The Inside Scoop at

Archive for October 2011

Searching for weatherization articles, I came across the National Trust for Historic Preservation

and this FORUM called “Share Your Home’s Story” –I intensely felt that I must share this particular shared-story with readers of The Inside Scoop at

“Submitted by window envy at: Jan 25, 2010

We have 8 windows on the main floor of our 1949 minimal traditional Tudor in Salt Lake City. All were replaced with metal, double-paned, double-hungs in their original openings by the previous owner. However, now roughly 15 years later, the warranty has been expired for several years, we have one window with the insulation seal broken, and three others with the hardware broken. We just had an energy audit conducted and it confirmed our belief that the one unsealed window is the major problem until the other windows start to breakdown further. But we look at the historic photos of the house and wish we would have had the chance to change the course of this decision for the better and restore the originals rather than select new in a few years.”

Some sage words…

My house is of similar age; it still retains its original windows — for good or bad! — which are for the most part double-hung sashes with multi-lights (true divided lights) on the upper sash. Like most homeowners, I’ve had to juggle a “depressed” wallet and a bulging “to do” list. Windows, therefore, have not been high on the list. For many reasons, I’ve held off — despite the fact that, living near an airport and a four-lane highway (two lanes each direction), my home’s “peace quotient” would benefit from the sound reduction promised by a window upgrade.

“Window Envy” obviously wrote from a weatherization /energy standpoint – which is one other benefit of new windows. As well, it sounds written from an aesthetic standpoint.

How often do we read about homes being better built in the past? Hard not to think about those old windows (which perhaps went to a landfill; or to a “recycle” architecture salvage place?) being longer-lasting than the new replacement windows.

I’ve mentioned this in several earlier posts:

I’m beginning to feel at the forefront of a new “keep your old windows” movement!

Yet windows — new and old — need something to insulate their interior rooms from the cold….

This will be CellularWindowShade’s first full winter in our new quarters. We were all so happy with the move – a definite building “upgrade”. But already I can feel the CHILL AIR seeping in through the combination windows over my desk. Can you guess when I notice the cold air the most? In the morning, when I lift the shade UP! A Burl Ives “Brrrr….” to that one!

We’ve customers the world over. These months of October are a transition for us all — for some, from balmy summer months into cold winter months; others are now moving into the heat and warmth! That’s what makes Cellular Window Shades so wonderful: they help in all climates and all seasons.

Although has long offered Cordless Top Down/Bottom Up shades, we’ve kept its availability pretty close to the vest…

But these are GREAT Shades! So now we’re crowing about them!


Our customers have long loved the TDBU — shorthand for Top Down Bottom Up — feature,
just read COMMENTS posted on our blog!

And see some Before and After pictures featuring TDBU shades here.

I have one of these shades over my desk, in my office. When the sun comes beaming in hot enough to fry my poor little radio, I can pull down the bottom and drop the top. The electronic is saved, but I still get the sunlight streaming in. At night I raise the top to keep prying eyes from peering in. And all the raising and lowering is done with a gentle and steady upward push or downward pull. No Strings to Tug On! — Or worse, on the TDBU, no string pooled on the floor if the shade should happen to be TALL. A fantastic advantage!


  • Cordless Top Down Bottom Up shades are operated by a handle in the middle of the bottom rail
  • Out of reach cordless shades can be operated with an optional pole
  • Cordless shades offer a safer alternative for homes with young children and pets. Learn more.
  • The White headrail has a color coordinated insert to match the fabric and bottom rail.

The CORDLESS Top Down Bottom Up, therefore, is a great deal — dare I say a STEAL — especially this month with our Cordless TDBU sale price of $40 off!

The Cordless Top Down Bottom Up is a wonderful addition to any room — living room, as seen above; dining area, as seen below; bedrooms, and children’s rooms. Anywhere where privacy might be an issue, or where strings and cords are a bother, this feature on your Cellular Window Shade will be your life-saver!

Here is a PERFECT use of a Top Down Bottom Up shade: the upper windows are left uncovered (ie, the top has been dropped down).


What’s wrong with this picture?

Searching for some *new* images of a Cordless Top Down Bottom Up shade, I found that the pickin’s were slim…

The above stock photo made me chuckle. Can you see the GIANT Crank-handles for the windows?? I first spotted it on the left side, behind the potted-plant stand: you can see the shade is fully let down, but sits at an angle on the sill. Time for a T-Handle! What’s a T-handle?? 

Take a look at our website, it not only discusses why you might want to swap out that bulky crank, but also lists via PHOTOGRAPHS all the T-Handles we carry, by color and type.


At we are all about sustainability!

If more shades can be repaired, that means less will end up in landfills. A big “hurrah!” for the planet, today and for all the tomorrows to come.

A broken string on a Symphony Shade is just one repair easily handled by our Production Team. The person doing the repair just might be the very person who built your shade!

I spoke with a women yesterday who called CWS in frustration: the online company that sold her her shade was proving less than helpful in getting her shade repaired.

The longer we spoke, however, something far more insidious cropped up:

Originally (in 2002), this customer had ordered a Hunter Douglas shade. In 2008, she sent in her shade for repair; got a working shade back in return. Now – 2011 – she’s again got a problem; sent in the shade to Hunter Douglas only to realize that three years ago she didn’t receive her own shade back, repaired, she received a replacement shade! Hunter Douglas sent back her shade with the phrase that cut direct to the end of the tale: “Not our shade; contact the manufacturer.”

Surprising that she had not noticed the switch, but it made me think of small print websites might have about repairs…

With you can be sure that the shade you ship to us, returns to you!

Shade modifications such as a cutdown or fabric replacement may be possible to save your shade, but you also want to ask yourself “Is this shade worth repairing?”

A good rule of thumb is to calculate how much a new shade would cost; factor into that calculation what your current shade looks like: Is its fabric in good condition? If it is dingey, can it be cleaned?

If the shade fabric looks like the shades in this post and the photo at right, it is probably impossible to get that shade back to “almost good as new condition”: The top shade came in for repair, but it is the same fabric and color of fabric as seen in the bottom half of the photo. (Eeek!)

When the cost to repair is more than ½ the cost to replace the shade (depending on age), you probably should elect NOT to repair or modify the shade. We have, once or twice, sent back shades that, due to age, were not good candidates for the modification desired. Most restring requests have been attempted, even when the fabric has the looks of a very used car filter. We do always ask, however, that you vacuum your shade, and please do not use packing peanuts!

Some windows are just out of reach – and because of that, we sell telescopic poles with specially designed ends to raise and lower your Cellular Shades without difficulty.

There are two types of Poles we carry– because of the types of shades CellularWindowShades offers:

This Balconly Skylight Pole is used with our Cellular “Balcony” Skylight Shade (termed “Balcony” as part of the Symphony Shades line of “classical” music allusions).

The cork screw is the portion of the pole end that fits on a “standard” pole — these are variously sold as painter’s poles, pool cleaning poles, extension poles, etc.

The “finger” portion (with the fitted plastic cap) is what grasps the HANDLE present on the bottom of the Skylight Shade (see the shade illustration, below).

The “finger” can grasp the handle for an easy pull down, or it can be fitted under the handle to give the shade a push up. The plastic tip protects the shade’s handle & bottom rail from scratches.


The other pole is made specifically for our Cordless Shades. These shades have a clear, hard-plastic handle with a large flat surface, and a small hole in its middle area (see below):

The Pole End for the Cordless Shade is a bit of a queer bird – with a “beak” at one end (which fits the hole in the handle for en easy pull-down) and “wings” at the back end, which support the bottom rail of the shade when raising the shade. The picture below shows the shade being pulled down.

 The same Cordless Pole End can be used to raise / lower the  upper portion of a Cordless Top Down Bottom Up shade. Here is a top being raised:

If you are shopping for POLES — keep in mind our poles each INCLUDE one Pole End! If you order the “Cordless Pole” or “Skylight Pole” the entire pole, with its specified end, is what will arrive at your door. No need to order the two separately.

Poles come in two models: one extends to 6-feet; the other extends to 12-feet.

Should you have questions on these products, let us know! That’s what our Service Team is here for, to help you.

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CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

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