Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vent Cover Shopping Made Easy: A Check List Approach to Purchasing Decorative Floor and Wall Vent Covers

I find myself increasingly dependent on simple check lists that I create to accomplish tasks. Creating check lists helps me organize and clarify my needs and objectives while checking items off my list serves to measure my progress. I am such a believer in the value of maintaining lists that I find myself encouraging others to do the same. Not surprisingly, I recommend creating check lists to our customers as a wise first step towards successfully completing their home renovation project. I advocate creating multiple small lists, one for each phase or series of related purchases, rather than a single large list that encompasses your entire project.

Purchasing decorative vent covers as part of your home renovation project provides an excellent example of how first compiling a simple list helps ensure that the process goes smoothly. Shopping for vent covers is a fun process as there are so many unique vent cover grille styles to choose from. However, care should be taken to make sure that the vent covers you choose also meet your requirements and this is where creating a detailed shopping list can really payoff. Below are a few simple pointers to help create a vent covers shopping list:

1. Organize Your List by Room
I recommend initially organizing your vent cover shopping list by room rather than by vent cover size or style. Taking a moment to confirm your renovation project’s scope, specifically rooms affected, will help ensure that your vent cover shopping list will be complete and thus avoid any future delays or added costs caused by having to place additional subsequent orders.

2. Perform a Room-by-Room Inventory
Next, take a room-by-room inventory of the size, location, and type of all of the vent ducts that will be included in your renovation project and compile a vent cover shopping list noting the following details.

Vent Cover Size
Take measurements of the dimensions of each duct as this will determine the size required for the vent cover. Vent covers are made and sold to fit a specific size of vent duct opening. Therefore, it is the size of the opening that generally is more important than the overall dimensions of the vent cover’s decorative grille. Resist the urge to make assumptions about vent duct sizes as a short cut to making specific measurements of each vent opening. In some situations the size of the vent cover’s grille may also become a factor. The overall size of the decorative grille is always longer and wider than the duct opening so you will also want to consider possible obstructions near the duct opening that may limit the overall size of the vent cover grille.

Vent Cover Location
Vent covers can be on floors, walls, ceilings and along baseboards. Vent covers for vent ducts located on walls and ceilings require screw holes for mounting whereas those that cover vent ducts on the floor generally do not require screw holes. Additionally, aluminum vent covers are popular choices for wall and ceilings because they are lighter than cast iron, brass and bronze vent covers. Baseboard vent ducts require special vent covers which are typically referred to as baseboard registers, which mount to a wall but extend out on to the floor.

Vent Cover Type
Most homes have two types of vents and there are vent cover designs specifically for each type. Forced air ducts release air from your furnace and/or air conditioner into a room and are typically covered by register vent covers. Register vent covers, commonly referred to as heat registers, have louver assemblies (or dampers) attached to their decorative grille. Louver assemblies can be adjusted to direct and control air flowing from the duct. The second type of duct is return air ducts and they are typically covered by air return grilles. Return air ducts simply draw cold or hot air from a room and therefore air return grilles, commonly referred to as cold air return grilles, do not have attached louver assemblies. Although most vent cover grille designs are offered as both heat registers and return air grilles, large vent covers are typically only offered as return air grilles. The Vent Covers department of the Shop 4 Classics website has separate product categories for Heat Registers and Cold Air Return Covers.

3. Review Your Vent Cover Shopping List
Once you’ve completed your list, it is a good practice to take at least an hour break and then review your list once more before placing an order. Perform a room-by-room second count to ensure that no vent was overlooked during the first count. This is also a good opportunity to consider the style and finish of vent covers that will work best in each room. Generally speaking, the vent cover’s grille style should complement the room’s furnishings and its finish should coordinate with other hardware and accent items within the room.

4. Placing Your Vent Cover Order
There are a couple of money saving opportunities to remember when placing your Shop 4 Classics vent cover order. First, Shop 4 Classics provides free shipping on all orders of $100 or more from a single manufacturer. Free shipping is automatically applied at check out when the total order of a given manufacturer’s products is at least $100 regardless of whether the order consists of a single type items, like vent covers, or a combination of items, like a combination of vent covers and cabinet hardware. Shop 4 Classics also has 5% and 10% hardware coupons for hardware orders of $500 and $1,000, respectively. Like free shipping, these coupons apply on a per manufacturer basis. The “HARDWARE5” or “HARDWARE10” coupon code must be entered during the checkout process to earn these additional instant savings.

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