Curious Case of the “Rush Job”

By way of expanding on an earlier post, we see in the photo just one result of a failure to observe details when placing window coverings.

The homeowner in this case purchased an $800 motorized Luminette® by Hunter Douglas. Then, after it was installed she commissioned a top treatment to conceal its track and associated hardware. The new upholstered valance covered the entire header above the opening as well. Meaning that it extended all the way up to the ceiling, which was not level.

In such cases shim material is often placed above one of the valance’s mounting brackets (pictured) in order to align it with the ceiling. Alternatively, in tight spaces the bracket’s position on the cornice can be moved. But that’s more work, so the individual installing the valance shimmed it instead. This left a mere sixteenth of an inch between the bracket and the Luminette’s traversing mechanism.

Now, though they were not touching at the time, when the shade was later drawn, torque from its motor caused just enough vertical movement to bring its plastic components into contact with the unforgiving metal bracket. Several snap tabs holding carriers in position sheared off, jamming the scissor drive and separating five or six carriers from the main body. The expensive window shading was rendered utterly useless.

Fortunately, ADVANCED ON-SITE has the parts and the know-how to correct such issues. The Luminette was repaired and the valance bracket adjusted so the shim could be eliminated. But the homeowner had already been terribly inconvenienced.

When purchasing window coverings, it’s okay to insist that the dealer’s installer be present to measure for them. In this way you can observe his or her manner before the sale. Do they seem hurried? They may place more importance on the sheer volume of installations they can perform, than on customer satisfaction with the quality of their work. Do they seem harried? Well then, maybe the dealer is putting pressure on to increase production in the interest of more profit. Either way, it can add up to heartache for you.

And by all means, have the installer demonstrate that everything functions correctly when the installation is complete. In the aforementioned case, the installer of the valance clearly did not test for freedom of movement before the Luminette’s mechanism failed on the homeowner’s very next attempt to operate it. Alas, by then the installer was long gone.

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