Measuring Windows for Blinds… an Easy Guide

Mistakes in measuring windows for blinds will be greatly reduce if you make it a habit to always follow a few basic steps.

  • Use a 1″ wide, 25 foot steel retractable tape
  • Measure in inches (to the nearest 1/8″) from left to right
  • Always measure width first, then length.
  • Measure each window separately.
  • Measure each window horizontally in three places (top, center & bottom). Record the smallest measurement.
  • Measure each window in two places vertically (2″ from left & right edges. Record the smallest measurement.

There are two ways to mount blinds – inside mount or outside mount. Inside mounted blinds are installed inside the window casing (bet you guessed that!). The minimum depth required will depend on the product you’re installing and the headrail. Information on measuring windows for a specific type of blind is usually included on a manufacturer’s website or in the product and installation guide. Outside mount blinds will mount on the casing, covering more area than the actual glass portion of the window. Simply decide how much of the casing you want to cover. If the casing isn’t flat, it will depend on where you can mount the bracket.

It is a fact of life that regardless of the age of a house or quality of the construction, windows are seldom square and will vary slightly in measurements. That is why, if you are measuring windows for inside mounted blinds, it is critical to measure in 3 places…and record the smallest measurement. If you were installing wood blinds and used the widest measurement, your blind would lower to were the window frame narrowed…and stop! It can be difficult to return a custom order blind because you made a measuring mistake. So remember what my father-in-law always says, “Measure twice, cut once”. Okay, in this case you’re not doing the cutting, but you get the idea. A little extra time spent in measuring the windows will save a lot of hassle down the line.

Measuring windows for blinds isn’t difficult. If you are measuring for a number of windows it just takes a little time and patience. Be sure to number each room and window measurement if you have multiple window sizes.

The guide below is for measuring inside mounted blinds.

Window Treatments… the Cover Story

There are a mind-numbing number of window treatments on the market today.

You may hear them referred to as hard and soft treatments.

The hard treatments (the shutters, horizontal and vertical blinds) usually satisfy the practical functions.

Those functions remain much as they were years ago, to provide light control, privacy, energy efficiency and ventilation. Think carefully about the practical functions your window coverings must provide.

Before making you decision, survey the room where you are installing them.

There is more to consider than just size, color and cost.

  • Consider how the light affects the room at different times of the day.
  • What direction are the windows facing?
  • Is there a fantastic view you don’t want to shut out?
  • Is too much sunlight hitting the big screen TV?
  • Is your new sofa or carpet going to end up faded?
  • Are all the windows in the room the same size?
  • What is the style you envision for the room?

And this is just for starters!

The Hunter Douglas Company website has a fantastic in-depth section on all the functional considerations of window treatments.

Technology has greatly advanced the window treatment industry.

The word “blinds” no longer conjures up images of your grandmother’s metal, finger-slicing Venetian blinds.

Blinds are now being created in a myriad of finishes, materials and slat sizes. Wood has surpassed metal and vinyl as a favorite. The industry has even created a faux-wood for use in high humidity areas!

Of course there are the wonderfully energy-efficient “honeycomb” blinds and elegant sheer fabric-vane shades.

A word of caution. There are blinds from hundreds of manufacturers on the market. If you are making a large investment, make sure you have asked about the warranty. It’s nice to know you can resolve a problem should one arise.

Need help measuring for blinds? Here it is!

Draperies, shades and top treatments are the soft, decorative coverings.

These are the treatments that will make a decorator’s heart beat faster! Most decorators love designing decorative treatments.

We think of the decorative treatment as the frosting on a cake. Without the frosting, it’s just a couple layers of cake sitting on the counter. Add the frosting (or in this case, the window treatment) and it pulls everything together and gives it a finished look.