This tenant wants blinds, that tenant wants drapes...

9 Replies

I typically invest in older buildings so when dealing with window treatment I always face this madness of multiple inferior installs.

Blinds with the brackets barely hanging, that are basically impossible to secure because the non-standard way windows are framed.  Sometimes you find furring wood strips if you are lucky, other times you have to use plastic anchors, sometimes you cheat and drill into metal corner beads, sometimes you mount the brackets from the top, sometimes on the side, wherever you find a way to bite into something.  Worst comes to worst you use Tapcon screws and go directly to the blocks or bricks.

Same issue with curtain rod brackets.  You may or may not find secure backing for it.

Then tenants seem to do chin-up on curtain rods and they tear the brackets off the walls.

So I have been trying to find a better solution for it.

This week I have a tenant moved out and I removed all of the blinds, curtains and hardware and this is what I came up with.  I did this in half a day with all seven windows in that unit.

I cut a piece of 1X4 and mount it on the underside of top side of the recessed window frame, using three 2-3/4" Tapcon screws from the bottom driven into the concrete blocks.  This piece of wood is the same length as the window's width.

Then I cut another piece of 1X4 eight inches longer than the window width, and mount it over the top edge of the window, onto the wall, forming a 90 degree angle with the piece recessed into the window.  It is also secured with 2-3/4" Tapcon screws into the blocks. It is 8" longer because it sticks out further on each side.

So the cross section is like this.

While the profile is like this.

The reasons I do this is I now have solid wood backing to mount blind brackets, AND solid wood backing to mount curtain rod brackets, and I am not going to be dealing with brackets yanked out of the sheetrock anymore.

I will probably provide both blinds and curtain rods on all the units I do this too.

Here is a picture.  Now I messed up on the stain because they came out a lot more "rustic" than I wanted, so I am not too happy with the "look", need to restain this and cover up the screw heads, but you get the idea.

This took me about 3.5 hours to do seven windows.

Thoughts?  Thumbs up, thumbs down?

@Sam Leon I think that is a great idea with your situation.  I don't run into too many units here that don't have wood as the members in the wall but I love the idea for what you're dealing with.  Our companies policy is to put blinds up on the front of the unit (street facing so sometimes on the side as well) but then to not put anything along the back.  Basically just stopping the Def Leopard sheets being seen from the streets :)

Originally posted by @Sylvia B. :

Instead of staining the boards, have you considered painting them the same color as the wall?

 Yes, I actually did.  I didn't like the way it looked.  To me it looks better if there is a contrast.

Originally posted by @Aaron Wyssmann :

@Sam Leon I think that is a great idea with your situation.  I don't run into too many units here that don't have wood as the members in the wall but I love the idea for what you're dealing with.  Our companies policy is to put blinds up on the front of the unit (street facing so sometimes on the side as well) but then to not put anything along the back.  Basically just stopping the Def Leopard sheets being seen from the streets :)

 Aaron, yes if your windows were framed with wood spanning the entire recessed width that helps a lot.  I have seen many times down here in Florida they would put strips of 1X2 on the edges and that's it.  Then when you need to mount a bracket for the blinds it either hits that or miss that.

With curtain rod brackets we have something similar.  Many of the concrete block walls would have vertical furring strips 1X2 spaced say 18" or 24" apart then on top of that sheetrock.  Often times you find one furring strip on one side to mount a curtain rod bracket.  Then you go to the other end of the window and mount the other piece but you need to position is symmetrically and the other piece is not hitting wood.   So you use a toggle bolt or plastic anchor two weeks later a tenant yanks it down.

Anything to make it tenant-proof!  I actually hate mini-blinds because they always get destroyed by tenants.  I don't know how they do it.  I've had mini-blinds in my own house (just one window) and even with 2 cats, they've stayed nice and clean and not bent.  But put two tenants in a place less than a year, with no kids, no pets, and they are shot to heck.  So now I do curtain rods and curtains.  It's cheaper in the long run.

Originally posted by @Dawn Anastasi :

Anything to make it tenant-proof!  I actually hate mini-blinds because they always get destroyed by tenants.  I don't know how they do it.  I've had mini-blinds in my own house (just one window) and even with 2 cats, they've stayed nice and clean and not bent.  But put two tenants in a place less than a year, with no kids, no pets, and they are shot to heck.  So now I do curtain rods and curtains.  It's cheaper in the long run.

 Cause they're nosey lol!! We all have those people in the neighborhood that come peeking out their window everytime they hear someone or something outside. It's the wear and tear from them peeking thru.

Well, I am waiting for the day when we can buy really cheap hurricane proof impact resistance windows, those windows can withstand 200mph hurricane force winds and a cococut projectile coming at the window at a speed of 200mph, and the glass is made of a material where you can use a remote to adjust the transparency level to control how much light is let in, and you can set it so that it is totally transparent, 50% transparent, turn itself into a mirror on the inside or outside only, or make itself into a screen for me to surf the internet or watch a show.  No blinds, no shades, no hurricane panels, no burglar cage...

All this for $50 at The Home Depot for this fancy multifunctional window.