Whether you are an investor or an owner occupier there is no doubting the importance of choosing the right window treatment for your home.
Window treatments offer one of the biggest bang for your buck type scenarios when it comes to beautifying and updating your home. In addition it can add instant capital value when it comes to getting a valuation on the home or putting the home on the market, either to rent or sell.
Considering though, how many windows a home can have and how much these various treatments can cost it is prudent to select the right one the first time!
What window treatment options are there?
Roller / Roman Blinds – are highly attractive, versatile window coverings that can be made with either soft or rigid materials including cotton, polyester or plastic. They can be full sunlight blockers or partial shade. They roll up and down easily and sit within the window reveal.
Curtains – are made with soft material and can be opened or closed easily as needed. The variety of the types and patterns of fabrics are endless with choices ranging from full sunlight and privacy blockers or they can be sheer see-through fabric. They can be plain and practical or make an elaborate statement. They frame the window sitting externally to the window reveal.
Venetian Blinds – are horizontal slats that can be pivoted using cords to control the amount of light passing through. They can be made from metal, timber or plastic and sit within the window reveal. Venetian blinds are a classic, timeless window treatment that can be readily adapted to many home styles and eras.
What are the pro’s and con’s to each window treatment?
When choosing the window treatments for your rental property first consider the following:
- Function – does the window treatment need to provide privacy, block the sun, retain the warmth within the house or all of the above?
- Style – consider the style and era of the home. Would heavy curtains suit a modern contemporary house?
- Cost – Differing fabrics can lead to a huge difference in cost. Made to measure is more expensive the DIY. What are your requirements? Are the windows standard size? Can you do a combination of made to measure and DIY if required?
After considering the above it’s important to note the pro’s and con’s to each window treatment and how they might affect you as a landlord:
Roller / Roman Blinds – are easy to use and operate with less exposed control mechanisms resulting in less damage and repair costs. They provide good coverage to windows with the option to choose highly durable materials. They are excellent at full sunlight blocking and retaining heat within a home when desired. They can be easily purchased and installed for DIY, although larger windows would benefit from made to measure. Roller blinds do lack flexibility in controlling the flow and direction of sunlight and it is difficult to allow light in without losing privacy. Depending on the type of fabric, cleaning can require more care and attention but because they are better at hiding dust and dirt you may not have to do it as often!
Curtains – look formal and can add elegance. They offer a large flexibility with range of fabrics and are easy to install. They tend to hide dirt and dust well and depending on the fabric can be easily washed at home. They are simple to use with no mechanisms that can easily fail or be broken. They are however prone to fading and tearing and may retain cooking odours within the home. They can be considered old fashioned and may not suit the tastes of a younger rental market.
Venetian blinds – The ability to control the angles of the blades means they give unrivalled control over how much light enters the home, without having to sacrifice privacy. They are easy to purchase off the shelf in a wide range of window sizes and easy to install for the DIY enthusiast, which can be a big expense saver. Whilst they are easily maintained by dusting or wiping the blades they do also tend to collect and show dust and dirt more readily than the other window treatments. Perhaps the biggest drawback to venetian’s is that they require an element of care for the cord system that operates them. The cord system can be easily broken, requiring difficult repair or costly replacements.
What window treatments do renter’s want?
In our continuing effort to provide the latest up to date advice for our valued investors, Image Property recently ran a survey of our tenants to determine which window treatments were preferred by renters with the results on the graph below:
As detailed in the graph above – Roman or roller blinds are the highest in demand with a massive 56% of our survey respondents choosing them as their preferred window treatment. Curtains came in second at 24% with venetian blinds the preference for only 14% of respondents.
Why do tenants prefer roller/roman blinds over all the rest?:
“Maintenance is easy and they have a modern look/feel.”
“They are easy to use and keep clean which is important when you live in a rental.”
“They are great at blocking out light and heat and they look minimalistic. They also stay cleaner for longer and are more durable.”
How does this affect you as a landlord?
Upgrading the window treatments of your investment can be an easy and cost effective way to add a contemporary update to your investment property. Choosing the right window treatment for your rental property may save you costly repairs and replacements in the future as well as appealing to the widest audience.
Ensuring your property stays sleek, clean and modern will attract higher quality tenants and in addition a potentially higher rental return. An updated home is more pleasing to the eye and if your rental property is in a suburb with a high rental vacancy, this could be the difference in maintaining high quality tenants with no gap in your cashflow.
If you’re looking for solid advice and quotes regarding the window treatments of your valued investment, Image Property recommends Love is Blinds for premier industry advice and recommendations.