Choosing Custom Made Vs. Ready-Made Shades

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Window shades are available in many different styles, and they fall into two main categories: custom-made and ready-made. Ready-made shades can be picked up in a store and, as the name implies, you only need to take them home and install them on your windows yourself. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, as well as colors. Custom window shades give you the opportunity to match them perfectly with your interior design of your home in custom colors and patterns. Custom-made shades are fabricated to fit your windows perfectly.

Custom-Made Shades: Are They Worth It?

There are several different advantages and disadvantages to having your shades for your windows custom-made to your specifications.

custom made shades

Pros of Custom-Made Shades

  1. Unique Design
    With custom-made shades, you can choose any design you please and add colorful fabric tapes, tassels, or any other embellishments you can think of to make them truly your own. Choose from a variety of styles, such as Roman shades, cellular shades, and woven woods.
  2. Perfect Fit
    Custom window coverings allow you to find the perfect fit for your windows, and they are guaranteed to do so. Several measurements are taken of your windows and then the correct ones are used for your shades. Did you know that not all windows are standard-sized because there are no standard sizes? Custom shades will fit all sizes of windows you may have.
  3. Fit For Specialty Windows
    Specialty windows include specialty shapes, such as hexagons, circles, or arches, and they also include oversized windows. Custom window shading products will fit these types of windows perfectly because they are made especially for you.
  4. Fabric and Material Choices
    Custom window treatments give you literally thousands of types of fabrics in a huge array of colors, patterns, and themes to fit your lifestyle and match your decor seamlessly. Choose from room darkening, light filtering, or blackout shades to suit your lighting needs.
  5. Durability
    Custom window treatments are made from nicer fabrics than ready-made window treatments. This means they are more durable when they are hand fabricated with the attention to detail to last much longer and look beautiful as well.
  6. Motorization
    You can add the convenience of motorization to your custom shades, and they will program into your existing Smart home hub. This gives you the ability to program them to open, close, and adjust at specific times of the day and night.

Cons of Custom-Made Shades

  1. Expensive
    Custom-made shades are more expensive, but when you consider that they will last many more years and fit perfectly while coordinating with your decor, they are worth it even at a designer’s price.
  2. Longer Lead Times for Delivery
    With custom shades, you will need to wait for your new window shading systems to be fabricated before you can use them. This isn’t usually a very long lead time from professionals, though, and they generally include professional installation as well to make sure they fit properly and operate smoothly.

What are Ready-Made Shades?

You can find ready-made shades in a variety of stores in person and online. They come in a limited number of sizes and colors but have their advantages as well.

ready-made shades

Pros of Ready-Made Shades

  1. Cost-Effective
    Pre-made shades are very cost-effective. They are less expensive and affordable, mainly if you use them in several windows of your home.
  2. Easily Accessible
    You can find a selection of pre-made window shades at many places and even at big box stores.
  3. Quick Installation
    As soon as you take your window shades home, you can install them yourself without a waiting period. They usually come with an instruction sheet to help you and include the hardware with them.
  4. Various Styles
    You can choose from a few different styles of pre-made window shades, such as roller shades or Roman shades.
  5. Various Fabrics
    A few different types of fabrics are available in various thicknesses to suit your lighting needs.

Cons of Ready-Made Shades

  1. Limited Options
    You have fewer choices in styles and fabrics for blinds and shades with ready-made shades and may need to settle for something that isn’t your ideal pick.
  2. It May Not Fit Perfectly
    Windows are not always perfectly square. Most of the time, the width and the height will differ slightly at one of the three measurement points in each direction. So, your ready-made shades may allow light to peek through on the sides or bottom of the shade when closed, or they may slightly overlap the window frame.
  3. No Customization
    Many ready-made shades are solid and neutral, and they don’t give you the option of a color that perfectly matches your other decor. They also generally won’t have any embellishments or accents of fabric on them.
  4. Limited Sizes Available
    If you have specialty-shaped windows, the odds are that you won’t find any ready-made shades to fit them. If you have huge windows, you can also have trouble finding pre-fabricated window shades and would need to settle for adding two smaller shades to try to fit one large window.
  5. Less Durable
    Pre-made shades are usually less durable and made from less expensive fabrics. They are also mass-produced, so the stitching and workmanship may also lack durability.

Ready-Made vs. Custom-Made Window Shades: A Direct Comparison

A direct comparison of the two types of shades can help you to decide which will work best for you.

Cost Installation Time Options Fit
The cost varies from low to moderate
You can install them immediately
You get a limited selection
May not fit perfectly
The cost is higher for customization
You need to wait for the to be fabricated
You get a selection of unique designs and color possibilities
Perfectly fitted to your space

Factors to Consider With Choosing The Right Window Shades

You should consider all the factors between the two types of window shades before making your decision.

  • Budget
    Determine your budget before buying window shades. A professional window treatment company gives you many different options and can work within your budget.
  • Size and shape of the windows
    If you have extra large or specialty shaped windows, you should choose custom window treatments, so they are ensured to fit properly.
  • Style and design preferences
    If you want something spectacular that will really look beautiful, you may want to choose custom-made shades, so you can choose from many more design and style options.
  • Timeframe for installation
    If you are rushing for window coverings, such as a new home before holiday entertaining, you may want to choose ready-made window coverings.
  • Customization options
    If you wish to have window shades that are customized and unique to display your style and personality, then custom is the one for you.
  • Preferred materials and fabrics
    If you prefer certain materials and fabrics, you get many more choices in custom shades.


Each type of shade has its benefits and drawbacks. If you want long-lasting shades with the most options and possibilities in a unique design, you should choose custom products and shades. Otherwise, you may select ready-made shades if you are rushing and want to cover your windows on a tight budget. Ultimately, choosing the best suits your needs and budget is up to you.

Consider contacting us at The Window Valet for your custom-made shades. We offer you a FREE in-home consultation with a highly experienced designer and the most options possible in the area while staying within your budget.

Josh LeClair

Josh LeClair

A seasoned window treatment expert specializing in blinds, shades, and shutters with over 17 years of experience in custom solutions, cleaning, and repairs.

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At The Window Valet, we work with reputable and proven vendors to obtain quality window covering products tailored to your home. All of our roller shades are assembled and tested locally in Central Indiana.

Our commitment to unsurpassed service and workmanship has earned us a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest window treatment companies. No other company offers a higher level of service or greater value.