Stoneside Custom Drapery

What is the Difference Between Ready-Made and Custom Blinds?

By: Natalie Elmhurst

Updated: 4/3/24

When it comes to the differences between custom-made blinds vs. ready-made blinds, what comes to mind? Many people see it as being similar to choosing between a luxury car and an economy car. But while it’s true that custom blinds are more luxurious, there’s so much more to it than that.

A luxury car may be more comfortable and faster than an economy car, but both vehicles will get you where you need to go. They basically function the same and are probably equally reliable. The difference between ready-made and custom blinds, however, is that custom blinds have additional functionality, better durability, will perfectly fit your windows, and much more. Furthermore, the aesthetics of window treatments are central to setting the tone for one’s home and daily life, and custom blinds provide many more possibilities.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at several points of difference between ready-made and custom blinds. When it comes to the battle between custom-made blinds vs. ready-made blinds, the results may surprise you.

Quality of Ready-made and Custom Blinds

The most obvious difference between the two types of blinds is their quality. This comes down to how they're manufactured and for what purpose.

  • Quality of Ready-made Blinds: Off-the-shelf blinds are manufactured in large, overseas factories using cheap materials. There’s minimal quality control and a focus on keeping costs down to maximize profits. Ready-made blinds are less robust and designed to be replaced more frequently.
  • Quality of Custom Blinds: Stoneside’s custom blinds are manufactured to order in the U.S. using the best materials. Quality control and customer satisfaction are paramount to our business model. Custom blinds are made to last.

How Well They Function

Quality doesn’t only influence how long your blinds will last but how well they’ll function over their lifespan. What this means is that you can expect custom blinds to have fewer issues with broken or malfunctioning slats, faulty cords, and general ease of use. Since the quality of custom blinds is better, you can also expect them to better manage light, protect your privacy, and improve your home’s energy efficiency for longer than ready-made ones.

Range of Sizes

Ready-made blinds are made with the assumption that you have “normal-sized” windows. The reality, though, is that very few homes have cookie-cutter-sized windows. You may be able to find off-the-shelf blinds that more-or-less get the job done, but they’ll rarely fit just right.

Ready-made blinds are manufactured in a limited number of sizes long before anyone buys them. Custom blinds, on the other hand, are made-to-order, meaning they’re assembled to your window’s exact dimensions so that they fit perfectly. This results in them looking great, managing light and privacy better, and improving their insulating properties.

Options for Customization

One of the biggest differences between ready-made and custom blinds is the number of options available for customization. Ready-made blinds are typically limited to a small number of setups, whereas custom blinds offer an exhaustive range of possibilities.

  • Designs: Since custom blinds aren’t assembled until you order them, Stoneside can offer far more designs in a wider range of materials than you’ll ever find at a big-box retailer.
  • Cordless: Going cordless is the best way to keep your little kids safe from dangling cords. Ready-made blinds don’t typically offer this option.
  • Motorization: If you’re looking to turn your house into a smart home, adding motorization to your custom blinds is one of the best choices you can make.

Custom Blinds Offer Personalization

The look of blinds can be just as important as their functionality. For most people, our living spaces are tied to our personalities and the mood we want to create for ourselves. There’s no contest when it comes to custom blinds vs. ready-made blinds in regard to personalization. Custom blinds let you make them as idiosyncratic as you like, while ready-made ones force you into a box.


When it comes to the installation of ready-made blinds, you will either have to install them yourself or hire an independent contractor (possibly through the big-box retailer acting as a middleman). The installation of custom blinds may at first seem to offer a similar solution—either DIY or professional installer—but they’re actually different.

Stoneside employs a team of in-house professional installers to make sure your custom blinds are installed perfectly to your complete satisfaction. Independent contractors, on the other hand, are incentivized to work as quickly as possible to maximize profits. If the peace of mind that comes with an attentive installation is important to you, custom blinds from Stoneside will be your best bet.

Stoneside Custom Zebra Shades

The Cost of Ready-Made Blinds vs. Custom Blinds

The sticker price of ready-made blinds is generally lower than custom blinds. There are three reasons for this.

  • Cheaper materials: It’s simply not possible to lower prices without cutting down on costs. One of the chief ways manufacturers do this is by using lower-quality materials.
  • Mass-produced: Ready-made blinds come in fewer sizes and styles, which allows them to be produced en masse. This will help keep the prices down, but it also means fewer choices for the consumer.
  • Made overseas: Most ready-made blinds are made overseas to reduce labor expenses. If you’re looking to support U.S. workers, you’re better off with custom blinds.

If you’re on a strict budget, you may feel that you have no choice but to make do with lower-quality blinds. But even though ready-made blinds are initially cheaper, you’re likely to find them more expensive in the long run since you’ll have to replace them sooner.

Custom Blinds Reduce Waste

Ready-made blinds produce massive amounts of waste by having to be replaced sooner than custom blinds. Moreover, since they’re pre-made before anyone orders them, countless unsold ready-made blinds will end up in a landfill. High-quality custom blinds are both made-to-order and made-to-last, which reduces waste.

Custom Blinds Can Pay for Themselves

The initial cost of custom blinds is undoubtedly their biggest con, but for some homeowners, custom blinds could end up paying dividends. If you’re looking to sell your home in the future, custom blinds can increase your house’s curb appeal and help you close above market value.


Being able to buy a set of ready-made blinds off the shelf and install them on your window that same day is certainly one of their benefits. Custom blinds will usually take about a week or two to arrive after you order them. For most people, this isn’t a big deal. Either you already have old window treatments to use in the meantime or, if you’re buying for a new home, you’re ordering them well in advance before you move in.

One thing to keep in mind with ready-made blinds is that if the store doesn’t have your desired size and style in stock, it will likely take an incredibly long time for them to get more in. Since ready-made blinds are manufactured overseas in bulk, refreshing stock is a lengthy process.

Stoneside Offers the Best in Custom Blinds

You should now have a good idea of how budget and custom blinds differ. Ready-made blinds are cheaper, at first, but custom blinds will fit your windows better, last longer, work better, and offer better aesthetics. When it comes to custom blinds vs. ready-made blinds, custom blinds are without a doubt the better choice. If you’re curious to check out the best custom blinds, shades, and drapery available, contact Stoneside for a free design consultation. Say no to subpar ready-made blinds and discover what custom window coverings can do for you today.