Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

That time of year again, and we are working at deciding which is best for us in a house that needs to preserve heat and keep the cold out.

We have large sliding doors with double glass but now do need to choose between: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds.

I grew up with draperies on my windows as well as shades. But now the new thing is these Honey Comb Shades that everyone says has better R values for heat preservation.

Do you have experience in choosing and can you advise:

1-Do the Honey Comb Shades/Blinds of paper actually work and

2- Do they last? How long?

Most grateful to you for sharing your experience.

Thanks.
NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 3282
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

I am in the process of replacing my honeycomb shades, and would not recommend them for any home that is located on a planet that has bugs. Moths, beetles, spiders, stinkbugs, anything. They crawl into the shade and die, and you can't get them out without damaging the shades. Aside from that, the honeycomb shades are lovely.
User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by Pajamas »

I just stayed in a house with vertical fabric honeycomb shades that slide in tracks on the sliding patio doors. They have been there for at least ten years and look great. I suspect that they have been there since the house was built ten years before that.

They do a good job of providing privacy and work well. I don't know about the r-value for those shades, but you can get shades with various degrees of insulation and reflective surfaces, but the primary insulation is provided by the double glass doors. I would look at something similar myself.

Curtains can also provide insulation and privacy and can be taken down for washing, but the shades have a clean, modern look.

Because they are vertical, bugs should not be a problem as they would just fall out of the bottom.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by adamthesmythe »

I have some (horizontal) honeycomb shades original to the house (I guess 15 years old). This has been a vacation house however so I would call it lightly used.

The shades are attractive and still in good condition. They do seem a bit fragile so I would not expect them to last if, for example, there are children. My guess is that they are about comparable to heavy shades for insulation. I have the impression that they might capture some dust however.

I would probably replace with similar because I like the look.
daveydoo
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by daveydoo »

CountryBoy wrote: Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:23 pm
2- Do they last? How long?
Ours were in direct sun and the answer is NO. They were from one of the major manufacturers, made-to-measure, and not cheap. This was 20 years ago, but they all pulled apart between the cells over a period of 5 - 10 years, once even triggering the motion detectors for our alarm. In a -- shall we say -- critical application, I stapled the cells back together for privacy, until they'd split along another "row." Spouse was unimpressed with the cosmesis of this solution :D .

Maybe they're better now...?
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"
Jonathan
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by Jonathan »

Honeycomb shades are inherently more complex than drapes. Several of ours have failed, both in and out of warranty, simply from a year or two of raising them in the morning, and lowering them at night. They are extremely difficult to clean.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

I am extremely grateful to everyone for taking the time to share their experience.

Thanks.
littlebird
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by littlebird »

We had honeycomb shades for about 15 years in a desert sun and heat, but low-bug environment. We found them to be extremely good insulators, but in other houses we found drapes to be good insulators also. It really come down to your taste and preference for being able to take draperies down periodically and have them cleaned or washed, or vacuuming shades more frequently, but never really needing to take them down (or at least we never did, and they look fine when we sold the house).
btenny
Posts: 5522
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by btenny »

I have the honey comb shades on two patio doors and they have worked OK for 15 years. They are lightly used so they are still in good condition. They keep out the cold in winter and the sun in summer. Mine are opaque white so I have to raise them to see out the door. When they are closed they let in very little light so we do not have cloth drapes on those doors, just the blinds. Mine show spiders and bugs on the inside the combs. I cleaned them once with a stick with tape on the end and a vacuum cleaner hose. That was a PIA as the combs are too small to do much cleaning.

I also have some big windows and two other patio doors covered with light filtered shades and then curtains over that. I like these a lot better than the honey comb shades. See below. These shades open (for filtered light) or close (for full shade) via tilting to let in more or less light. They also can be raised to use the doors or for full light. Mine are 2 inches wide so they are good insulation as well. Then we cover them with curtains in the evening to keep out the cold or heat and for full darkness. They are also thick enough to allow a vacuum cleaner hose inside to remove bugs and dirt.

https://www.blinds.com/p/blindscom-radi ... ade/520187

We also have some windows with tilting wooden blinds and then drapes over that. These close and open via a tilt rod and open completely via a pull string. We like these a lot better than the honeycomb blinds and they are a lot more versatile. These are easy to clean. Plus they come in wood look and lots of colors.

So there are options. Good Luck.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

We live one hour north of NYC so the cold temps of winter are a serious consideration.

Most grateful to learn of different options that people choose out there:
some windows with tilting wooden blinds and then drapes over that.
Sounds very interesting.

Thank you.
fposte
Posts: 1792
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by fposte »

I got Hunter-Douglas honeycomb blinds about 10 years ago and I love them. I have big north side picture windows (not far from Chicago, for climate comparison) and the blinds make a big difference in both winter and really hot summer days; they were actually eligible for a tax break at the time (I believe since expired) for improved energy efficiency. I also have smaller triple honeycomb blinds in my bedroom.

I don't seem to have problems with bugs for some reason. I got an off-white color and I also like that they still let some light in when closed--they're a little like sheers. I got the cords with a mechanical clutch so you don't gave to pull yards of cord, but other than that mine are low-tech. I did have to replace the plastic at the end of the cord once and HD sent me some free.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

Most grateful to everyone.

I am going to have to learn about
smaller triple honeycomb blinds
This topic doesn't have sizzle and glamor, but when you consider the over all costs to a householder for the solution, the topic takes on a different dimension.

Thanks.
Last edited by CountryBoy on Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
fposte
Posts: 1792
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by fposte »

The triple honeycombs were a slightly random purchase in the days when HD still sold through discount vendors. I loved them so much that I went back for more. It looks like the Applause line is the closest to what I had there, though I don't think it's exactly the same. Since the big windows downstairs were a little fussy, I just paid for a local vendor to do the whole thing including installation. I think what I got there was the Duette Architella model, which they swore to me was as energy efficient as the triple honeycombs. I haven't measured, but I'd call the insulation pretty darn significant.

I'm really lazy, so I just tend to keep the shades down in the bedroom most of the time and let them function as sheers (if I had remote controlled, I'd definitely raise and lower them more); downstairs, I close at nights when it starts getting cold and during the day if it's really hot or really cold out.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

Many thanks for the followup. Looks like I will have to do a lot more research. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
birdy
Posts: 370
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by birdy »

I recently got rid of my 19 year old mini blinds and purchased custom made roller shades. I really like them. You can purchase roller shades that let some light in or get the ones that darken the room. The roller shades seem more contemporary to me (I also got rid of all my old window valances). Also, you don't have dust sitting on them. Oh yea, I bought them through Costco!

birdy
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

Interesting; thanks.
User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by Pajamas »

Yes. They are probably much more expensive than the other options but are also nicer and last indefinitely. What you don't want to do is go with cheaply-made ones and you need a good installer.

They need to fit the window opening. Too much trimming or use of filler strips and they don't look good.

They also don't block 100% of the light and won't provide nearly as much insulation as a honeycomb shade or insulating curtains. You can use curtains or an insulating shade with or without a valance over them if you want to, but they look nice as the only window treatment. The louvers can adjust to let in various amounts of light but maintain privacy.

I would not choose them for sliding glass doors, though, or really for any door. They look bulky or awkward in that situation.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

They also don't block 100% of the light and won't provide nearly as much insulation as a honeycomb shade or insulating curtains.
Sounds like you know what you are talking about but am surprised when you mention they will not provide insulation. Paper is better? A bit counter-intuitive for me...
User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by Pajamas »

It's the trapped air that primarily provides insulation in most situations, from down comforters to insulated glass to what's in the wall of your house. Solid paper traps air better than slats of wood, especially the honeycomb shades that are designed to create air pockets.

https://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-e ... treatments
Luvnorwich
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:23 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by Luvnorwich »

I have the honeycombs all over my house and want to give you my opinion. I think they're good insulators but I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so our climate is mild.....I have the lift up shades on my sliding doors because of the view-didn't want the ones that slide back and forth that would block half the window. The lifting mechanism broke after two years on both sides (there are two shades). Those were the ones with the thick cord that mounts with cleats to the wall. I replaced them (Blinds.com had a great deal) and got the lifting cord that I have to pull out then to the side for it to stay. Have had that for 2 years with no problems and they are far easier to lift. BTW, I got the same cellular shades for my windows that lift up/pull down which are great but they don't go all the way and stack at the top because of the weight of the shades and my smallest windows are about 24".

If you're worried about sun beating in in the summer you might install the exterior roller shade under your eave as well.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

Thank you very much; very interesting.
littlebird
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by littlebird »

CountryBoy wrote: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:53 pm Has anyone ever tried wooden shutters inside the room?
http://www.theshutterstore.com/ etc.
Yes, I have plantation shutters in my current house. They were in the house when I bought it. They're pretty standard in my development for slightly more upscale houses; something like stainless appliances, but much nicer. They are very good insulators too, never need removing, can be repaired if needed, are very expensive. Personally, I prefer the triple honeycomb shades I had in my previous house, especially the top-and-bottom stacking (sometimes called top down/bottom up), especially when price is factored in. Better value for the money, but not "upscale".
General Disarray
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:35 pm
Location: Body in the east coast, but heart in the west coast

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by General Disarray »

CountryBoy wrote: Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:23 pm 1-Do the Honey Comb Shades/Blinds of paper actually work and

2- Do they last? How long?
I have four sets of large glass sliding doors, and on each I use a vertical cellular shade. In the upstairs (bedrooms), I use blackout shades. In the downstairs, I use light filtering shades.

They look great and I keep the house somewhat cool when it is super sunny and hot, and I imagine they also serve as an additional barrier to keep out the cold in the colder months.

On my windows, I have double cell honeycomb shades. But the window shades and sliding glass door shades are very different if you are referring to the honeycomb or cellular shades. For the vertical shades, I don't think I had a choice about single, double, or triple cells.

I ordered the vertical cellular shades online, through Blinds.com. I ordered my window shades online also, through Select Blinds. Can't afford Hunter Douglas shades at the moment, but one day perhaps!

Evaluating only the vertical cellular shades for the sliding glass doors:

PROS:
1. They looks fantastic.
2. They open from both the left and right sides, and they can move to the left, to the right, and to the center.
3. Thicker material than window shades.

CONS:
1. You need to carefully follow the directions in terms of the measurement issues. The measurement of your windows/doors needs to be very precise.
2. It is a pain in the ass to install. You practically need an engineering degree to figure out how to install it. It should be intuitive, but it is not at all. I would hire someone to install it for you.
3. Because the sliding glass shades are vertical and because of the sheer length, the shades seem to hang at an angle towards the interior of the home. This is not as noticeable when the shades are completely closed, but more noticeable when the shades are partially or fully open. I assume this is due to the length of the shades rather than improper installation of the shades, but who knows?

CLEANING: In terms of cleaning, I do not ever touch the paper portion (the actual blinds) on either the window or sliding glass door shades. Instead, I touch only the handles to open or close the shades. When I first installed one of the window shades, a bug got into one of the honeycombs and rested in the center. I used a vacuum with the brush tip and gently moved the bug out by vacuuming from the center, where the bug was located, to the shade's opening. Periodically, I will gently vacuum the shades with the soft brush of a vacuum.

EDITED: Forgot to mention that I have had the shades for only one year. But so far they still look new!
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

Many thanks littlebird and General Disarray; your responses are very helpful.
daveydoo
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by daveydoo »

littlebird wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:21 pm
Yes, I have plantation shutters in my current house. They were in the house when I bought it.
The ones I've seen have very thick "frames" that sit inside the window frame. Coupled with the fact that the thick wood slats themselves block a lot light even when fully "open" means that these shutters can be very room-darkening. Wood blinds can at least be pulled all the way up. Plantation shutters are gorgeous, imo, but if interior light is a priority and your windows are not enormous, you could be surprised after the install.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5515
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by unclescrooge »

Have you considered solar blinds?

They're great at keeping out the heat, while not completely blocking the view.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

unclescrooge » Have you considered solar blinds?
We are one hour north of NYC, so we are not that bothered by sun.

It is is cold winds of winter that chill my bones.

Thanks.
littlebird
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by littlebird »

daveydoo wrote: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:12 am
littlebird wrote: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:21 pm
Yes, I have plantation shutters in my current house. They were in the house when I bought it.
The ones I've seen have very thick "frames" that sit inside the window frame. Coupled with the fact that the thick wood slats themselves block a lot light even when fully "open" means that these shutters can be very room-darkening. Wood blinds can at least be pulled all the way up. Plantation shutters are gorgeous, imo, but if interior light is a priority and your windows are not enormous, you could be surprised after the install.
Mine are constructed outside the window and sliding door frames. Something to ask about when getting estimates, I guess,
fposte
Posts: 1792
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by fposte »

CountryBoy wrote: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:49 am It is is cold winds of winter that chill my bones.
I'm not sure if it's been explicitly mentioned, but you can absolutely do a both/and rather than an either/or if you really want to minimize heat loss. The honeycomb shades can be installed either inside the frame or outside of it; mine are inside, and that was the only way they were eligible for the energy tax credit so I'm presuming that's been determined to be more energy efficient. I have decorative light curtains on the windows as well, but you could have something heavier if you wanted. On my bedroom windows I'd probably get longer curtain rod holders if I wanted to install heavy curtains, because the frames are shallow enough that the blinds protrude slightly beyond the window frame, but that's not hard to do.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

I'm not sure if it's been explicitly mentioned, but you can absolutely do a both/and rather than an either/or if you really want to minimize heat loss.
Good point.

Thank you.
User avatar
Topic Author
CountryBoy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:21 am
Location: NY

Re: Draperies or Honey Comb Shades/Blinds?

Post by CountryBoy »

The drapery / shade / blinds guy is visiting us for an estimate on Monday, so, we will have plenty to talk about after that.

Thanks so much to everyone.
Post Reply