The Pros and Cons of Venetian Blinds

In this article we will scrutinize venetian blinds, we will give you the low down of what to expect, what to look for and what to watch out for…

Venetian blinds have been around for as long as anyone can remember, they are simple to use, give a minimalist look and can be a great asset to any home or office but what are the down sides?

Let me start with the Pros and Cons of Aluminium Venetians.

Aluminium Venetians are the entry level starting point for all Blinds… The 25mm is the cheapest blind you will find on the market, they come in a 25mm and 50mm blade which is just short of Double of the 25mm blade price. They both regulate light well and parts can be replaced pretty easy reducing the costs of future repairs (provided they are custom made and not ready made.) The ranges and colors available are quite extensive so you are more than likely to find something that you like.

The downside is that they are quite fragile, the thin aluminium can dent or bend fairly easy and once that happens they can start to look untidy pretty quick. My advice is if you have small kids, pets or heavy handed cleaners then rather go for the stronger blade of Plaswood or Basswood Venetians. Secondly, in Durban especially, if you are going to have the windows open and the blinds get the sea air on them, they will start to corrode within as soon as 2 years right on the beach, not to mention the dust that will also settle and stick to the blades as well. If you have the aircon on with the windows closed most of the time as in Office Blocks then you can expect a decent life span of up to to 10 years or more on these blinds as long as they are treated with care.

The Pros and Cons of  “Plastic” Venetians.

Plaswood / Fauxwood / Eco wood / Zen wood Venetians. These are the different names that “Plastic Venetians” are referred to… All the factories have come up with fancy terms for their different Ranges which have slightly different compositions (I’m told) but at the end of the day none of them are real wood. Some are painted and some are wrapped with different designs on them.

So the upside of these blinds is that they look like wood, can be lighter than wood but are a fair bit cheaper than the real wood. They are or were originally invented for high moisture areas like the kitchen and bathroom but in recent times the basswood venetian coatings have become so good that unless the blind is going to get water on it directly and daily, then the wood wont be affected. (I speak from having these in my own home). Today, because of budget constraints and the fact that the Plaswood has also come along way, most people use these throughout the home or office with no hesitation. The blades of a Plaswood Venetian are ridged and take a lot more pressure to crack or break. The average lifespan of these blinds is around the 6 year mark but again depending on the heat, angle and duration of Sun exposure. These blinds aren’t recommended for Sea Facing windows with will get the brunt of the morning sun directly everyday, they also start to show signs of warping if they are hung in windows with tint or frosting / Sandblasted effect as these tend to catch and radiate heat onto the blind causing it to go brittle or warp over time.

Generally these blinds are easy to clean with the hardier Blades than the entry level Aluminium blind but can eventually can become and eyesore as they either start to crack, fade or discolor. Id say a good run for these blinds is around the 6 to 8 years mark, and for the price difference, its nice to be able to change after that time anyway.

Lastly, the Pros and Cons of Basswood Venetians.

Basswood Venetian Blinds, in my opinion should be the only option to consider when it comes to venetian blinds. They are strong, look and feel great and will last the longest in most windows around your home or office.

Venetians in general have a bad reputation as being “Dust Collectors”, yes, and I’m going to be pretty blunt here, only for people that don’t clean… How many people buy a car and never get it washed… UMMM, Ja… ha ha ha.

So if you get new blinds, you would have to dust them at least once a month, then they wont get the build up of dust on them, if they do, spend 20 mins and wipe each slat down and it will be shiny and clean like it was brand new.

So Basswood blinds are the Rolls Royce of the venetian range, the most commonly used colors are the stained ranges, when it comes to colors, otherwise for us, White has always been our best seller. In the 13 years of Selling these blinds, we have had one customer come back to us and tell us that the Sun has basically bleached the Dark Roast Stain on the top of the slats, yet the bottom still looks brand new, after about 7 years in the direct Sun. Not bad going, id say…

The wood blades are stable and don’t warp easily, the stains and colors are coated using quality paints, primers and stains and can last up to 15 years or more (Again depending on how much sun exposure and how the blinds are treated)

General Notes: Other things to consider when ordering venetian Blinds is the headrail and components. My advice is always ask what type of cord lock the Brand or Factory uses, Stay away from the SWING Cord lock as they are bound to give the most uphill… Headrails should be made of  Aluminium and not Steel as, I’m sure you are aware, Steel corrodes quicker than Aluminium. Always ask about the availability of spares, if they are available locally or do they come from another province, as some of the factories wont just supply anyone and if for some reason you forget or cant get hold of the original supplier / Agent then you will have trouble getting your blinds repaired in future if need be.

I think I’ve covered it all, if there is anything that you feel should be added or you don’t agree with, please feel free to contact me on 082 301 2445.