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Budget Blinds vs. Home Depot: Where Should You Buy Blinds and Shades?

Are you shopping for shades or blinds but aren’t sure if you should buy through Budget Blinds or Home Depot?

Both brands offer custom window treatments in various styles, but which is the better option for your home?

In this comparison of Budget Blinds vs. Home Depot, you’ll learn how they differ in product selection, buying process, installation, price, and more.

Use these links to navigate the article:

Budget Blinds vs. Home Depot: Comparison Chart

Before we dive into the details, here’s a quick comparison of Budget Blinds vs. Home Depot.

Budget BlindsHome Depot
Company HistoryFounded in 1992Founded in 1979
ShowroomsMostly virtualMini-showroom in each Home Depot
ConsultationsIn-person or virtualIn-person or virtual
Product OptionsBlinds, shades, shutters, and draperiesBlinds, shades, shutters, and draperies
ManufacturerBudget Blinds (private label)Custom: Kirsch; In-store: Bali, Levolor, Hampton Bay, and others
Average Wait Time3 weeks8 weeks
InstallationsDepends on individual franchiseStandard starts at $135; Custom starts at $250
WarrantyDepends on individual franchise10 years (5 for motorized parts)
Price$$-$$$$ (Request a Consult)$$-$$$$ (Get Quote)

Difference 1: Company Overview

Budget Blinds is a California-based company that was founded in 1992. It operates on a franchise model, meaning the company name and brand are operated under individual, independent store owners. The company has over 1,400 franchisees across North America, serving over 10,000 cities.

Budget Blinds website
Budget Blinds website

Budget Blinds delivers pre-made and custom window treatments, depending on your needs. They specialize in a personalized experience; each step of their selection and installation process draws on your specifications, themes, and material preferences.

Home Depot partners with Kirsch, a company with over 100 years of experience designing and installing custom window treatments. It was founded in 1907 by Charles Kirsch, the inventor of curtain rods and a respected interior design expert.

Difference 2: Showrooms

The showroom experience at Budget Blinds franchises differs by location. Some of the brand’s 1,400 locations offer in-person showrooms, but most are virtual.

To know whether your regional Budget Blinds office has a physical location, Google “Budget Blinds near me.” The listings that display only the town and phone number don’t have a physical showroom. The ones with an actual address usually do, but it’s still worth calling to confirm.

Google results for Budget Blinds near me
Google results for Budget Blinds near me

Home Depot, by contrast, has a blinds showroom at each of its 2,300 locations. These showrooms are usually modest in size but provide a good idea of the look and feel of each window treatment option.

The Home Depot Window Treatments Section
The Home Depot Window Treatments Section

Difference 3: In-Home Consultations

Budget Blinds provides free in-home consultations with a company representative (usually the franchise owner. The consultant will bring samples, take measurements, answer questions, and help you decide which window treatments to choose.

Home Depot (via its installation partners at Custom Decorators) offers consultations by appointment but only in select areas. Home Depot does not provide a list of these locations on its website. You’ll need to enter your zip code on Home Depot’s “check availability” page.

The consultation with Custom Decorators is almost the same as Budget Blinds. The designer will come to your house, show you samples, measure, provide advice, and give a quote.

Difference 4: Product Options

Both Budget Blinds and Home Depot / Kirsch offer a full range of window treatments, including drapes, blinds, shades, shutters, hardware, and motorization/automation.

Budget Blinds sells its products through several private-label “brands,” which are just collections made by various manufacturing partners. Hunter Douglas and Levolor are two of their main manufacturing partners.

Budget Blinds Collections
Budget Blinds Collections

Each Budget Blinds collection features a different theme and specialty.

For example:

  • The Smart Home Collection includes motorized window treatments with sensors for energy efficiency, programmable settings, and smartphone and voice controls.
  • The PureVu Collection features InvisibleTilt, eliminating the tilt rod and creating a clean, modern look.
  • The Shade Change Collection consists of roller shades designed with swappable shade fabric, allowing you to change the look after installation in minutes.

With Home Depot, you can shop Kirsch’s entire catalog of custom window treatments, but they also offer do-it-yourself options. In other words, you can measure, buy blinds at Home Depot, and install them on the same day.

Home Depot stores carry several brands, including Bali, Levolor, Home Decorators Collection, Hampton Bay, MyBlinds, and Veneta.

Difference 5: Wait Time

Neither Budget Blinds nor Home Depot list an official turnaround time on their websites.

So, to get an idea of how long you should expect to wait for your treatments, I called several Budget Blinds franchises and Customer Decorators (the company that does the consultations and installations for Home Depot). I also reviewed hundreds of customer testimonials.

Budget Blinds’ average wait time is around three weeks, although larger orders take longer, and issues with the supply chain and labor can affect these wait times significantly.

Custom blinds from Home Depot take significantly longer. The Custom Decorators design consultant I spoke to said most custom blinds and shades take eight weeks, but drapery and shutters can take up to twelve weeks.

That said, wait times depend on the availability of the installer, the size and complexity of your order, and where you live.

Difference 6: Installation

Budget Blinds and Home Depot both offer installation services.

As a franchise, the installation cost at Budget Blinds varies by location. In most cases, the franchise owner does everything, including the design consultation and installation.

But larger, most established franchises have an installation team or may subcontract the installation to another company. Call your local Budget Blinds to learn more about the installation process and cost.

Custom blinds from Home Depot are installed by Custom Decorators (the same company that does the design consultation).

They offer reliable installation service at a consistent, up-front price, starting at $135 for up to 10 blinds. The cost will be higher if you order additional features or services (such as removing and disposing of your old blinds).

Difference 7: Warranty

Each Budget Blinds franchise determines its warranty, with some locations offering as little as one year of protection for custom treatments. Before investing in custom blinds, call your local franchise to learn about their specific warranty terms.

Kirsch, on the other hand, offers a 10-year warranty for defects. These include issues with the materials, workmanship, or window treatment operation. Kirsch’s motorized window treatments come with a 5-year warranty from the date of purchase.

Kirsch warranty
Kirsch warranty

Difference 8: Price

It’s difficult to compare Budget Blinds and Home Depot pricing. They work with different manufacturers and sell unique products, and many individual factors can impact the price.

These factors include the material of the blinds, the size of your windows, and installation labor costs in your area.

To get an accurate idea of each brand’s pricing, get quotes by filling out these forms on BudgetBlinds.com and HomeDepot.com.

Difference 9: Common Complaints

To give you a complete picture of the Budget Blinds and Home Depot / Kirsch experience, I analyzed each brand’s common complaints and poor reviews.

Both brands received complaints regarding extended wait times. Customers complained that they were quoted inaccurate dates, and some had to wait months before their blinds arrived.

Adding to the problem, both brands were given poor ratings for customer service. Even simple issues required customers to call the service numbers repeatedly, and they experienced mixed results regarding responsiveness to questions and actionable help.

Budget Blinds repeatedly came under fire for its service quality and logistics. Experiences vary considerably by the franchise, but some locations have a reputation for inaccurate orders, damaged products, disorganized billing practices, and long wait times.

Many Budget Blinds customers also had warranty-related issues with their products, especially motorized components.

Home Depot was criticized for its overly complicated ordering and customization process, which often requires customers to play “phone tag” and place repeated calls before finding the correct department.

I’m not surprised by this complaint because the process involves three companies: Home Depot to sell, Kirsch to manufacture, and Custom Decorators to consult and install.

Many Home Depot customers also reported having issues with the cords or drawstrings on their blinds.

You can read negative and positive reviews on HomeDepot.com (scroll to the bottom), Consumer Affairs, and Trust Pilot.

FAQs About Budget Blinds and Home Depot

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Budget Blinds and Home Depot.

Can you install Budget Blinds or Kirsch blinds on your own?

Yes, but if you damage the blinds during installation, the warranty won’t cover it.

How do you remove Budget Blinds or Kirsch blinds?

The process varies depending on your blinds’ specific design, but generally, you’ll need to open the blinds fully, pop off the valance (cover) at the top, open the brackets, and unscrew any hardware connecting the blinds to the wall.

Do Budget Blinds and Home Depot repair damaged or broken window treatments?

Yes, both brands offer repair services. With Budget Blinds, you’ll need to contact the franchise that sold you the product to arrange repairs. Home Depot’s repair service is more generalized and can be accessed via any location, regardless of which store you purchased your blinds from.

What’s the best way to clean Budget Blinds or Kirsch blinds?

Cleaning traditional vinyl blinds is fairly simple. Use the soft brush attachment of your vacuum or a microfiber cloth to clean them while they hang, or you can take them down and wash them in the bathtub if they are filthy. I provide more tips about cleaning blinds in this quick guide.

Are Budget Blinds and Home Depot blinds safe for children and pets?

Generally, yes. But be mindful of dangling cords or other loose hardware when selecting your blinds, as these can become a choking or hanging hazard for young children or curious pets. If you have young children, I highly recommend cordless, child-safe blinds and shades, which both companies offer.

Where are Budget Blinds and Kirsch blinds manufactured?

Kirsch blinds are made in Woodstock, Ontario. Budget Blinds is partnered with several manufacturers, including Hunter Douglas and Levolor, so it depends on which brand you buy.

How do I get pricing for Budget Blinds and Home Depot / Kirsch blinds?

The best way to get accurate pricing is to call Budget Blinds or Home Depot and ask for a quote. You can save time by measuring your windows beforehand.

Do Budget Blinds or Kirsch blinds offer financing?

Home Depot / Kirsch provides financing in the form of Home Depot credit cards. At Budget Blinds, financing options vary by franchise.

Is Kirsch owned by Hunter Douglas?

Yes. The Hunter Douglas corporation purchased Kirsch in 2016. Hunter Douglas is a Dutch firm that specializes in blinds and window treatments.

Bottom Line: Should You Choose Budget Blinds or Home Depot?

Now that you know the key differences between Budget Blinds and Home Depot, it’s time to decide where to buy your window treatments. Before I offer my recommendation, let’s quickly recap.

  • Home Depot’s blinds company, Kirsch, has been in business for over 100 years. Budget Blinds has been in business for 30 years.
  • Every Home Depot has an in-person showroom, whereas most Budget Blinds locations only offer virtual showrooms.
  • Both brands offer in-home consultations, but there are limitations based on location.
  • Budget Blinds partners with Hunter Douglas, Levolor, and several other manufacturers, while Home Depot partners exclusively with Kirsch.
  • The average wait time for Budget Blinds is approximately three weeks, and the average wait time for Home Depot is eight weeks.
  • Budget Blinds’ warranties vary by franchise and often provide one-year coverage. Home Depot / Kirsch offers a generous 10-year warranty on all of its custom blinds and a 5-year warranty for motorized components.
  • Pricing for both brands varies significantly depending on the product you choose, the installation process, and other factors. For an accurate comparison, call both companies and get a quote.
  • Both brands have received complaints about long wait times and poor customer service.

Ultimately, the best company to buy blinds and shades comes down to product selection, availability of design consultants and installers, and price.

With Home Depot, you can visit showrooms and select from a wide variety of Kirsch custom blinds or do-it-yourself options by Bali, Levolor, Hampton Bay, and several other brands.

However, the whole experience can take longer and feel disjointed since three parties are involved (Home Depot, Kirsch, and Custom Decorators).

Budget Blinds specializes in affordable custom window treatments and offers a wide selection of private-label brands. Each franchise handles the entire process from design to installation, so you can expect a faster, more seamless experience.

However, since most franchises don’t have physical showrooms, you won’t be able to test the blinds’ functionality before buying.   

Bottom line — buying customer blinds from Home Depot and Budget Blinds is a similar process and experience. My advice is to shop both companies’ products, find a few options you like, and request quotes to compare costs and turnaround time.

Book a consultation on BudgetBlinds.com and HomeDepot.com. It’s quick, easy, and free.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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