The Real.Est List
Second looks, and thoughts, about motorized window shades
The cost of motorized shades—$2,000 each, including labor—has sent at least one apartment dweller on StreetEasy.com into sticker shock, prompting questions on how to buy and how much to reasonably pay for high-quality automated window treatments. Consensus: “Those suckers are expensive.”
Unless your windows are already wired for motorized shades (a great question to ask when you're apartment hunting), you’re paying for an electrician to run electric lines, which means cutting walls, installing the shades and then patching and painting to repair the damage.
A self-identified lighting and shade professional from Nashville, TN, recommended the Lutron brand, because it’s “whisper quiet” and uses a “beautiful and high quality’’ metal valance to conceal the tube roller from anyone looking straight at the shade or from below. Others agreed Lutron is more expensive, but worth it.
They also suggested making sure the shade doesn’t sag in the middle and has the good quality clutches and chains critical to smooth operation. Don't forget to ask how often will the shade need to be re-strung, and how much it will cost.