A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
Knock, knock...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review of Hunter Douglas custom window coverings

How many weeks does it take to have window coverings for an entire house made to order?

Let's calculate, shall we?

Week 1:
The order and measurements are taken by the designer/contractor and submitted.

Week 2:
Another person comes out to REmeasure everything. This guy makes some changes to the game plan. Those shutters you wanted won't be quite what you were hoping for but they'll have to do. You are excited to think that in 3-4 more weeks (this is what your designer told you) you'll have your windows covered. You'll be able to take the sheets off the furniture and you won't have to look at the cat sunbathing on the blanket covering the dining room table. You'll be able to put down the area rugs and stop worrying about any old nosy-creepy-pervy persons peering in the windows at any old time of the day or night.

Week 3:
You assume, according to the new game plan, the order and measurements are now in the line-up at the factory. You envision American techno-know-how at its finest as they start carefully, ACCURATELY churning out your request. You really are looking forward to shades/shutters being installed so you'll have more temperature control. The afternoon sun is turning half your house into an EZ-Bake oven on a daily basis. You start to hallucinate a burnt chocolate chip cookie smell coming from that side of the house.

Weeks 4-7:
You've called what you consider to be a reasonable number of times and have been told Hunter Douglas is really backed up. "Yeah, but we were told 3-4 weeks." "Well, everyone's order is backed up right now, ma'am. Summer is when people order window coverings." You should be glad to hear this because it's an indicator that the economy must be on the upswing. But you've been living in a fishbowl for so long you've started to develop gill slits in your neck and you wonder if that bump on your spine is the beginnings of a dorsal fin. You have a momentary inspiration that fish flakes for dinner might be delicious. Crap, you think as you brush at the silvery scales on your arms. What could be taking so long?

Week 8:
Happiness! Bliss! Joy! The window coverings are installed! But wait. What's this? The main front shutter was made to only half height. It has to go back. Also one kitchen blind is too wide--that has to go back too. Still, MOST of the coverings are in and now you can at least reclaim the dining room table from the cat and sleep in the bedrooms without experiencing the blinding, morning sun bugle call. The gill slits, dorsal fin bump and fish flake craving disappear immediately. The scales take a few days more to drop away. Still, your living room remains swathed in sheets since you can't allow the uncovered window to cook the stuffing out of your sofa. The cat now bivouacs there.

Weeks 9-11:
You wonder how the hell long it can take to trim down a shade and remake a shutter. You think your order should really take priority since you've been waiting so long. Your fat cat has smooshed the back of your sofa cushions into unrecognizable blobs. You're tired of seeing what will someday be your beautiful living room covered in sheets. Your sofa has morphed into a couch-be-que from the afternoon sun. It's so hot in the afternoon even the cat evacuates the area.

Week 12:
The shade arrives. It's still a bit too wide so the installer has to remove the end caps from the bottom slat. You accept this as a reasonable solution because you can't stand the thought of sending the thing back and waiting ...AGAIN. You wonder how many spiders will decide to set up shop inside the hollow slat and how hard it can be to take the right measurements.  Oy! The sofa and surrounds continue to scorch in the front room.

Week 13-14:
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. When you call to ask about your shutter no one has any answers other than it's not ready. You know this already.

Week 15:
The shutter is installed. You are thrilled to have you living room looking presentable and the cat relocates. He is now king of the queen bed. You vow to never again use Hunter Douglas. You paid in advance and were not in any way compensated for the extraordinarily long wait. Nor did HD ever contact you to make an apology or explanation of why the process took so long.

~HD has their name plastered on all the pulls. You don't really want your home to be a blatant advertisement for their product but you have no choice.

~The shade in your study is also a cap too wide. You don't want to wait another 3-4 weeks so you take the caps off the ends of the bottom slat. Now that you look at it you see they already took the caps off the top slat. You think the spiders in your home will find that you provide a variety of comfortable and safe nesting environments. No doubt their babies will feel that way too. You hope that while the cat is sleeping on your bed he's dreaming of killing spiders. He's going to have to earn his keep.

~On the plus side, the window coverings do look very good. Don't you agree?

Imagine without the shutters how sun-blazed this room was:


  1. I can relate! Also, I didn't know you had a cat.

  2. it only took 3+ months. what wait!