Monthly Archives: August 2013

Electric Shades Up in the Sky above Bloomingdales

A few weeks ago a client, who just bought an apartment in a in Mid-Town, called us to schedule an appointment to discuss installing electric shades.

Apparently they were moving into 205 East 59th Street, a building developed by Manhattan Skyline that was built in 2005. This building has unique apartment layouts with 20′ ceilings and double height windows. Although it makes the apartment more dramatic and spacious but it also makes it very hard to reach to open and close any window treatments.

 

In cases like that, we allays recommend electric shades. For a modern look most people prefer roller shades that are minimalistic and practically disappear into its built in metal fascia leaving the window with its full view of the city completely open. Flat sheer roman shades could also work well with those windows (example here)

 

Phifer SheeWeave solar fabric will help save energy on cooling costs letting only 5% of the light into the apartment and blocking the heat and glare that comes in the after noon and evening hours. Two weeks after the order was placed I came with the installers and our electrician to install the shades.

I thought after installing so many time climbing on a scaffolding or a tall ladders would be easy and they would be used to the height but Juan our installer mention that every time he goes up there is a point of fear right at the top of the ladder, specially when you carry a 10′ shade in one hand.

In trying to get exact size and leave no gaps there is always a challenge to get the right size but in this case the shade fit just exactly that means it is much harder to push it into the bracket, but with a big of an effort it is in and the shade is going up and down.

I did not have a chance to see the end of the installation but in the bedroom the client selected blackout curtains using Carol Fabric’s Westbury and Griffen Collections

Westbury Silver                     Griffen Optic White                     Westbury Natural

 

Those fabrics are naturally tending to wrinkle so to end the installation we normally take some time to steam the curtains and make sure that are smooth and stay in shape.

 

13 foot electric shade installed in Newswalk Condos Brooklyn NYC

BTX powered electric shade in Newswalk Condominium

You probably remember Newswalk Condos from early re-developments of 2006 and later with connection with Ratner’s plan to knock down all the buildings around Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush. Well it is still standing even after the Barclays Center Was completed.

The windows in that building are extra wide and extra tall, plus they windowsill is waist high so any shade installed on the window is
harder to control.

As it happened we were called to install solar shades in on of the units and came across a window that was 13 foot wide.

Now 150″ wide shade doesn’t sound so big but its kind of heavy, especially when it doesn’t fit in the elevator and you have to go 7 flights of stairs carrying it on you back.
When you lift a shade like that to put it back into the bracket and it doesn’t go in on the first try you have to hold it and try until it fits. (it gets heavier and heavier)

In a nut shell that is the story of our installation in Dean Street. It started when a motor stopped working on a 9 foot shade. When I came to take a look I found a 10 year old
shades with fabric that did not look so good and a non working motor. So first we had to find out what system was installed, Elero did not mean anything to me until with a bit of search on the web we found out that it is fabricated by BTX, a well known very repayable and long time veteran in electric window treatments industry. We called them up and after a short discussion learned that it could be the motor, the switch or the wiring. To be on the safe side I ordered a motor and a switch and we scheduled to take down the shades to replace the fabric.

When we came back after about 12 days to put them up, I wanted to make sure there were no issues in the installation so showed up with our installers. Too bad for them they had to carry the shade up to the 7th floor. When they finally placed the shades on the windowsill to install them they discovered that the motor was on the wrong side. What to do? take out the fabric and flip the tube around. As you can see BTX does not take any chances with special 3″ tubes for that size shade and a grove where the motors are bolted into the tube.

After putting the shades up it was time to figure out the wiring. Black, Red, White and green. But we have 2 switches and which wire is for up and which one is for down. Well that was not so hard, we connected the wires set the limits (so the shade will stop automatically when reaching the top and bottom) and then worked on hiding the wires behind the shades.

That is it job complete. Client was happy he did not have to buy 2 new shades and continue using the existing system but they look new since we replace the fabric. SheerWeave 4400 3% White Grey was the selected fabric this time. The slightly darker color will enable to see more of the view and 3% openness will cut the heat dramatically.