Category Archives: blinds

Rear blind

This is the rear blind (I have a tailgate van).And from the other side.Offering the blind up to the opened tailgate.  One thing that I found tricky was getting it central, since there’s no easy reference point.Hole I drilled in the bottom, I had to make it a bit larger with a file so I could get the blind to sit correctly then apply some pressure to the blind whilst tightening the fixing.For the other fixings you have to cut the carpet with a sharp knife, pull it back then drill the small self tapping screw through the frame of the blind and into the metal frame of the van window.  When I tried this I couldn’t get the screw to cut into the van metal.  A quick call to the (very helpful) guy’s at Vanshades provided the answer which was to use the hammer setting on my drill!  The other thing that I found a bit strange was there’s very little guidance as to where to put the fixings, I would have though it would have been possible for these holes to be pre-drilled to avoid any confusion.Screw in place, although I wasn’t happy that they didn’t sit completely flush so I removed them and very carefully countersunk the hole.  One problem with me doing this is that I think some of the plastic swarf got onto the self adhesive backing of the carpet so it won’t stick down now so I’ll have to (vary carefully) glue it down later.
All done, although I haven’t covered up the screws yet.  Also the instructions suggest using four of the small fixing screws but I’ve only used a pair.

Fitting the blinds

Quite a long break, but back on the van.  Time to fit the blinds at last.

Following the supplied instructions I used the included fixings (and drill bit tool) and drilled them straight through the plastic frame of the blind and then on-into the metalwork of around the window.  I found this a bit difficult to do for a number of reasons.  Firstly once the self-tapping screw has gone through the plastic frame and then reaches the metal there’s a kick-back and there’s a tendency for your chosen drill position to shift.  If you manage to keep it in place then you’re good but you have to watch-out because due to the thread on the screw you need to stop very quickly or you’ll distort the plastic frame (and then will need to back-off).

Also if drilling right through in one go when you drill through the last part of the plastic frame and then “backwards” through the carpet it can snag on the screw.  Lastly if you do drill though in one-go and then leave the blind in-place you’ll probably leave some small amount of metal swarf trapped on the carpet.

None of the above are big issues at all, basically take your time and what I did was drill the blind frame first then the metal and afterwards I removed the blind to get rid of the swarf then refit.

First one is the one for the nearside sliding door.

View from the rear.
The lower fixing on the lefthand side.  There are black plastic covers provided to cover the screws.Both lefthand fixings.
The upper righthand fixing.One of the two lower fixings.
Closeup of the righthand side.Closeup of the left-hand side. This is the finished blind from the inside, looks very nice.  One thing I noticed that even though these are the blackout versions there’s light leakage around the sliding door handle (unavoidable really).  I will probably get a piece of grey foam to put in the hole when sleeping.The look from the outside.

What colour?

Well the good news is the blinds arrived, but…. They are the wrong colour!Easier to see in this photo.So a quick call to the guys at Vanshades and a subsequent quick trip over to them to work out what happened.  They have a set of swatches so you can choose the correct colour but since I went over there to see them, initially, I didn’t choose the colour myself, they looked and told me what colour I needed.  Unfortunately they got it wrong and put Smoke on the order when I actually have Graphite, so simple human error.  So apology accepted and they took them back and will change the covering to the correct colour/carpet and send them back out to me.

I should mention, regardless of the colour issue, the blinds look really nice.

Looking at blinds

Just got back from meeting Pete at VanShades to look at their blinds. They’re in their impressive new premises now and I must say their product looks very good indeed too.  Frankly I don’t think there’s any competition/alternative if you want a neat/tidy completely blackout solution.

Pete was very helpful, explaining the options, specifically since I have Evo Design furniture and an opening 3rd-party window, over the sink/worktop. With this configuration there’s an issue in that the blind pod has to be a version which positions the blind sufficiently forward to avoid the latch on the windows slider but then clashes with the back of the worktop.

Pete explained a couple of options and I’ve elected to go for their “J pod” in this position, this will mean I will have to cut/scribe the Evo Design worktop to avoid a clash with the blind frame and the worktop.

Needless to say I’ve ordered three and can’t wait to get them in 2-3 weeks.