OPEN & SHUT CASE: Budget Blinds of Eau Claire

it’s clear to see that Budget Blinds has the experience to meet your window-covering needs

Tom Giffey

Budget Blinds of Eau Claire offers a lot more than just blinds. Naturally, owner and operator Jon Sires is an expert on blinds, having spent a decade installing them for thousands of residential and commercial customers across the Chippewa Valley. But he also knows about shades, drapes, and shutters – not to mention honeycomb, Venetian, and vertical blinds, as well as the latest in motorized options.

If it involves any kind of durable, attractive, and versatile window treatments, Jon has you covered – no pun intended.

Budget Blinds of Eau Claire has been owned by Jon and his wife, Amy, for 10 years. And it’s actually been in the family longer than that: They purchased the franchise from Amy’s father, Jim Vlasak, who operated it for a decade.

Jon is dedicated to providing in-home consultation and installation to help customers beautify their homes and businesses, whether they’re remodeling or building new.

“I usually am the one asking all the questions,” Jon explains when asked how he works with clients. “I’ll just say, ‘What are you trying to do here?’... I listen to them, I ask questions, and then based off what they tell me, I get ideas.”

While there are a multitude of available win- dow treatments, choosing the right one depends on a specific customer’s needs and style.

During a consultation, Jon explains, “I don’t bring anything into the house until I know what they’re looking to accomplish: Is it sun control? Is it privacy? Is it room darkening? Is it just light-filtering? I talk to them and they tell me what they’re looking to get, and then I make recommendations.”

One ever-popular option is a honeycomb shade, which can be operated moving the top down or
the bottom up. These energy-saving options can be customized to fit whatever kind of window a customer has or can even be paired with draperies for a layered look.

Motorized shades and home automation have really surged in popularity as they have improved significantly in recent years. “They’ve gotten less expensive, quieter, and more reliable,” in part be-cause of better battery technology, Jon says.

Roller and solar shades – which help reduce glare and keep out UV rays – are also trending. Solar shades are available in many levels of opacity, Jon says, but they aren’t ideal for every window.

“The drawback to those is whatever you can see through during the day, at night when the lights are on in your house and it’s dark outside, they can see in,” he says. “If you have a busy street, you wouldn’t want that.”

With Budget Blinds of Eau Claire, this kind of expertise comes at a price lower than you might expect.

“I’m very budget-conscious, hence the name Budget Blinds,” Jon says. “I don’t try to upsell just to upsell. I try to keep budget in mind and provide a good quality product at a good price that meets the customer’s needs.”

While projects can vary widely in cost and scope, Jon says an average whole home residential job costs between $2,000 and $4,000, depending on numerous factors. But there are multiple situa- tions where the costs run lower if the customer is only doing a window or two. Once he has met with
a client, shown them samples, helped them reach a decision, and given them a quote, the process
is simple. Delivery and installation usually takes place within three to four weeks, in part because all of the manufacturers he works with are located in the US with plants all over the country, including Wisconsin.

“I strive myself on customer satisfaction, and I stand behind everything I sell,” he says. “That’s one of the biggest parts of my business, that if you have an issue, you don’t call and get forced to jump through hoops, which most of the time includes the customer removing the shade, packaging and shipping. Instead, you just call me and I come over and take care of it.”

Budget Blinds of Eau Claire

Phone: (715) 833-8921