of up to 30%. A few of the high R-value window coverings are:
Made from Phifer sun control fabrics, are designed to absorb and dissipate up to 90% of the heat and glare of the sun before it reaches the window, depending on the openness factor (openness of weave) of the fabric (made using blends of PVC, polyester and fiberglass) while offering great outward visibility and daytime privacy. They also double up to prevent the menace of insects when windows are left open. They provide the much-needed protection of human skin and indoor elements like woodwork, soft furnishings and precious artwork against the harmful UV rays of the sun. They can be installed on doors, windows and enclosures to provide comfortable indoor temperatures that result in reduced air conditioning loads while blending in with the facade of any building.
Honeycomb Cellular Shades.
Honeycomb Cellular shades are pleated shades joined at the pleat edges to form a layer or more of cells that trap air to provide insulation – they block heat from the rays of the sun hitting the windows or prevent the heat from being transferred from inside of a building to the outside. Cellular shades often sport reflective surfaces that face windows, further improving its efficiency. Blackout cellular shades are lined on the inner walls of their cells with metalized Mylar, to block light so effectively that they are the best option to use for room darkening, especially for people with sleep disorders or for those who work graveyard shifts. Additionally, the blackout cellular shades are equipped with side rails that block even the minutest of light energy that tries to seep through. They help maintain interior coolness very effectively, so go for the light filtering variety for common areas to avoid the usage of electric light during the day.
Route-less Wooden or Faux Wood Blinds.
SmartPrivacy blinds are a patented invention by Norman, who has very cleverly done away with the traditional route holes that accommodate the operating cords. They’ve come up with a system of using a very tiny hole to let the cord through, on the edge of the blind slats that get covered as the slats overlap when they’re turned closed. This ensures that no light seeps through when the blinds are closed. Also, the advantage of using blinds over shades is that they don’t have to be raised to let more light through for a better view. With just a tilt of the vanes, both light and privacy can be efficiently managed. And better still, when the vanes are turned upwards at a 45-degree angle, the glare of the sun is deflected to the ceiling, from where it’s harmlessly diffused, yet not darkening the room.
In the flurry and fluster of moving into a new home, homeowners often forget about window coverings that provide protection from prying eyes and keep the home safe from intruders. Remember that while solar shades are great for providing a comfortable interior ambiance and considerable savings, but at night, additional window coverings need to be used – like drapes or blinds or Roman shades.
Consider the new furniture, flooring, carpets and rugs, the priceless artwork, the precious photographs –imagine how you’d feel, if at the end of a year, they were to look faded, yellow or turning sepia, curling at the edges and stiffening from sun rot? Use window coverings that will protect all these elements you so lovingly chose and invested in for your new home.
Most homeowners tag an undue amount of importance to the style factor that window coverings provide rather than their functional value – this could turn out to be a costly mistake for all the factors mentioned above. Be wise and pick out the right window covering in accordance to the decor you choose as well as energy savings, light and privacy.
Choose to be wise in protecting your home!