How do you cover 300 apartment complex windows with draperies and meet the insurance, licensing and budgetary requirements of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD)? You do it with a little help. If you're Deborah L. Pope, you also do it without a hitch!
Pope is a designer at Window Dressings, Maryville, TN, which offers drapery design, fabrics, wall coverings, upholstery, accessories and consultation services to the local area. She was contacted by J.R. Davis, head of maintenance for the Maryville Housing Authority. His request was to replace the draperies at Broadway Towers, a 16-story, 150-apartment residential complex built in 1985 and financed by HUD as part of the city's public housing.
Pope's first thought was of the fabric. She showed Davis 118-inch-wide, seamless fabric from ADO, Spartanburg, SC. The fabric width was an important factor because of the size of the apartment windows. At only 34 inches from top to bottom, the draperies could be made by making only two cuts per width. "As a taxpayer, I felt it was the most cost-efficient approach to the project," Pope says.
The fabric had other advantages that made it ideal for this project: it was certified flame retardant and guaranteed washable. Flame retardancy was a HUD requirement and washability at temperatures as hot as 160 degrees was a maintenance bonus. Davis estimated the most recent cleaning bill for the 300 existing draperies at $6,000. Also, ADO was able to supply the fabric-nearly 1,100 yards of it-with its EuroHem on both sides, which saved the workroom the time and cost of hemming.
After listening to Pope's suggestions, Davis requested she write the specs for the upcoming bid.
A Little Help
A job of this size cannot be handled alone. Pope's first call was to her supplier representative, B.J. Stevens. "She was instrumental in getting the details worked out," Pope recalls. The yardage was produced-on time-and sent to Anderson Fabrics, Blackduck, MN, where the draperies were fabricated. "Anderson did an absolutely perfect job in making the draperies, also remaining true to its delivery promise," she says.
Pope worked with local general contractor, Ted & L. Ed Williams, which worked to secure the proper insurance and licensing requirements for the project-a necessity when working with the government. The contractor "handled the voluminous paperwork, which also was a relief," Pope says.
Once completed, the draperies were delivered into the hands of Window Dressings' professional installers who were able to hang the 300 pairs of draperies in four days. Looking back on the project, Pope says, "It really went without a hitch!"
Project: Broadway Towers, Maryville, TN
Designer: Deborah L. Pope, Window Dressings, Maryville, TN
Fabric Supplier: ADO, Spartanburg, SC.
Fabricator: Anderson Fabrics, Blackduck, MN
General Contractor: Ted & L. Ed Williams, Maryville, TN