The Value of Window Treatments: How to Choose Which Ones Work Best in a Home

By Samuel B. Richter, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Custom window treatments are an easy, affordable addition to every home and they increase property attraction, extra value, and increased sales price for the seller of every residential or commercial property. In addition to protecting the premises from unwanted “peekers,” window treatments give the home or business a warmer feeling.

Custom window treatments include blinds (mini, vertical, horizontal, wood), honeycomb shades, shutters, upholstery, and top treatments. If you want to accent your shades and blinds, you may wish to consider swags and jobots (pronounced je-bows), matching bedspreads and valances. Valances are fabric placed at the top of the window, above a window treatment if present, adding height to the window. They provide an elegant finish to any room, with or without window treatments.

Which window treatments should you choose? That is a matter of personal choice. However, here are some helpful tips to help with your decision:

  • What fits best: Vertical blinds are often the best solution for sliding glass doors, as the window and blinds both open in the same direction. Similarly, horizontal blinds are best for “up and down” windows.
  • Most popular choice: A big seller is two-inch wood blinds. They come in real wood or faux wood. The real wood is stained to match the color of your favorite wood tone (i.e. pecan, cherry, maple, etc.) and also come in a variety of “whites.” If you have a special color in mind, wood blinds may be painted at the factory to match exactly the color of your choice. Faux wood blinds are better for high humidity locations and also come in faux wood stains, as well as a variety of white-tones.
  • Possible money-saver: Use your window coverings to help keep the cool air in during the summer and fall and out during the winter. Honeycomb shades do this by letting in the light, but keeping the elements outside so the home/business remains comfortable and energy efficient and your electric and home heating bills are more manageable. Honeycomb shades are available with a pull cord or without (child safety).
  • Let the light in: If you would like to have light enter through the top of the window and keep the bottom of the window covered, the “duofold” shade, also called “bottom up, top down” is right for you. The shade goes up or down, depending on your preference. It comes with cord or cordless and even remote control activation. “Duofold” shades also are available with a room darkening option, which is perfect for bedrooms with early morning sunlight exposure, especially if your bedroom window faces the South and the morning sun wakes you earlier than you would like. Whether room darkening or light filtering (translucent), duofold shades provide you with the highest level of privacy available from a shade.

Best Cleaning Solution for Blinds

My clients often ask me how to clean their blinds. While there are various methods, here is the best way to dust blinds: Close them, then wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet, according to an article in the February issue of Reader’s Digest. This will create an anti-static barrier which helps prevents dust from building up again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samuel B. Richter is a real estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman in East Meadow, N.Y. He is also the owner of a custom window treatment business, Verticals & Horizontals Inc. He started the company in 1987 in Philadelphia. The company has since grown and serves clients all along the East Coast. Prior to opening his business, he served as manufacturing supervisor of Quaker Maid Window Treatment Products for six years. You can contact him at

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Mark Street

    The problem with window treatments is that by tradition appraisers do not recognize them in value. I have been appraising for thirty years, and I’ve always thought this prejudice bordered on insanity. Appraisers cheerfully value upgraded or missing appliances, even free-standing ones, depending on the customs of the region, with black letter dollar adjustments. Window treatments, which may be simple and affordable as the author suggests, but which in upper-end homes may be extremely elaborate and expensive, get short shrift.

    An appliance can be wheeled out of a house by any numb-skull with a hand-truck and re-installed elsewhere. Window treatments are by definition customized for their environment and can rarely be transplanted successfully.

    I should say that any experienced appraiser understands the value of both curb and interior appeal, and if he/she has not been completely cowed by the AMC will find a way to reflect these attributes in some way in value. But it is a problem. I recommend homeowners approach this sort of amenity prudently but not over-cautiously. If you want to live in a beautiful house, do so. You’ll enjoy it, and when the time comes to show it to other people, they will too.

  2. Thanks for the information the will give me the edge in choosing the right one.

  3. Thanks for sharing your knowledge regarding which ones work best in a home, I really do appreciate this post that hopefully tons of people can learn from!

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  7. Thanks for the useful information. This will be very helpful. These window treatments helps in many ways : to provide protection from UV rays and also protect it from outside dirt and it gives privacy as well.