Last month (September):
Years left: 3.25
P =$1,030.84, I =$183.56, Escrow =$788.73
This month (October):
Years left: 3
P =$1,042.82, I =$171.58, Escrow =$788.73
One month’s prepayment savings: $7.90
Recall some of our windows. We have two sets of these.:
So the first thing we wanted to do is get some of that professional reflective stuff put on on the outside. One of the rooms gets really hot and no amount of crepe myrtle outside seems to be able to block the heat in the middle of the day. Of course, that requires actually contacting someone and we’re still waiting for our bathroom flooring to show up. [update: they came, see last Monday's post] Redoing the indoors doesn’t require talking to anybody or waiting for anything, so that’s what we started with instead.
We tried going without anything on the top half circles for a few days. It was hot and occasionally blinding. Other viable options we explored were Faux stained glass film and plantation shutters. We’ve looked into less expensive options like paper fans and turning regular paper blinds into half circle blinds… but none of them seemed worth it to us. (The more crafty among you may disagree!) Here’s a pinterest page with all sorts of stuff.
In the end, we chose Bali half circle faux wood blinds in coconut, with matching 2 in horizontal blinds. Cost: $108 for each small half circle and $160 for each small one. Total cost: $752. Then there was a 20% discount (down to $602) and tax and stuff. The blinds were: $67 each for the 4 little ones and $96 for the 2 big ones, $460 total. DH decided he liked the smooth finish better than the fake wood-grain finish. I’m good with that. Total cost including everything: $1050.
So a lot less expensive than roman blinds would have been, and I think roman blinds are kinda going out of style, so dodged that bullet. Laziness for the win!
We still have the great room, and for that I really want to do something I recently saw at an upscale hotel, but I haven’t been able to find pictures of what I’m thinking of– perhaps it isn’t trendy enough yet. Basically they had a rich grey thick outer curtain, a satiny translucent inner curtain, and a third white blackout curtain. There was a nice grey rectangular valence over the top. All curtains were openable with their own chains. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to go about buying that kind of set-up without hiring someone or picking and choosing the separate parts through several different stores. That kind of set up, especially with being able to open the curtains via chain, seems not to be available as a set anywhere, even though I would like to be able to just press a “buy this look” button and put in my particulars.
I think we’ll also replace the vertical blinds in the guest bedroom with a blackout curtain one of these years. We’ll see. My MIL got curtains to replace the blinds, but we didn’t take the blinds down because they didn’t block enough light even if they do look nice.
Something we noted when buying– the cheapest options on almost any site have a ton of reviews but some of the reviews say things like “blinds melted after two weeks.” The more expensive options don’t have as many reviews and some don’t have any reviews, but they often tend not to have any negative reviews if they have reviews at all. We rely pretty heavily on online reviews, which we believe have increased our quality of life in many areas (allowing us to pay extra for quality and to avoid hassle with returns). So even if the most expensive options might be perfect and we might be willing to pay that amount if the quality is higher, if we have no information on the quality, we’ll go with the option that has 60-odd 5 and 4 star reviews over the option with 12 (or 2) 5 star reviews. (And we’ll pick that over the 900 reviews where 5%, all from the South and Southwest, note that the blinds melt in direct sunlight.) One of the online places we looked at didn’t have any negative reviews for even their cheapest blinds, so we really didn’t trust them.
Boy do we hate this sort of thing. Why can’t stuff just last forever? Or why can’t we have someone who loves to do interior design as a hobby pick stuff out for us? I kept going, “You know, DH, we could just hire this blinds company to pick everything out for us.” But… we still have to *pick* a company, and if we’re going to do that, we might as well just pick the blinds instead. So we did.
How do you figure out these kinds of large home improvement purchases? It’s easy to compare when it’s a water heater or what have you– but these kinds of aesthetic choices are so difficult for us. Do you use online reviews (and what do you do when there aren’t any) or hire an interior decorator (and how do you find one)? Do you just “buy this look”? (And from where?)