Tip sheets

JM Interiors guide what NOT to do when you want the best quality curtains and blinds.

( Written tongue in cheek mentioning no names or competitors. No cheap nasty suppliers were harmed during the making of this editorial. Shame !. )


Three / Four / Five..who knows ? it says it in the advert and shop window. Any drop Vertical for £99.00.

They must be good then. Even includes fitting !! YOUR choice. It is the talk of our industry on the web amongst those who try to do the same as us....supply good , reliable products. It is impossible to do so at those prices. My suggestion is wonder how they can do the job for that price. All down to cheap fittings, parts and dare i say it service. No...we will not go down that route we have too much pride in the work we leave behind. Monkeys / peanuts, you know what i mean !



FORGET READY MADES.....nasty cheap impersonations of the real thing. Machine stitched usually by an employee with their mind on other things and going home to get away from the mundane everyday work environment.


FORGET BLINDS FROM THOSE LARGE CHAIN DIY STORES......these are normally sold along with a cut to size kit. Absolutely fine until you make a mistake and ruin the whole blind ! Not to forget those Wooden Blinds that appear to have chunks bitten out of them when you try to cut them cleanly. Do take a good look at home cut Aluminium Venetians also. Those louvres that have bends and twists....yep that's what happens when they are thin guage and not cut correctly. Vertical made at home blinds off the local market are the best example of DIY disasters. Cutting the louvres to length is the easy bit, but glueing ( yes glueing ) the top and bottom parts is the most exacting job. Ours are all stitched because we believe that is the correct  way for a long lasting blind. Once the glue has dried and everything is positioned then it is time to put in the hangers and weight bars plus connect up all the chain.Now that is where problems happen....too big or small pockets is one, but the best is when the glue reacts in the sunlight and starts to come away.Not the best option for a long lasting window blind.


WATCH OUT FOR PLASTIC HEADRAILS.....they just don't hack it ! We have seen Vertical Blind headrails that have quite simply MELTED in a conservatory ! You can't beat a decent metal alternative. We removed the offending articles, replaced them with ours and have not had to go back.


THE CHINESE IMPORTS THAT THREATEN SANITY !!.......no doubt there are cheap blinds out there, but what is cheap ? Let me tell you a story.......a potential client asked me to quote for one Venetian Blind. Our price for one Aluminium Blind fitted was £75. The reply to this was that he had previously only paid £15 for the existing one which  being plastic had incidentally fallen apart. I flippantly suggested that he bought five of those, kept them in stock and each time one fell apart he replaced it with another. Guess what ? He answered that he hadn't thought of that and what a good idea it was. How to do yourself out of work maybe, but why not have a blind to last rather than go through all the hassle ?He was last seen struggling down the high street with five long heavy packages trying to avoid a hernia and hailing a taxi at the same time.


ENJOY FITTING YOUR CURTAINS AND BLINDS.....when you undertake the fitting process be sure to have the paracetamols on hand. Sometimes headaches are all part of the process. Look forward to dust in your hair, bruises on your body and a completely irrational mood swing....we do !

Realistically you never know what to expect. Sometimes the walls when drilled just give up. They crumble at the touch of a rawplug or on the other hand resist any attempt to penetrate.The other scenario worth noting is the metal lintal which hates the site of a drill and you. Whatever you do whichever way you try some metals are simply harder than you wish. The drill bits snap, tempers get frayed and the beast sits laughing at you. We have encountered all types. We have asked all the right questions of all the right people and still there are no answers other than persistence. So be prepared to sweat, swear and ache ! NOTE: We broke 13 drill bits fitting one conservatory which had metal worthy of great respect.


HAVE A FIRST AID KIT HANDY....yes it happens. Tools can be violent towards their owners. The last thing you want to do is stain your new soft furnishings with dreaded blood. We have on occasion been attacked by our hammer or screwdrivers. Unfortunately when it happens you still have to get on with the job and that's where the sticky plaster comes in useful.


LADDERS....unstable and unstoppable if they don't like you or the floor they are put on.


TRY NOT TO HAVE AN AUDIENCE.....it happens. We were once asked to fit a lounge bay while the young child held a birthday party. Never were there so many eyes waiting for something to happen.


PETS....we love animals. In fact it is a great part of our work meeting so many different dogs, cats and other creatures. However when you meet some you do wonder at the clients patience. We were asked to make and fit a Roman Blind for a very quaint cottage window. Incidentally the window was completely at odds with any right angles, but that's another story.  The point I am coming to is that they owned a rather handsome Siamese cat who was spoiled rotten, but very entertaining. That is until the couple told us about his rather unpleasant habits. As we were fitting the blind it was obvious that this cat was taking more than a healthy interest in us and what we were doing.

On completion of the fit the Cat was immediately on the scene surveying our work and was told in no uncertain terms to go away by the owner. It was then revaled to us that this delightful animal found pleasure in 'spraying' the soft furnishings whenever it took his fancy. We left wondering how long it might be.......


WONKY WINDOWS.....the technical term. When you need to fit these throw the spirit level out of the said window and along with it any trade techniques you may have been taught ( or not as the case may be ). This is simply a case of using your eyes and anybody elses in the vicinity. Bring in the passers by if you have to, but do not in any circumstances take full responsibility for the fit. It really is a case of trial and error, but you do get there.....later.


WRONG FITTINGS SUPPLIED.....now this one is hysterical ! You laugh and laugh until you spit nails. There you are with said blind(s) and the wrong fittings. Brackets wrong size, screws missing, and other incidentals which do not belong to the situation. Having enthusiasm to do the job you are now faced with some idiots malfunction in putting the right bits in the wrong box. NOW we have learnt from such experiences and carry not one but two boxes of spares from brackets to weights from knobs to nails.


THE I DON'T LIKE IT PERSON ( who does not even live there ! ).....it happens ! They visit in the middle of the fitting and start to stare. They appear to be appraising your work, but no. Instead they are criticising the choice of the person who owns the house and is paying for the work to be done. It might be the colour, the style, even the type of soft furnishing, but whatever the criticism it does not help you

There you are admiring this wonderful creation coming together and the body blow is low. You look for support, but now the criticism has caused doubt. Doubt of the kind you really don't need half way up a ladder and three hours in to the finished item. You now have a new Supervisor.

At that point the whole job could be doomed, but be brave. Point out the positives and the reasons for such choice. The great colour scheme and finishing. The way in which the transformation is taking shape.If none of this works down tools and call in the professionals......now where could they be ?




REAL TIPS.....HONESTLY !!........whatever you feel is right for you whether it is blind or curtains or maybe a blend of both try not to make the mistake of buying too cheap. We do take notice of what is available in the market place and have to say the price of some window soft furnishing is ridiculously priced. This unfortunately does reflect on us sometimes when our prices might be higher . I have to respond to that with the comparison of carpets and many other household purchases. You do get what you pay for. The fact that we have seen today on our travels blinds costing £9.99 - £19.99 depending on size tells it's own story. They happen to be plastic venetians, made in China needing cutting down and look ....dare i say it CHEAP ! Even cheaper when you have had to hack inches of each side. However it really is what you require. We could not in all honesty call ourselves a professional service if we sold and fitted blinds that ended up looking like those will. I can buy roof tiles, but i am no roofer and i dare to think what my roof would end up like if i tried to do the job !

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