top down bottom up shades, how do they work?

debrak2008February 15, 2014

The family is complaining they want window treatments on our kitchen windows. I do not. Cellular shades is the request. If we are going to do those types of shades I would like top down, bottom up kind. I have never seen these in person but watched several videos. I just don't get it. There is a bracket at the top. Is there one at the bottom and the sides. What is holding them in place when going from the top down? Some I see strings but others not.

Can anyone explain and/or post photos?


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They have only the bracket at the top. There is a cord on either side.

You can pull the top of the shade free from the bracket. There is some sort of tension on the cords that keeps the bottom of the shade where it is, and allows the top to remain where you put it.

The cords aren't very thick and practically disappear. My brother has these, and the cords are white and his window trim is white and to be honest, I couldn't see the cords until I walked up to the window to look at the shades.

When they say these shades are "cord-free" they mean that you don't use a cord to raise and lower the shade. There are cords that run through tiny holes in the shades, just like a standard cellular shade or mini-blind.

One thing to keep in mind is that without cords to raise and lower the shades, you have to be able to reach the top and bottom of the shade. If you are putting these on windows over a bank of cabinets, you might want the corded option. If it's just windows in an eating area that you can easily get to, it's not a problem.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:38PM
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This is my third house with Hunter Douglas duettes with the top down bottom up option and I've been happy with the products and service. The only warning with the top down bottom up is that you want to make sure you don't try to do both at the same time, this is when the inside cords could get tangled. Had one tangle and HD fixed it. Most of my windows are too tall for the cordless, but I was able to use them on some standard sized French doors and they work great. I also recently used the power rise, battery operated, on some windows over stairs and those a re great too. Wish I had done those in my living room behind a large sofa ... next time!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:18PM
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chispa, I am thinking of doing power rise on a set of windows and wonder about changing the batteries. Are they in the upper headrail? Any shades that are in a bad spot that need power rise in the first place, must be horrendous to swap out the batteries. How often do you have to change those batteries?

debra, I have cordless roman shades TDBU and also corded woven woods TDBU. Love 'em. Very handy for maintaining privacy and getting light at the same time. I actually keep them TD most of the time even when privacy is not necessary. The cords are barely visible. Even if I notice them, it's no big deal. Just part of the window. Maybe these pics will help you visualize it. The cellular shades will have a very small footprint when they are fully raised. Their headrail is super thin and the fabric is thin so they stack without taking much space at all unlike these. Only woven woods have a significant valance like seen here.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Thank you all for the info and pics! We have decided to go ahead and order some from JCP which is having a sale. If they work well we may get some for the other windows which now have blinds.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:29PM
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I have the cellular top-down shades in a first floor bedroom, on a large front window which faces the driveway. You can also raise them from the bottom. The right string pulls them up, the left opens them top down. I can pull them up from the bottom and down from the top. They're great. and the windows also open top down so air can get in. I rent my house, so privacy was an issue. I love them. But I do tell people to use them gently.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:44PM
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Wendyb, we just got the power rise, so I don't know how long they will last. My parents had some that thy opened/closed twice a day and I think the batteries lasted for a few years. Those were on a 2 story wall so you would have needed a tall ladder to reach the battery pack.

One of my windows is on a staircase going down to the basement, so you can easily reach the left side of the triple window, but not the right side. We were able to order the blinds with the battery pack on the left so we can reach them easily.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:26PM
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I have telltale ones in my bedroom and what I don't like is seeing the strings.
Even though they are a lifpght color I just don't like the look. They are very useful in my room and I put them up and down daily. Since I have side panel drapes for the winter I barely see the strings, but in the summer I only have a valance, I may get sheers for the summer so I don't see the strings as much.

I wish I would have gotten the power version as I hate having to put them up and down manually.

Does anyone know if you can add the power to existing blinds?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:19AM
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Well, now the size is an issue. These windows would need a 26" width for inside mount. Outside mount is not going to work well and it is 3 windows together with only about an 1" between them. 26" width is not a standard size.

I can get roller shades cut to size. Not TDBU but would be functional. Privacy at night is the only reason for any treatment on these windows.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:47PM
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You can't get individual shades mounted inside each window?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:08PM
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We did almost our entire house in JCP up down shades and I LOVE them. I need light, lots of light, but I live in a neighborhood where the houses are close, and I also need privacy. I keep the shades in 1/2 down from the top almost permantly. Love the option. The string is thin, but it is there. I don't mind the trade off at all. Great option for bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as front facing living rooms and dining rooms. Very happy with the quality of JCP.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:03PM
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We need them in 26" for each window. Apparently that is an odd size. JPC has them in 23" and then 27". I've checked other websites but its much of the same. I really don't want to spend more than $75 on each. I would really like it to be much less than $75.

It just remembered how hard it was for me to find 26" high counter stools. What is it with 26"???

Here is a pic with the windows in the background.

Another pic during construction.

The measurement to inside mount is 26 1/4". If anyone has any ideas of where I can get reasonably priced TDBU shades to fit please let me know.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 16:40

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Is that a moose in your yard???

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:53PM
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No, its a (deer) archery target. I almost mentioned that as anyone who sees that photo thinks its a real animal.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:59PM
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oh! Lol.

I guess the only way around the blinds problem is to have them custom made (mine are), but custom blinds are obscenely expensive.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Just remembered (and double checked) that the windows above these (2nd floor) are the exact same size. We put custom sized faux wood blinds on those from Lowes. I don't remember it being outrageously priced. I'm going to stop at Lowes with the measurements and see what I can find.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 5:13PM
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You might want to look at Steve's Blinds. I learned of the website long ago here on GW and ordered several TDBU cellular shades. Steve's carries several manufacturers' products but we purchased "Steve's own" brand. I believe they are made by a subsidiary of Hunter Douglas but this may be incorrect. We already have several similar blinds in the Hunter Douglas brand and have found the Steve's product to be comparable in quality. Would definitely order from the company again.

I am linking the results of a quick search on the website using made-up dimensions and specifying "Steve's own" brand. Please note that there are many other options available on the website, and you will need to carefully enter the particulars for your windows instead of relying on the numbers I used. There is an up-charge for the TDBU feature as well. The website is kind of junky and confusing but you can call and get some customer service assistance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Steve's Blinds

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Here is a little update. Lowes has Levolor custom cut now (sp?) products. I can choose cellular, cordless but NOT TDBU, roller shades, faux wood blinds, or mini vinyl blinds.

DH wants the cellular as he likes the cordless part and that the fabric could be vacuummed. Only 47.99 each.

I'm tempted to do mini vinyl because it would match the built in blind in the door next to the windows. BUT I hate cleaning them. Only 17.99 each.

I thought of other more decorative options but I really don't want these window treatments to be a decorative feature in the room. Just want them to disappear. They will but all the way up most of the time.

So the TDBU just isn't going to happen and there really isn't any pressing need for them, so what would you pick?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Have you considered doing nothing to your windows. You have a lovely very private looking back yard and if you don't need privacy, go without for a while. I had no coverings on our dining and living room windows on our last house and I could see houses through the trees, but I did not feel on display. I like the openness when you have a great looking back yard. Our recently purchased 15 year old home has roman shades in the dining and living room and even though the houses are closer, a couple evergreens provide enough privacy that I have yet to close the shades.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:08PM
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The deck and the stairs is the main issue. The deck is now right off the door and the stairs go down in front of the windows. Without saying too much lets say it could create a security issue. If someone looks in they can see all through the 1st level of our house.

The woods you see in the back, back up to many, many homes. Lots of people walk in those woods even though they are trespassing. In the near future there will be more commercial and residential development on the other side of the woods.

Thanks for the complements, DH does the gardening. We have been without anything for a year and a half.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:40PM
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