May 13, 2008

Window Coverings: Can You Beat The Heat And Help A Reader Out?

"My son is in escrow on unit 957 at the Beacon...and we are looking for good window coverings to block out the heat. He is installing ceiling fans. Who has ideas?"

Comment: Quite Literally At The Beacon [SocketSite]
Bank Owned (With Big Windows) At The Beacon: 260 King #957 [SocketSite]

First Published: May 13, 2008 6:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

In Vegas, of course, to deal with heat they use tinted/reflective windows and air conditioning. I don't think the HOA will allow a gold treatment on the outside (a la The Mirage) or silver (a la City Center)--unless enough tenants have the same problem and decide to pay for it.

How would THAT look, BTW? A gold-windowed tower SOMA?!

Posted by: jim at May 13, 2008 8:02 AM

Blindsgalore.com. Sale prices over $500.

Their store brand, double cell opaque 3/8" pleated shades, top down/bottom up (lets you raise them from the bottom and/or lower them from the top).

Nothing penetrates them, but still lets in good light.

Posted by: Tipster at May 13, 2008 8:08 AM

With windows as large as they appear in the photos, you will likely have to order custom blinds. As a result, while they are costly, they are effective. We opted for 'flat sheet' type blinds - they happen to be some of the more reasonably priced ones, but we also thought they were the 'cleanest' look, so we probably would have opted for them regardless.

By the way, I'm sure I'm not the only SS reader that wants to know, but what price will unit 957 be purchased for? thanks.

Posted by: Recent ORH buyer at May 13, 2008 8:17 AM

Get a really big fish tank.

Posted by: vox at May 13, 2008 9:11 AM

Recent ORH buyer:

Where did you go for the blinds? Thanks.

Posted by: SC at May 13, 2008 9:15 AM

Window treatments are the biggest rip off ever. Might have more markups involved than any item. Home Depot is a scam. they promise free measurement (applied to your final bill for blinds/installation). One thing they don;t tell you is that their "contractor" who measures will add a fee if he steps in an elevator. Yep, an elevator. An elevator which makes bring those blinds up to your condo home easier....he charges for that....even if elevator is giant-sized and right next to your unit. If you had stairs in a single family home, they wouldn't charge. total bait and switch...because they never warn you of that $75-100 charge until AFTER you've visited home depot several times AND already wasted several hours off from work to have them measured. Even then, once all said and done, they came back to say that our master bedroom window was an odd oversize and therefore, no window covering available. That was two months wasted!

Posted by: Spencer at May 13, 2008 9:28 AM

Try searching "window treatments," on yelp: I've read and heard good things about National Blinds and Window Wears West. I am currently going through the same process (getting ready to close and move into unit at the Infinity) and this is first on my list of things to have done. I don't have first hand knowledge yet but I can reinforce some earlier comments from other friends about this being a process in which you need to be extra diligent with in dealing with contractors: get multiple bids, cover all details and potential costs, etc. Good luck!

Posted by: sfjhawk at May 13, 2008 9:59 AM

Blinds and designs is a local co that does first class work.

Posted by: vox at May 13, 2008 10:10 AM

SC,

We bought through the Sales office at One Rincon Hill. It is conceivable that we could have gotten better prices elsewhere, but given that we were under a time constraint, we opted for this route. However, with the cost of someone coming out to measure our windows, the potential time delays, we figured the sales office route would be less headache. However, if you have some time, perhaps shop around. The sale office felt, all told, we wouldn't do that much better elsewhere, but I can't say for certain whether that is true.

I can believe that the markups are huge, and they expand whenever one has to customize. Best of luck.

Posted by: Recent ORH buyer at May 13, 2008 10:14 AM

My buddy does window coverings all over the Bay Area. His prices will be very competitive and likely the lowest you will find.

Americanwindowsolutions.com

510.828.2121 ask for Bill

tell them Aldrin referred you for the best discount

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Aldrin at May 13, 2008 11:06 AM

Posted by: CW at May 13, 2008 12:20 PM

Let me put a plug in for Shade, Inc. - Premier window covering service. 111 Rhode Island St., Suite 9. 415-487-1100.

Posted by: 94114 at May 13, 2008 12:26 PM

Blinds and Designs is a trainwreck. (Yelp will tell you that too) I worked with Stitch Custom (all price ranges) and will deal with heat issue rather than a cut job from Costco.

1375 Sanchez St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 641-6081

Posted by: SFLooking at May 13, 2008 1:23 PM

Posted by: sf_housedude at May 13, 2008 3:36 PM

If you want another option, look into window films. Huper Optik and 3M make amazing window coatings. They block out 90% of UV rays and heat, yet don't look noticeably darker from the inside. I just discovered these and they are quite remarkable.

For traditional shades and blinds, go to Steve's Blinds on the Web. Their prices are a fraction of the normal retail prices.

Posted by: jlasf at May 13, 2008 3:47 PM

I had Expo come out and do my windows, floor to ceiling and wall to wall drapes, not cheap to manufacture but the fabrics don't have to be silk unless that's what you want. Regardless, that apt/condo has lost of window to cover so it's not going to be cheap whatever way you go, might as well consider/invest in custom made as that will look and perform the best.

Posted by: view lover at May 13, 2008 4:04 PM

Hello

It depends on your needs and the style that you want.

If you want to reduce heat: I have seen these types of fabrics at San Francisco Design Center where it kind of looks like a film, that blocks out UV rays, reduce heat and you can still see the outside.

If in the winter, you want to block sunlight and keep warmth: blackout drapery lining for your window treatment fabrics could be nice. Depending on the type of blackout fabrics that you choose, you can either block out majority of the light or completely block out the sunlight. The fabric can also provide insulation for winter. They usually come in white or ivory.

With these types of fabric you should consider the hardware because blackout fabrics tend to be heavier than normal.

It also depends on your budget. If you want custom window treatments, find someone who has connections with workrooms that will sew the custom window treatments with the type of needs and fabrics you specify.

If you want something more economic, smith+noble (smithandnoble.com) have a great range of choices. You can do the design on their website, either DIY on the installation or hire a pro.

If you want something that's even more economic, you can go the costco, bed bath & beyond route as well.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Cindy

Posted by: cindy*staged4more at May 13, 2008 6:25 PM

measure windows, source/select/order blinds, install -- I have yet to get a source that can do all three (Unless cost is absolutely no object). No matter how good the actual blinds are, the contractor element is out of whack (made even more tough because of odd-sized condo windows, I'm sure).

Posted by: spencer at May 13, 2008 8:54 PM

Just get a roll of aluminum foil and use it to cover up the windows, that will keep you cool.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 14, 2008 7:40 PM

You might consider "mecco shades", as seen in a lot commercial places. They have a clean look and block the sun. When they are closed, you can still see out. Get black. I have Phifer Sheerweave. Whole Foods on 4th and Harrison has them.

Posted by: SE window wall at May 14, 2008 9:33 PM

And by the way, congrats to your son. It might seem like a pain and cost a few $$, but big expansive windows are a great asset and not easy to find.

Posted by: SE window wall at May 14, 2008 9:38 PM

hey.. did i miss it or what did this sell for?

Thanx

Posted by: mac at May 16, 2008 7:48 AM

Solar shades.

Posted by: Kathleen at May 20, 2008 10:30 AM

We opted for Hunter Douglas Nantucket, ordered and installed by Costco.

We selected it because we lived on a hill with a nice view of a nearby park, San Bruno mountain range and in our living and dining room, a view of the San Mateo bridge and the Bay. The Nantucket and Silhouette from Hunter Douglas helps with the light control, and in the process also helps preserve the nice view outside.

Drawback is for such huge windows, it can be very pricey.

Good Luck.

Posted by: PInoy Ako at July 3, 2008 1:44 PM

I've done business with Window wears west a couple of times now, once in SF and then in Oakland where I now live and I have found that Mike from WWW is very professional and the turn around is quick. It all depends on the product. On Yelp they have a great track record and from the service I received, I can see why.

Posted by: Willie A at May 2, 2010 9:25 PM

I can see this is an old post but I can't stop singing the praises of 3M's new window film from the Prestige Series. We purchased an east facing condo in Twin Peaks last year. As soon as the sun rises over the east bay hills it's blindingly hot until 11:30 when the sun passes over. Our windows are already double-paned, but we were still worried about the sun fading our floors and furniture. The 3M window film is AMAZING. It is NOT tint, but it blocks out UVA/UVB rays. The temperature dramatically dropped, which is evident by doing a simple floor test. It's now very cool to the touch. In addition to the the film we also installed solar shades, that roll up out of the way for a modern look, clean look, but when rolled down they block the sun and still allow you to see outside. Best investment we made, after the condo of course.

3M Window Film (make sure you get a certified installer): http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/Markets-Products/Residential/Sun_Control_Window_Films/Prestige_Series/

Shades:
http://www.windowwearswest.com/products/solarshades.php

Posted by: TwinPeaker at February 9, 2011 12:14 PM

Thanks for that link, TP. Already made an appointment for my office building to get that window film installed before the summer.

Posted by: tipster at February 9, 2011 12:51 PM

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