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Living with Vertical Blinds on Sliding Glass Doors

Your rental very likely has sliding glass doors or French doors.  If you are not fortunate enough to have built-in blinds with these doors, then you will need a window treatment option.  Typical treatment options include curtains, shutters, shades, sliding panels, and of course vertical blinds.  Let me tell you why the obvious choice of vertical blinds are likely your best option particularly in a bedroom where you must block out light from a slider door.  I will also discuss how you can mitigate the inevitable shortcomings.

Simply put, vertical blinds offer the right combination of affordability, functionality, and safety in a high traffic rental.  Any other type of treatment would come up short in one of these three qualities.


If you don’t have children, this is one attribute you might overlook.  However, there will be children in your beach rental and we have all seen the warnings on window treatment loops.  Some very beautiful options, like rollershades, necessitate pulls or chains that will be within reach of toddlers.  Likewise, shutters can fold in on and pinch little fingers. Even the most affordable option, a curtain, can be a tangle risk and will require ties which can also pose a danger.  More likely, children will yank or pull down the curtain and bring down the rod too.


I am always surprised by how people manage to stain walls, linens, carpet etc. Curtains or drapes will get stained and collect dust.  They pose quite a challenge to clean in what may be a quick changeover between guests.  To clean, a curtain needs to be taken down, washed and laid out to dry. Some of the more aesthetically pleasing options like sliding panels or shades have the same drawback but are even more difficult to clean. An important element of functionality is durability.  Sliding panels and cellular blinds are designer options that might be a great consideration in your primary home but are not likely to hold up to the beating a rental will receive.  Vertical blinds, however, are typically made of PVC plastic and are durable and can be cleaned with a wipe.  They can withstand heat and humidity well also.


Mentioned previously, curtains are likely the most affordable treatment option. Stock vertical blinds at a home improvement store are not much more costly. Custom blinds made of less typical materials like wood or fabric, shutters, shades and sliding panels will all be more of an investment. When outfitting your beach rental remember my mantra, Keep it Simple…But Nice. You do not want to throw your money away buying something extravagant if something simple, but nice will suffice.

Cons with Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are constructed using slightly overlapping slats (aka vanes) that connect on a headrail. Sometimes, if one slat should be turned the wrong way it can break off from the headrail. You are not out of luck when this inevitably happens, it is possible to reattach the slat.  Lifehacker has a trick where this can be done with a paper clip and piece of tape if you are in a pinch, but the best option is to keep on hand Blind Saver Clips.  If someone is even rougher on them and should bend or break a slat all together you will need to replace the slat.  For that reason, I keep an extra set of blinds on hand to replace slats when necessary.  Companies like Levolor found at Lowes has a ten-year warranty and will replace your vertical blinds when damaged, but grabbing a new slat from the closet is a whole lot easier.  To make this proposition cost-effective, stick with stock blinds and consider an easy to find neutral color like white or cream.

Your sliding door treatments will get damaged periodically, unless you manage to screen guests for children, clumsy adults, etc.  It is just a question of setting your expectations and being prepared to make repairs.

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1 Comment

  1. Greg Sonata

    Vertical blinds and sliding doors don’t go hand in hand, in my opinion, but hey, maybe it’s because I’ve never had the same for myself. Nonetheless, I think both these things wouldn’t go with one another.