Window Treatments: Get a Good Deal
It pays to shop around when buying window treatments. There are many brands and types. Below are the costs Checkbook undercover shoppers gathered when they wanted to price window treatments for four windows.
These include blinds Cordless cellular window shades and Roman shades. Checkbook had a sample of stores and online outlets across seven major metropolitan areas. We also collected prices in dozens of independent retailers within each metro.
We asked for four 3/8″ single-cell, white, light filtering cellular shades. These shades would be 30 inches wide by 68 inch long. Blinds: We checked prices for four standard wood blinds with regular cord lifts in any oak shade (with no cloth tape) at two inches. For Roman shades, we asked again for four treatments in white fabric. We also checked shipping and installation costs (for online outlets) for the local stores.
We inquired at each outlet about the cost of the lowest priced brand that met our needs, as well as specific brands of shades (if any) . You should be aware of the differences in quality among brands sold by the surveyed shops.
The table provides information about the window coverings’ prices at online and chain stores, but not their installation costs. The last column details the installation charges charged by retail stores.
We indicate with bold-italic the best prices we were quoted. For chain stores with local shops, when choosing low prices to highlight we took into account store installation fees. Online retailers, who largely do not offer installation services, are shown with bold-italic text the lowest prices for each type of window treatment.
Here are some examples of our findings
Different brands can be sold through different channels. Hunter Douglas, Graber, Bali, and Leveler brands are all sold through independent local shops.
When we took into account prices collected from independent retailers, we found that the prices charged by the most expensive outlets for name-brand cell Cordless cellular window shades were often hundreds of dollars higher than those offered at the less expensive ones.
We were surprised to find that even the most expensive shops had more in common with their competitors when we asked them for prices.
J C Penney’s and Lowe’s topped the list of chains with local stores as prize winners. Home Depot and Lowe’s’ prices were significantly lower than those we found in the stores. Do not forget that if your installation is done yourself, you may not get the same level of guarantee that you would get from a reputable store.
Prices can go up depending on who is selling the special features. When you’re considering fancy trims or top down and bottom-up operations, make sure to consider the additional costs.