By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Looking for an alternative to vertical blinds to cover a large wide sliding glass door? We decided to use panel track shades (also called blinds) because they are a versatile window covering that mixes nicely with most any décor. The individual 27-inch wide panels glide on a wheeled carrier in a track concealed by a valance and open and close easily with a cord. Sewn-in weights at the bottom of each panel create a streamlined drape, giving the shades structure. You'll find them in an assortment of fabrics and woven wood with complimentary yarns, with colors ranging from white to mahogany. We chose a solar material that blocks direct light through the weave of the material but maintains a view to the outside.
A retailer specializing in window treatments will charge $1,370 to install six panel track shades with a valance in a 151-inch opening. You can buy the window covering for $1,155 and do it yourself, saving 15 percent. Compared to the cost of the shades, the savings is not impressive. This may be a project best left to the installer. If you do it yourself, you'll need a ladder, tape measure, level, wrench, screwdriver, nutdriver, electric drill with bits and wall anchors.
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Here's more information about the window covering from Next Day Blinds Panel Tracks.
The average price to install panel track shades noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.