Blinds can be difficult to clean or keep well-maintained, which might make you wonder if they are worth having. But blinds are very convenient window coverings and come in several colors and styles that complement your house decor. Is there a way to keep them nice without the work?
Windows with built-in blinds, or blinds between the glass, are a safe alternative to normal blinds. They require less work and don’t break so easily, but are more expensive and have limited design choices. Built-in blinds are safer for pets and children, but the windows are less energy-efficient.
When you’re ready to remodel and create a different look for your home, why not consider windows with built-in blinds? Keep reading to discover the pros and cons, and manufacturers, of windows with built-in blinds.
Pros and Cons of Windows With Built-In Blinds
Built-In Blinds Require Less Maintenance
When blinds are between panes of glass in a window or door, they have less chance of attracting dust and debris. No dust equals less time spent cleaning blinds.
While manufacturers claim that no dust will get to the blinds, prior owners have complained that the blinds get dusty over time, making the blinds more difficult to clean. When you’re looking for windows with built-in blinds, be sure to get windows that can open easily so you can clean the blinds.
Not only are the blinds easy to keep clean within the glass, but the windows are also easier to keep clean without the blinds in the way. Spray and wipe, without the need to move the blinds.
You Have Limited Design Choices
While blinds come in several color choices or material choices, like bamboo or wood, built-in blinds usually come in vinyl only, with limited color choices. They do come in neutral colors to match your decor and color scheme.
Most blinds come with options like aluminum, bamboo, pine, and vinyl, or even Venetian blinds. But when blinds are put in between glass panes, you lose many of these options because of how they are installed. So any windows that need special treatments will not be right for windows with built-in blinds.
Enclosed Blinds Don’t Break Easily
When you have young children, it always seems that blinds represent a challenge to children. They are easy to break, and when children want to look out the window, they often find a way to break off pieces of the blinds. Pets often do similar actions when chasing a bug or another pet.
But with built-in blinds, they can’t reach them to break them, and so they stay newer longer.
Plus, the fact that they are in between two or three panes of glass keeps them from being handled often. When the blinds are not handled, they don’t become as brittle as fast as outside blinds. And with 10-20 year warranties, the blinds can last almost as long as your windows.
Windows With Built-In Blinds Cost More
Blinds by themselves are not very expensive, but when combined with windows, they cost more due to being a specialty product. You may pay up to $1,000 per brand-new window, and if you need to replace the blinds, you will pay at least $100 per window.
The upside to this point is that you won’t need to replace the blinds very often, which can save you money over the long term. Most manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty on their windows with built-in blinds. Imagine replacing traditional blinds every two to three years, or so, and how much that would cost. At an average cost of $30 per set, that works out to be around $900-$1,000 over ten years.
With care, many things outlast their warranties for many years. If the warranty on these windows is good for ten years, that means they can last many more years without any issues. If you don’t need to buy traditional blinds for 20 years, that will pay for these windows twice over.
Built-In Blinds Are Safer for Pets and Children
Traditional blinds with cords are a hazard if you have small children or pets, as they tend to get caught up in the blinds, which could be dangerous. But when the blinds are enclosed in the glass, and the controls slide, pets and children are protected.
Windows with built-in blinds can reduce the risk significantly and keep small hands and paws off your investment. And without any cords or blinds on the outside of the window, that is one less thing you need to worry about in your hectic life.
Windows With Built-In Blinds Are Less Energy Efficient
Normally, windows are filled with argon gas, which completely seals it from drafts. But when blinds are added, the argon cannot seal it completely, unless there are three panes of glass in the window. Windows with built-in blinds can be less energy efficient than other windows because of the two layers unless they use three panes.
Another thing to think about is the frame on the window. Wood, or wood veneer, tends to rot after several years, making them much less energy efficient. But if you choose integrated windows set in a vinyl frame, they will last longer and stay more energy efficient.
Built-In Blinds Are Quiet and Convenient
Imagine a patio door with blinds being opened and closed at all times of the day. Now imagine having a baby trying to sleep nearby. The sound of the clicking and clacking against the door can create a lot of noise that can wake the baby and create more chaos in your home.
Now imagine a patio door with blinds in between the glass panes. Every time the door opens or closes, it’s silent. A baby can sleep right through that, giving you a peaceful afternoon.
If you have blinds outside your door, they clack and click against the door whenever it opens. They can also blow in front of the door, potentially getting slammed in the door jam when closed. But if your door has built-in blinds, they stay quiet and have zero risks of getting broken by being slammed in the door jam.
Windows with built-in blinds are convenient when you want to open or close them as well. They either have a metal slider that controls the blinds or has a lever on the window that raises or lowers them without that common lopsided effect so common in normal blinds.
Manufacturers of Windows With Built-In Blinds
Now it’s time to talk about which window manufacturers make the best windows with built-in blinds for your money. Look for windows built with argon gas and thick triple panes.
Pella Windows and Blinds
Pella is a well-respected maker of windows and doors, as well as blinds and other window dressings. With a limited lifetime warranty on most products, your purchase is covered from manufacturing defects under normal operating circumstances.
Pella offers several colors and styles that work with your decor and preferences. The integrated windows, or windows with built-in blinds, offer the blinds’ motorized operation to make it easier to open and close them. They also offer integrated windows with shades rather than blinds.
With attractive hardware and several colors to choose from, decorating your home will go smoother.
Andersen Windows and Doors
Andersen has been in business for over 115 years, creating quality doors and windows that people trust. Their blinds between the glass come in several colors and trimmed by either tan or white wood veneer. For energy-efficient windows, they triple glaze their glass for the E-Series system three window blinds.
They offer several architectural types of doors and windows to make your home reflect you and your tastes. Integrated windows are just one type of their offerings, but check with them if you are interested in this manufacturer.
Aspect and Endure Windows
Provia makes both the Aspect and Endure windows with built-in blinds, which are energy efficient and placed in a vinyl frame to stay nicer longer. They are made in the USA and have a 10-year warranty.
These windows have a unique feature that allows you to lift or tilt the windows for easier cleaning on both sides. The aluminum blinds are nestled between insulated glass, making your windows draft-free, making them efficient against most weather conditions.
The blinds are custom-made to fit any window, so if you have an unusually shaped window, check with ProVia before starting your project to see if they can create what you need for you. But they will need at least two weeks to make your windows for you.
Aeris Windows and Blinds
Aeris integrated windows and doors are made by the same company that produces the Aspect and Endure windows and blinds – ProVia. The main difference with the Aeris windows and doors is that the frame surrounding the glass comes in either vinyl or wood veneer. The Aeris and Endure lines offer several colors of blinds that will match your home decor.
They also offer integrated blinds for doors, but it will require additional lead time for other colors. Their colors are limited, but they offer mostly neutral colors like tan, cream, silver, and champagne.
Blink Blinds and Glass
Blink creates integrated windows that are insulated for greater energy efficiency. Because of the insulated glass, you won’t need to worry about whether you’re getting a triple pane window or a double pane, and you won’t lose any heat or cooling.
The Blink line of windows and blinds are produced by ODL, a company that has led the built-in blind industry for over 20 years. But they have developed an insulated glass for windows and doors for over 70 years.
The cordless blinds within Blink windows and doors are operated with stylish hardware that comes with a 10-year warranty with normal use conditions on the hardware and a 10-year warranty on the glass.
When to Choose Blinds Between the Glass
Your home reflects who you are and your style, including your choices of blind colors and window shapes. Choosing blinds outside of the windows or inside comes down to three factors: your budget, if you have small children or pets, and if you are renovating a house or building a new house.
Your Budget Determines Your Choice of Window Coverings
As mentioned before, new windows with built-in blinds can cost up to $1,000, and at least $100 to replace the blinds, if they break for some reason and are not covered by the warranty. Traditional blinds on the outer part of your window cost, on average, around $30 but will break more often. If you are looking for a long-term solution, built-in blinds might be the way to go if you have the budget for it.
If You Have Small Children or Pets in Your Home
Not needing to worry about your toddler getting tangled in the cords or your dog breaking the blinds can be worth the extra money. But if you don’t have small children or pets in your home, you may not want to spend the extra money.
Renovation or New Construction
When you’re renovating an old house, you may need to have custom windows with built-in blinds made due to the odd shape of the window. Buying different window coverings might be the way to go if the windows are still in good shape. However, if you’re building a new home, it could be easier to create windows with built-in blinds without the added expense of custom windows.
There you have it–the pros and cons of windows with built-in blinds, as well as an idea where to buy them. Some opinions about built-in blinds are that they are inefficient, difficult to clean, and unattractive. Other opinions say that integrated blinds and windows keep your home neat, quiet, and safe with low-maintenance blinds.
Whichever option you choose, you want to choose windows that add to your home’s overall energy efficiency. Because if your windows let out the heat or cooling, you’re at square one and will need to start over in your home improvement project.