Window blinds have been around since the late 1700s and since then, they’ve quickly become commonplace fixtures in every home and office, bringing a wide range of benefits with them. Thanks to window blinds and shades, your home or workspace is shielded from damaging UV rays that can ruin interiors. They add character to any room and can complement the rest of your interior decor. Energy efficiency is yet another benefit; modern-day blinds, especially cellular shades, are designed to have better insulation, thereby keeping heat out during hot days and keeping the warmth inside during the wintertime. Furthermore, with well-fitted blinds, you can control how much light gets into the room at any time of the day.
Today, manufacturers of blinds and shades create their products in a wide range of sizes or offer customizable options. This means that buyers have the opportunity to get perfectly-fitted window treatments. If you’re wondering how to accurately measure your windows so that you can get the customizable blinds or shades that your home/office deserves, then you’re in the right place. Here are some helpful tips on how to measure window blinds or shades.
Determine Whether You Need Inside or Outside Mounted Blinds
Outside Mount Blinds or Shades
Outside mount blinds or shades are those that are installed outside of the window frame. By positioning the bracket of the blinds or shades a bit higher, it can create the illusion of taller windows. There are other cases wherein outside mounts are the best option, such as:
- If you desire to have shades or blinds that are slightly larger than your windows for a maximum blackout effect
- If you would like to cover one or more windows with just one large window treatment
- If the window frame does not have enough depth to support the bracket of the blinds or shades that you want to buy
- If the bracket of the window blinds or shades does not horizontally fit in the window frame
When installing outside-mounted blinds or shades, the brackets are typically screwed to the wall above the window frame. If there isn’t enough space for the brackets on the wall (as commonly seen in larger windows), most brackets have holes that allow them to be securely screwed to the ceiling instead – however, this option is not as widely recommended.
Inside Mount Blinds or Shades
Inside mount blinds or shades are those that are installed on the top portion inside the window frame. Inside mounts give your windows a clean look and won’t obstruct any ornamental mouldings on your wall.
When installing an inside mount, the brackets of the blinds/shades are either fastened to the top surface or top sides of the window frame.
Avoid These Errors That Compromise the Accuracy of Measurements
Whether you are measuring for inside mounts or outside mounts, make sure to avoid these errors that can give you false measurements:
- Measuring old blinds instead of the window or window frame itself
- Assuming all similar-looking windows are of uniform size (they usually are not)
- Using a soft measuring tape (these are not as accurate as steel measuring tapes)
- Bending the steel measuring tape along the corner (this affects the accuracy of the measurement)
How to Measure Window Blinds for Outside Mounts
Determining the size for outside mount blinds or shades can be based on your preferences. Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Measure the Space Available for the Bracket of Your Outside Mount
To ensure that you can fasten your blinds or shades on the wall above your window, measure the total available space (the length and width) using a steel tape measure. Note this measurement for reference.
2. Measure Your Preferred Width for the Blinds
You can either get the exact width of the top of the window or add one to two inches extra if you want a maximum blackout effect from the blinds or shades.
Note: For windows that are side-by-side, if you choose to add extra inches on the widths of the blinds, make sure that there is an allowance of one to two inches in between. This way, the blinds or shades won’t overlap.
3. Measure Your Preferred Height for the Blinds
For outside mount blinds, you have freedom regarding where you want your brackets to be fastened. By putting the brackets slightly higher, you will be able to create the illusion of having taller windows. This trick works best with horizontal shades that are thicker and not too translucent.
Measure the height between where the brackets should begin and the lowest edge of the window. Then, add two to three inches to this measurement.
4. Choose Window Blinds/Shades That Fit Your Preference
Now that you have your preferred height and width measurements, you can look for products that fit your preferred aesthetic. Since heights and widths for outside mount blinds are partly based on preference, you can make any needed adjustments to accommodate a specific product that you want. Additionally, pay close attention to the size of the brackets and the size of your available space which we measured in step 1.
How to Measure Window Blinds for Inside Mounts
Successfully getting window measurements for inside mount blinds or shades depends on accuracy. Make sure to follow these steps:
1. Measure the Depth of the Window Frame
Using a steel measuring tape, get the depth of your window frame from the edge of the window’s surface to the edge of the window frame itself. Note down this measurement for reference.
2. Get the Width of the Window Frame
Next, get the width of the window frame from the topmost part where the bracket will be attached. Don’t rely on the measurement at the bottom or middle of the frame because most windows are not uniformly sized all throughout.
3. Get the Height of the Window
Then, get the height of the window frame from three points: the beginning, the middle, and the end of the frame. Get the tallest of the three measurements. You can add an extra one to two inches to this for added coverage.
4. Choose Inside Mounted Window Blinds/Shades That Fit Exactly
Due to the fact inside mounted shades or blinds need to fit perfectly, the best option is to find manufacturers that allow you to have custom-made blinds or shades. When filling out an order form, fill in the width and height that you need for your window. Make sure to indicate that the window blinds/shades you are ordering are for inside mounts.
Additionally, look at the dimensions of the bracket. Typically, you can find this in the product specifications or you can message the manufacturer directly. You need to make sure that it fits the depth of your window frame.
Custom-Made Windows at Clera Windows + Doors
That’s it for our guidelines on how to measure window blinds or shades! Which of these tips was the most helpful for you? At Clera Windows + Doors, we offer a wide variety of customizable windows for your home, office, or commercial building. If you have any questions regarding this blog, our team of installation experts can happily guide you through measuring your windows for the perfect blinds or shades!