Blinded by the light

I ordered new blinds for my house two weeks ago. That would be Step One of my home improvement project. I ordered new carpet, too. That would be Step Two.

The store left me a message a couple of days ago to tell me that my blinds were in, so I should go pick them up. I presented myself there the next evening.

As the clerk was checking my order on her computer, she got a very puzzled look on her face.

“Have you paid for your blinds?” she queried. “If you did, you’re apparently getting a refund.”

Yes, I had paid. Refund? What refund? And more importantly, how much of a refund?

“About 900$,” she told me.

WTF? I had overpaid by about 900$? That simply didn’t make sense, so she called a manager over and we sat down to figure out what was going on.

What was going on was that part of my order had been cancelled – unbeknownst to me, of course – due to the product being discontinued, so the computer automatically filed it under “refund required”. The blinds that were cancelled, two for my living room, were a different brand than the ones I’d ordered for the rest of the house. I had had to do that because of the necessary length of the blind destined for the sliding door to the balcony, as the cheaper brand only went 72 inches long and I needed almost 80 inches. And naturally, two blinds in the same room should match. I really had no choice but to order that brand.

Why did no one let me know about the cancellation of part of my order? And how does a product ordered only two weeks previously suddenly become discontinued anyway? The manager said that maybe it was the colour – white? White has been discontinued? Really? Or maybe the code had been incorrectly entered? Well, enter it correctly then and order my damn blinds! What am I supposed to do now?

The upshot was that she promised to get “somebody” to look into this and call me back. Which hasn’t happened yet, two days later. But I took the other blinds home, reasoning that I could at least get them up on the windows and worry about the other two later. I was also thinking that it was fortunate that the blinds I didn’t have were both for the same room.

Now, I have never hung blinds all by myself before. I have helped to do it, however, so I know the theory behind hanging blinds. I decided to try the basement window first. That could be my maiden flight, so to speak.

It took me two hours to assemble what I thought I needed, read all the instructions, open up all the damn packaging, wrestle off the original metal mini-blind, and discover that the window badly needed washing. So there I was, Thursday night at 10 pm, washing it. Then I realized that there was no way I could fasten the brackets without first drilling holes in the window frame. I have no drill. I have many other tools, but no drill.

That was it for the night.

Friday night, armed with my friend Meshka’s husband’s cordless drill (said husband seeming to find my determination to hang the blinds all by myself rather amusing), I tackled the project again.

It was hard! Really hard! Much harder that it looked! Drilling was easy, but screwing into the window frame was not. (Note to self: beg, borrow or steal a cordless electric screwdriver.) And I ended up positioning the brackets just slightly off-centre (because why would I measure anything? Only anal people measure.) so there is a bit more of a gap on one side than on the other. And the blind was very awkward and heavier than I thought it would be.

But I did it. All by myself. And it looks good.

But I will be calling in the reinforcements (i.e. Porsche Guy) for hanging the wider blinds. Not that I can’t do it alone, you understand, I just don’t want to.

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11 responses to “Blinded by the light

  1. Jazz – All I can say is that it’s a very good thing that I’m working out at the gym now. There’s a LOT of awkward movements when drilling into the top of a window frame and those big blinds are heavy!

    Wenderina – I actually went back and moved those brackets so that the blind is now centred in the window – more or less. I guess I’m more of a perfectionist than I thought! (But I still didn’t actually measure. I just eyeballed it again.)

  2. Awesome job. Window treatments are (one of ) the bains of home improvement. Add an inexpensive drape or sheer and the gap will never be noticed. Of course then you’ll have to add a rod, so maybe you shouldn’t care at all about the gap.

  3. I am impressed by your ability.

    You can come hang mine next time.

  4. VioletSky – I just checked out the cost of getting the rest of the blinds hung, and it’s a far cry from 30$. It’s now 200$!

    Nora – PG and I have done home improvement projects together before, like installing laminate floors and baseboards, and we’re still together, amazingly enough. (But I think he’s very messy and he thinks I’m very whiny.)

    DD – Yeah, but did you notice that as my skills improved, I got quieter? There was no more swearing out the open window then, was there?

    XUP – I think PG will work for food , though. (Mind you, he eats rather a lot, but still…)

  5. Ya, I’m real proud of you in a making-a-circle-around-my-ears-with-my-index-finger kind of way, but now that you know you are capable of doing grunt work, I agree with everyone else who said, hire someone to do the other blinds — if you ever get them. You could pay them with part of that $900 refund you’re getting.

  6. You forgot to mention the part where you were making sounds that suggested you were either killing, or being killed by, something horrible.

  7. You definitely need somebody professional to come and hang these blinds for you. Come on, it´s worth it. You know you don´t want to do it anymore and why would PG want to do it? It´s not good for the relationship.

  8. The blinds to go place I bought mine from had an independent name I could call and he was pretty cheap – about $30. Though that was 10 years ago.

  9. VioletSky – Thank you, dahling! In retrospect, I should have perhaps investigated the cost of having someone from the store come in and hang them for me. I am now thinking that an additional expense such as that just may have been a wiser choice … perhaps.

  10. Pretty blue, for the basement, BTW.

  11. I am in the process of looking at new blinds for my place.
    And I have no intentions of hanging them myself. Or even helping. I have 3 rather large windows (17′ across in total) and the last time, I paid a guy who had them up and running in about 20 minutes.
    Worth every penny.

    But, I am proud of you for your accomplishments.