It’s no secret that commercial window furnishings in commercial premises work harder than their domestic equivalents. Long hours, high traffic and harsh treatment are just some of the factors that lead to commercial curtains, blinds, shutters and awnings taking a real hammering compared to the designs found in ordinary homes. You’d expect some special design features and materials to be incorporated into commercial window furnishing, but there’s actually a lot more to it than just ‘home curtains made more durable’. Let’s take a look at some of the points that separate real commercial quality installations from the pretenders.
It might surprise you to discover that before you check the products, it’s worth asking some questions about the people supplying them. Should a supplier of commercial window furnishings hold a Builder’s Licence? As it happens, few of them do.
While having a current Builder’s Licence isn’t mandatory for a business that designs and installs commercial window furnishings, it’s a very good sign of a firm’s commitment to commercial enterprises and its understanding of their special needs. If a business has gone to the trouble to obtain a Builder’s Licence and to meet the standards required by the Housing Industry Association, you can take this as a very good sign that you’re working with professionals who know the commercial territory very well.
While there are many standard window sizings in the domestic arena, when it comes to business and government buildings, all bets are off. Any provider of window furnishings that you deal with should be able to offer complete flexibility in customising products to suit your special needs. If you suspect that the provider you’re speaking with has limited ability to provide precisely what you need, don’t compromise, call another supplier.
Working with an experienced provider is of absolutely paramount importance in commercial window furnishings. These installations are high wear, high use items, and any business with significant experience is very likely to have refined its product offerings and materials to the point where their recommendations will be proven and robust.
Furthermore, experience should bring with it a track record that you can reference before making a decision. Ask any potential provider about their commercial window furnishings they’ve taken care of in the past, visit to see the work for yourself, and perhaps even speak to the owners about their experience.
While negotiating a competitive price is always of primary importance, make sure you take the time to ask about timelines. Where the products on offer are created will very likely have a direct bearing on delivery times. Note that after the sale, availability of materials and parts will also impact on how long repairs, replacements and warranty claims might take to turn around. Ask a lot of questions about the supply chain you’re dealing with and recognise that the more you can cut down on ‘the middle man factor’, the more streamlined the process is likely to be. The best possible case scenario is that you choose a business that designs and manufactures the products that it sells, and does so locally. There is simply no substitute for dealing directly with the people responsible for the quality of the products they sell. The follow-on benefit is that this business model can also provide the benefits of product evolution, fed by a direct loop of customer feedback driving design and materials improvement.
There’s no disappointment quite like consulting with a provider over a project, agreeing on measurements, materials and every little detail…only to have a third-party contractor show up to do the installation. There’s always the risk that something might have been missed in the communication chain and that mistakes will be made. So it certainly pays to seek assurance from your provider that installation will be taken care of by licensed trades persons who are employed by the business and your provider is fully accountable for their work.
Naturally, before choosing a provider of commercial window furnishings, it’s wise to apply the same tests that you’d use when partnering with any other business. The first of these is always a check on the quality and directness of communication. If you can always get through to the person in charge, if replies are prompt and you get the answers you need, you’re off to a good start. If, on the other hand, you’re stuck leaving messages with underlings and waiting on meaningful assistance, perhaps you should look elsewhere.
The curtains, blinds, shutters and awnings that you have installed in your business are a key part of its décor and functionality. How they look can impact on the first impression that your clients experience, and how they function can affect how your business runs from day to day and even the amount of energy it uses in areas such as heating and cooling. An experienced designer and manufacturer will be able to advise on every aspect of your choices and guide you towards a finished product that looks amazing, functions faultlessly, offers durability and energy efficiency, too.
Should you have any questions regarding the design, manufacture and installation of curtains, blinds, shutters and awnings for your commercial window furnishings, please contact us today.