No one likes to struggle to find the answer to a question, so it's a good job we're pretty knowledgeable in all things blinds. The even better thing is that we've decided to share our knowledge in our hub- If it's not here then it's not worth knowing.
Back in November James from the Property Renovation Podcast, and James from Make My Blinds sat down to talk all things blinds, from how to choose the right type for your home, through to electric blinds and home automation systems.
Back in November James from the Property Renovation Podcast, and James from Make My Blinds sat down to talk all things blinds, from how to choose the right type for your home, through to electric blinds and home automation systems.
You can find the episode here - https://tunein.com/podcasts/Education-Podcasts/The-Property-Renovation-Podcast-p1005148/?topicId=126228670
We've also transcribed it for you, so you can have a quick skim read to find the bits that are most interesting, the questions are in italics to make it easier to see them.
The Property Renovation Podcast Episode 69
James W.: Hey guys, my name's James, welcome to the property renovation podcast.
Intro: This is the property of renovation podcast where you hear the very best tips and advice on renovating or building your home, from professionals in the industry and speaking to real homeowners themselves. My name's James Woodham, I'm the founder of the property renovation podcast and together with the help of my team, we have just one mission, to provide you with a valuable advice for free.
We think the construction industry needs the shake up, and anyone that you hire needs to provide you with honesty and clarity whilst doing a professional job. Listening to our podcast empowers our listeners with knowledge, and helps make that happen. Thank you very much for listening, and enjoy the show.
James W.: At some time during your renovation, you're going to need to make a considerable decision as to what to put around your windows and with the night's drawing in, I feel like this episode is perfect timing. A popular choice that people make are to purchase blinds, and they can have standard blinds or you can buy custom-made blinds online, and there's so many options that you can make. The one thing that you need to make sure of when ordering any custom made blinds online, is that the measurements that you make are perfect. And I'm sure that there are some homeowners that have made the mistake of making them either too big or too small and then what do you do, you have to chuck them away; you can't return them so it's a big disaster.
Well on this week's episode I speak with James from Makemyblinds.co.uk he's one of the owners of a fairly new establishment and with him and his team of guys they are on this strong mission, to make the process of purchasing custom-made blinds easier and easier online, so let's get in today's show to find out how that happens. Before we do I just want to remind you that we are on Facebook, and we have a private Facebook group so you can come in there, it's facebook.com/groups/thepropertyrenovationpodcast we've almost got around a hundred and fifty members. And come in there and show us your renovation, show us the process, show us the decisions that you're making as well. If you like what we're putting out and you think its good content, then we would love to hear from you on our reviews.
So if you can go to iTunes and review us and tell us what you think, it would be great because the more reviews that reach us the more and more homeowners we can help across the world. We have a big strong mission to make sure that everyone is getting good, free content on this podcast, so thank you very much for listening and enjoy the episode.
James W.: So on today's show I have James from Makemyblinds.co.uk and I just want to hear about your background really, so tell us how make my blinds got started.
James T: Sure, thank you James. So make my blinds was founded from, as quite often things are from a kind of an issue you find with trying to purchase something yourself, so it was a typical Sunday afternoon, my business partner had just moved into his new house and he was waiting for the guy, a blinds man, to come round with the book and sit there and go through and measure up his windows. And the guy was late and he sat there thinking why am I wasting my valuable time off to wait for someone to come around to me, why don't I just try and actually I can buy these things online.
So we went on and a lot of interfaces were relatively clunky, the photos weren't great, the information was lacking and the overall confidence just wasn't that to buy something made to measure online for his windows. And so being entrepreneurial, having previous businesses ourselves we got to designing something on a piece of paper, we built a test website, found some suppliers and basically from kind of an initial test website, two and a half years later, we've now got the website you see before us. Basically we've been founded on the basis of simplicity and trying to make buying blinds online as easy as possible for everyone, regardless of who they are and age and technical ability.
James W.: I'm imagining that when you were back then looking at these kind of websites they're all kind of nineties looking, poor quality images, no clear way of getting around it kind of thing, would that be right?
James: Yes, absolutely. It's even like the most basic thing for us it seems really basic that once you've typed in your sizes for your window, you know you want to have a look at different styles, colours and we found that every time you clicked into a new product you had to go in and re-enter your sizes, like why is the website not just holding on to the window size I've just entered. So that's one of the instant things that had to be built around this kind of information you should enter it once, it will retain it, you can look at all the different styles and colours without having to re-enter your data basically until you go for another window, which seems really obvious.
So it's things like that, having video close-ups of the actual fabric you send out free samples, but within the pack we have guides on how to measure an information packs about the blind themselves, so it's really just kind of giving a wealth of information to our customers. Obviously, they're looking for these products, they are looking for advice, and we are the experts so we should share that advice with our customers.
James W.: Amazing. I mean yes so it's like a customer can come on, it's all about speed as well I guess as much as you want to browse, and you do want to be able to purchase quite fast and not a long process.
James: Exactly, even things like having Apple pay and Amazon pay on the website, live chat system just the things you expect from a modern-day website just slacking on all these other ones, so yes.
James W.: So I mean if someone's going to go to a shop and they're going to buy blinds versus buying blinds online, can you save money and time by buying blinds online?
James: Yes, absolutely. So obviously we're a website, so we're buying direct from our manufacturers and passing on a with a small margin on them, because we haven't got the overheads of vans, people and employees who come out and measure and come back to install, we haven't got that kind of network, we're not having to pay for salesman, wages all that kind of stuff. So obviously we've got customer service team in-house who are there always to answer questions, but we can pass those savings directly on to the customer.
So where it might only take you if we look at just one standard your kitchen window for example, it might take you 10 minutes to measure that properly where someone would probably book out half hour slot to come and measure that. Likewise on the install, someone who's relatively confident at DIY can put some shelf up or can build an IKEA furniture, we say it's about 20 minutes per blind, it can be way less if you have some practice.
Really for 40 minutes of your time you can measure and install the blind, whereas you'll be paying someone else's time to come out measure, come back and install after the markup and they've got a cover the cost of fuel, the cost of their tools, all those things that you're just not paying for when you buy something through us. So instantly you've got a hefty saving with any blinds you purchase from us, rather than someone who comes round with the book and sits there with you.
James W.: Cool, okay. And with regards to blinds I'm imagining you've got so many styles, but what's the style at the moment would you say?
James: So you've always got the kind of roller blinds and things like that, your staple that kind of every house will have window that needs something just practical and functional to cover the window. But from a styling point of view you've got Roman blinds which are kind of a curtain like material, they are super popular at the moment, but even more so at the moment are the white wooden venetian blinds. So they have a kind of plantation shutter effect look to them, but are probably about a tenth of the price that you pay for real shutters.
They can go quite wide so you can cover bay windows with them, and take a walk up and down your local neighbourhood in the streets and you'll most likely see these white wooden blinds with vertical tapes on them and it will normally be across the whole of the front of the house just looks so modern, so stylish and they give brilliant light control, they also give you the privacy you want.
So you can have them down in the window, angled at a certain way, light still comes in the people won't see in so you've got this kind of perfect mix of privacy and light control just as one product, rather than it always being down like take a curtain either open or they're shut or they're this half and a half that doesn't give you the privacy, doesn't block all the light and it's not ideal is it.
James W.: No, I'm really cautious when it comes to health and safety as well, and I know curtains are very luxurious and comfortable and they look really nice in a home, but I think it's a fire hazard quite a bit as well.
James: Yes, I guess they can be, I think if they are they are down onto the floor, there is certain fire safety risk there and obviously that fabric, but yes there's different styles out there. But otherwise in terms of blinds you've always got things like vertical blinds that are popular in terms of covering really big windows, we've got some great things there's any bi-fold doors are kind of there, most people that listen to this podcast have either put one into their extension or thinking about how do they fit one into their house because they're just such a great way of transitioning from the garden, but they can be a real pain to cover.
So we've got the perfect fit blinds that are a frame with a aluminium slat within it and they basically just clip straight onto the by four doors themselves, they don't take up any room and they're super popular as well at the moment.
James W.: It's good that's I’m interested in that one, because there are a lot of people that have extensions and conservatories and stuff like that, so yes good. Venetian blinds are my favourite I'd say, I like those.
James: Yes, that's fair enough. Out of all the samples we send out to our customers, I think everyone likes Venetian blinds at the moment; the wooden ones are very popular for sure.
James W.: So that's okay if you're living in the property and it's yours, but how about if you want to sell your property, so how could they be used to add value to a home?
James: So yes I mean it depends how you're selling the house, but most people sell them completely bare. So say let's take kind of standard three bed house, you've probably got six to eight windows or something like that, so let's take the most popular the white wooden blinds, it's going to cost you somewhere between five hundred and a thousand pounds to cover this whole house of blinds, brand new ones. But on the flip side you don't give the buyer any chance to knock you down on price, similar to how your appliances come pre-fitted in the kitchen, it's just another area that a buyer can't then chip away at your asking price.
So if you're spending, say, a thousand pounds up front on covering the whole house in these trendy white wooden blinds, the flip side is that you don't lose maybe five thousand pounds they're trying to knock off the value of the home. So you're obviously saving overall, you're not paying the extra for someone to come around and install them or even if you're paying a handyman you might pay an hourly rate, so the whole house probably two to three hours of work. So even then the potential savings and the way you can prevent someone knocking you down on the price, that's if you're looking to sell obviously.
If you're looking to rent it out then blinds are obviously a selling point, everyone's got a price they're trying to work too when furnishing, but if it meant you could charge another 20 pound a month on rent because you've got some slightly nicer or slightly more stylish window coverings, then it just helps to make the house feel bit more homely for someone who is trying to rent it, and therefore you can try and charge that a little bit more as a premium on your rent, so it's not just some kind of boring vertical blinds that don't really do a great job and ultimately someone's sat there thinking 'God, I wish I had something a bit more trendy'.
You've covered that need for them, you've got a little bit of uplift on your rent that you can charge and just make the house feel more homely. So yes overall, kind of whichever angles you're looking at renovation, flipping the house out or renting you're going to be able to save money by brand-new, nice-looking wooden blinds in.
James W.: I'd say it's just making it appealing, isn't it? It's more about luxury, so if someone can come in and they're buying your property, they understand that if you've got really nice blinds on then they understand you've looked after this property, it's something that is worth buying, and then with any tenant that's renting the property it's just about that like factor, so they're probably going to like it a lot more and they'll be willing to pay more.
James: Exactly, I mean if you think for the sake of a thousand pounds you cover the windows really nicely, you just finish it off there's final little touches that make someone buying it. I think if they've taken the care to do these windows nicely, then they've definitely taken the care to build my staircase correctly, or put the heating in correctly, all these other things that might be a concern for someone somewhere, you've just help reinforce that you are a decent house builder, so yes definitely there are so many different angles.
James W.: So I'm just imagining like a first-time homebuyer, one of our listeners maybe and they've got this empty shell, they're not really sure, they've got a few bedrooms, they've got the kitchen, got a living room, dining room that kind of thing. But how do they optimise like the choice of the blinds that are out there, for like the type and the purpose, can you explain a little bit more about that?
James: Yes, so obviously with blinds you've got so many different styles and ways to cover the window. You do have to give some thought as to how you actually want to cover each window, so for example in a bedroom most people are going to want a blackout blind because it will just help from now into the winter, but those lovely early morning starts in the summer where the Sun is up at kind of 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, you don't want to be waking up with it necessarily. So by putting a black out blind in there you just help block the light, you give yourself a few hours’ extra sleep or if you've got a young child that can make all the difference to then waking up in the night potentially from the streetlight that might be outside or passing cars, it just fully blocks out of the room, gives you that nice dark environment go to sleep in.
But on the flip side you wouldn't put a thin dim out blind in there, because it's great for preventing glare and giving you some privacy, but it'll also let a little light through. So that's kind of a better type of blind for something like a kitchen, or maybe a front room that looks out onto a road, you can even, I know we talk about it a lot, put the Venetian blinds in, that's why they're so practical in that you can angle them in a way that the light can still come in, but you don't have people staring in and feel like you're in a goldfish bowl. And even then, they can go onto rooms like bathrooms, generally it's a hot, humid environment and the temperature fluctuates so much that you'll need something that's a little bit mixture resistant, potentially waterproof if they are sitting next to the shower.
So there's all these different things to think about, but again what we've done to try and make everything simple for the customer and someone who's coming on to learn about these things, is literally click into it and it goes I'm looking for a blind for my bedroom and it shows you all the blinds, there might be thermal to help make the room nice and warm and cozy, in that section we've removed all the dim outlines because they're just not really what people are looking for and it's not going to give them that quality of sleep that you'd want from going to bed obviously. So it's just filtering things like that, just if you’re looking on this section it is a type of product that you actually want to put in your window, has benefits and that will all just basically make sense.
James W.: So you're reducing the chances of the customer making a mistake, and then having to return it?
James: Yes exactly, well rather than returning it obviously we don't want to leave anyone disappointed and going, 'damn I wish I'd realised you've put something that doesn't make sense in the bathroom into the bedroom section'.
So it's like with any blinds in the bathroom category, they are all moisture resistant or waterproof, so you wouldn't put in, for example our real wooden blinds, although they're treated and looked after in a certain way that tries to prevent them absorbing moisture, the nature of wood is that over a certain number of years changes in humidity they will start to absorb that moisture from the air and will start to deteriorate, so we only recommend our faux wood blinds for a bathroom because they won't absorb any moisture.
James W.: Okay, so then let's talk about like the conservatory is that there are lots of people that have got conservatories and those bi-fold doors even though they're trendy that pain is a lot to cover, so what's the solution?
James: They are, I know we touched on it briefly, but so there's two real suggestions and products that we have that will cover conservatories and bi-folds at the same time, so generally with these you don't want to be installing like a roller blind or a vertical blind or something, yes you've just spent thousands building or adding a feature to your home you don't want to put an ugly-looking blind onto them. So we've got this range called Perfect Fit blinds which basically are a self-contained frame, they have aluminium slats within and they actually clip onto the window itself, so they're fully child safe.
You've got all the control in terms of you can raise them and stop them at any point in the window, you can tilt and turn the slats to allow as much or as little light in as you want, and where a Bi-fold door might be kind of three meters wide, that's a huge single blind that you're trying to use to cover this space. So by covering literally the individual panes you don't have anything sat within the recess, you don't have anything that's preventing them from folding up and a concertina ring together as they should, and these are just a streamlined type of line that clips literally onto the window in the frame itself to give you the full coverage.
So they're something we've really recommend for bi folds, and then we've also got a range called Ecofit blinds, which again they also clip in to the frame and onto the glass, but these are pleated blind where they also come in honeycomb fabrics to help trap the heat in. So these again they clip onto the window itself, you can raise and lower than by hand, they are fully child-safe and you basically put one blind per pane of glass, so rather than trying to install a relatively ugly roller-blind onto a window that doesn't really suit that type of blind, due to the nature of conservatories these really streamlines sit right up against the glass and you literally grab the handle, raise them up and down, stop them at any height you want and with the pleated just a plain pleated you get your get them out light filtering effect.
Oh, and we've also got a honeycomb blind which is aluminium lined, it helps trap heat in so you can actually kind of extend the usability period of your conservatory into the colder months, so either into the autumn a bit further or even heating it you help save a bit on your heating bill by trapping this heat in. So they're really worthwhile looking out for anyone who's got a conservatory, we recently did one for a guy in the office and he didn't realise how overlooked he was in his conservatories, how he sat there late into the evening, but not realising his neighbours were kind of staring in on him. But also how much warmer it was, now we're coming into November he's like 'I'm still using, I'm still able to actually go out there in the late afternoon evening', so you can sit there and enjoy yourself rather than having spent all this money building one and then basically locking it off for a few months a year, and I'll come back here in the spring.
So for him it's just been absolutely transformed, the usability of this new space he's opened into his house, and obviously if you spend that kind of money on a conservatory or bi-fold doors you want to make the most of them, you want whatever window covering you're putting there to look good and fit in with the rest of your home as well, which these two products do just superbly.
James W.: We're always interested on what our neighbours are up to though, that's weird.
James: It is, we are just a nation of people staring at our blinds. What are the risks of ordering blinds online versus that typical man in a van coming to your house?
James: Of course, I mean there's two parts to this in, in that generally people are worried about how they actually install the blinds themselves, referencing back to earlier anyone who can push a shelf up, anyone who can use a drill and a screw four screws into a wall safely and securely will be able to get these blinds up, because that's generally all there is to actually install them. So from the install point of view they're very straightforward, all the blinds come with instructions, and we have videos on our website of actually each product being installed so you can see how you do it before you even bought the blind.
But on the other side and what people worry about quite rightly is the measuring side of it, because these are all make to measure products and they're not just something that's been picked off a shelf, put in the post and turns up the next day. There's an element of craftsmanship that goes into this, everything is bespoke for your window and a lot of windows are similar-sized, they're not all hundred percent identical. So in terms of measuring that was one per barrier we did realise quite early on that we needed to make as simple as possible, so with all the samples that anyone can order as many free samples as they want through the site to see the product in their home before they purchase, but with that say you order a Roman blind sample, a roller blind sample and a wooden blind sample, we'll send you three separate measuring guides for each type of blind that you're looking at.
Because there are some kind of quirks between the different ones how you'd measure, but we'll send you literally a guide on how to measure for this type of blind you're looking at. Likewise, we have all the videos on how to install, we also have the guides on how to measure so every type of window if you're looking to measure within the window box, there's an option where we make any deductions to them, what the different terminology means. If you're looking to install outside the window, but equally we've got our live chat feature on the website which we man it from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day which no one else does in this industry.
And through that feature you can upload an image of your window, and we actually quite like the tricky ones and the awkward one, so sometimes bay windows even though we send out separate measuring guides for those, again which no one else does that helps you work out the exact point you need to install them and where to measure, but people can upload a photo of our window and say hey this is what I've got, this is what I'm thinking about, where would you install it and where would you measure and what do you think will look the best. So our customer service team just love, obviously we like helping the kind of normal square windows and just reassuring people what they're doing is correct, but those trickier ones where historically you would have had to kind of get that guy out in his van to come a measure, because he's the expert.
Through the use of technology and everyone's phone has got a camera in it, we're trying to work on some augmented reality stuff as well which is a little way off still, but basically like how do we give you the full confidence to measure correctly, knowing that you're not going to screw it up. And thankfully we kind of run checks on this kind of customer feedback and things like that, and we're running a kind of 99.6% of all orders in the last quarter were correct. So you've got this absolutely tiny percentage of people who unfortunately have got it wrong, and the most common of that is generally the measurements around the wrong way either width and then draw back to front, or you've ordered something was 152 centimetres wide and you've ordered 125 centimetres wide.
James W.: They got the numbers wrong.
James: Exactly, and we're building some software at the moment that will actually send you a 2D technical drawing of your blind, once you've entered the measurement so you can see that oh yes it's going to be the right, it looks like it should look and it'll show that the tapes.
James W.: Okay.
James: So really kind of like how do we give everyone and anyone listening and anyone trying to order a blind, how do we give you the utmost confidence that by ordering through us you're going to get it right.
James W.: That's brilliant, I like the 2D idea.
James: Yes, that's been a while in the making. So I think you Q1 next year that'll be live and if anyone listening who's technical and you buy bathrooms and kitchens online, and you get all this information about the depth and the width and all of this stuff.
None of our blind retailers are offering this kind of information which as a relatively technical person, or I like to think I am, it's something that you just want to know that what is the depth of this bracket, what is the width of this, what's the spacing between here and the here and it should give that extra layer of confidence that no one else is giving at the moment.
James W.: I'm sure you're going to have a lot of interior designers of our listeners nodding their heads right now.
James: Hopefully, well although were a blind company we're also kind of a technology company in the same respect and that we have to, we've got all these wealth of technology available to us with our phones and with the internet now, we should be trying to make sure everything as simple as possible for people, and that's the whole ethos of our company and why we were founded is to make everything as simple as possible when trying to buy blinds. So we really kind of stand by that in terms of the stuff we're developing and building for our customers to use.
James W.: Yes. Okay so let's talk about regulations then, because there are regulations to find those kind of products for your home. So where does one stand with regulations?
James: Sure, I mean the biggest one and the biggest change in the last few years in the child safety legislation, obviously unfortunately they historic blinds historically weren't the most child safe products due to the kind of hanging cords and things like that thankfully that's now changed and you've got certain things of we will definitely and we have to supply obviously by law, which are kind of called whole back clip. So rather than your roller blind chain just dangling in the window, now there's a clear Perspex kind of little key clip it's called because it's shaped like the letter P.
Basically the cord runs through the kind of the P that you screw it into the wall, and it blends in because it's clear acrylic you don't really notice it in the window. But it just keeps that chain flush against the wall, keeps it twice nothing can get behind there other than your hands to raise and lower the blind. Likewise on our Venetian blinds where the cords come out the top of the blind, down onto the actual cord that you raise and lower it with. If too much pressure is applied downwards onto the cords as if something were to get trapped, there's a connector that breaks away and just prevents any damage to anything happening.
So these kind of built-in safety features just helped give parents and anyone who's for young kids, grandparents as well it just helps them to kind of think oh yes this is safe for foam installing my blind Marriott or anything like that with the even pets that kind of clamber up and around, cats are terrible. It just helps prevent anything from getting trapped and just this legislation has obviously helped save lives and all our products are supplied with the required child safety devices with them.
James W.: Okay, good.
James: Which is great.
James W.: And anything to do with fire retardant or anything like that?
James: So we have a range of blinds of fire retardant for anyone who is concerned about that, if you were looking to install into a rental property, I would have to brush up further on the exact requirements, but we do have a range of blinds that are fire retardant. So if you were building a HMO or renting a property out yourself and you were going to leave blinds in there, we have a range that is suitable straight away that you can put in and it's going to be fire retardant.
So we're trying to cover all the bases as well, and we've actually recently set up a trade kind of area within our business, so we've got dedicated guys who are there reaching out to people like schools, property developers and they are the prime person to talk to about blinds that are suitable for all these different environments, we supply hotels and hostels and things like that. So they're buying all these fire retardant blinds just for peace of mind as well.
James W.: Yes. You mentioned about the technology, so how can technology make blinds more seamless?
James: Yes, obviously at the moment you've got the big rise in smart devices, your Alexa's, your Google homes things like that and where light bulbs and smart plugs have kind of come on leaps and bounds in the last 18 months or so, blinds are one of those ones has been left behind a little bit partly because trying to retrofit motors which I keep getting adverts for all the time on Facebook and things.
But trying to retrofit motors into existing blinds, our point of view is generally try not to do it because although these companies are trying to provide these motors that will fit onto either the chain control on a blind or into the tube itself, by the time you've taken the blind down, messed around with it, probably broken something inside it you're going to cram this motor in, it never quite works as good as you were led to believe before you purchase the motor. So rather than doing that we are bringing out a range in early 2019, which will be fully electric.
So electric vertical blinds, roller blinds, Venetian blinds that will be all integrated with Google home and Alexa, so rather than kind of trying to watch something together through three or four different bits of technology and making them talk together, we're bringing about something that will just do the job out of the box obviously with a bit of programming to it in terms of setting the top and the bottom of where you want the blind to sit. But again I can't wait until I wake up and say hey Alexa just open my blinds and off you go.
Yes, I think there’s loads of kind, it's a weird one, I think the way you've got all these different kind of elements of technology and you've got the Google home, you got Alexa and they're not all running necessarily on the same systems, you've got multiple blind suppliers in the market and people are caring if it's different large home connected networks.
We've had to work like how do we just cut through, make it as usable and as simple for as many people as possible and that's we're kind of focusing on Alexa and Google, just direct integration with them is going to be the easiest for someone to understand and just connect in. Because there's nothing worse than trying to work out how this lemon plug connects to Alexa, and you're trying to tell it to turn the lamp on and it's not doing it and you just no one has got time for that.
James W.: Just imagine them getting frustrated and ripping the blind off the wall, it's just off the window.
James: No, it's true if you've got a motor on the blind there's one that I've seen that basically it's a little box that you stick down at the bottom of the chain on say roller-blind, and the chain runs through this motor and raises and lowers it. I think it's an American product because it doesn't actually work with our UK safety connectors on the chain this breakaway, so A motor won't work so it's kind of a waste of money over here. If the motor runs out of battery you have to then unplug it or disconnect it so you can actually move to blind yourself manually which then completely removes the point of it.
So motors aren't cheap at the moment, it's probably about 30 to 40 pound increase in cost per blind because of the motor system in there. And there's and there are a few versions of them too, so you've got the ones that are just battery and you run a power cable up to it and keep the battery charged or charged up every few months. Then there are ones that are directly wired into the mains depending on the size of the blind, and then you've got ones that are a lithium ion battery, but then there's a little solar cell strip that will stick on the window, and that's probably one that I'm personally most excited about because it means you then don't have to run any power to the window.
So as yourself facing when generally you're going to be using when they're coverings the most, it will be kind of constantly trickle charging throughout the summer and should be the winter as well if you're south facing. But basically you can use the blinds up and down every day and never have to actually put any kind of juice into it yourself, because you're just charging it off to Sun which will be fantastic. And then especially when that's connected to your Alexa, yes that's the proper lazy man's dream I reckon.
James W.: Yes, home automation is going to be a huge thing in the next few years.
James: Yes, exactly yes. So they are the kind of things I'm certainly looking forward to next year as well, so I can't for that moment when they are launched because it's just going to help make some time savings for everyone, it's only a couple of minutes a day you can save but up and down across the whole house, across the year that's quite sometime overall.
James W.: Yes, I guess you'd be updating all of your website and like your previous customers I guess with news.
James: Yes, absolutely. Something like this which there's actually very few people on line trying to sell motorised blinds at the moment, many are aware it is so confusing and there's some systems where you have this one should just cut through the noise and make it that's just super simple out the box for everyone.
James W.: Good. So talking about like future trends, how can someone make sure that they're not going to like overspend?
James: So I think the biggest and most obvious one is by buying blinds online as you'd buy most things online nowadays, there's that big cost saving so in terms of future trends. Although you will start to see that not the demise, but yes you see the high street starting to suffer unfortunately, but where people's convenience kicks in and people just want to be lying on the sofa at home, ordering their blinds, not having to wait for someone to come and kind of interfere with their lives.
Buying stuff online, being able to measure and install yourself that's just going to continue growing I feel, you always have room in the market for the person who will come round and either offer more bespoke products or will install and measure it for you, because obviously there's elements of society that people who don't want to be doing DIY or physically can't do DIY so there'll always be people like that. Yes, trying to get a handyman to do it rather than a bigger company is definitely a way of saving yourself money and that's kind of the biggest change at the moment in the market.
But from a kind of trend of an interior design point of view I'd say stick with the kind of plain neutral colours things like our white wooden blinds, I think that's probably where they are just so popular at the moment is that they fit in with almost all colour schemes. Greys are starting to actually filter in and they're starting to become a little bit more popular, Beige is not on the way out because there's always a market for beige, but I think people are going for a slightly different, still neutral and vertically playing colours but certainly whites and greys are kind of a next, what I can see for next few years for sure.
James W.: Okay.
James: If you're trying to buy something that's going to be in your home for quite a long time, say a rented property or you want something that's quite durable so wooden blinds, PVC blinds, things that are wipe clean they'll just, you know they're going to be around for a long time in that respect, don't go playing a real wooden blind in your bathroom because ultimately even though we do everything we can to prevent it absorbing moisture, it will ultimately one day start to and over time start to absorb it. And on that kind of basis you got two ways you could go in terms of trying to future proof your house and your windows, you can buy cheap and cheerful and know that you're going to change them every couple years to keep up with design trends and how the markets is adapting.
Or you can kind of buy a really good high quality product in a more neutral colour that you can put in your window for seven to ten years, knowing that you're not going to have to spend any money on that and it's just going to sit there, do the job and basically retainers functionality and not deteriorate at all for years and years to come. So yes it really depends on what you're looking for, but obviously our guys, our customer service team can help assist with all manner of questions, so they love talking about blinds.
James W.: Okay, good. James it's been fantastic having you on, I've learn a little bit more than what I did before, and lots of information as well as, so I will definitely direct people to your website, and we'll put a couple of pictures up on the blog as well. But ultimately where can people find you?
James: So we are found online at www.makemyblinds.co.uk like I said before we've got our live chat there from 8am to 10pm, we've got out trade department now as well. So any one listening to this who is renovating multiple homes or might be a builder or tradesman, please reach out and see how we can give you some kind of preferential rates on what we're selling, and hopefully save you a bit of cash in the process.
James W.: Brilliant. Do you have any photos on Instagram or anything?
James: Oh we love Instagram; I think we're up to about 18,000 followers now. I think we're just a second largest blind Instagram account on the Internet at the moment, which something I didn't thought I would shout about, but yes it's @Makemyblinds.co.uk and we showcase all the customers blinds as well so if you tag us in that we'll take that and we'll share it out to our followers to see and just help showcase some of the beautiful ways people can cover windows.
James W.: Fantastic, good. All right, James thanks for coming on the show.
James: That's all right, thanks very much James for having me.
James W.: Take care.
James: Take care now, cheers, bye.