It’s tough choosing the right window treatments. Not only do you have to compare all the options, but you also want to do your home justice with this finishing touch.
And that’s why we’ve put together this two-part guide to help you feel good about it. Here’s Part 1:
First of all, take a look at the shape of the window and decide whether horizontal or vertical blinds are better. Vertical blinds are better suited for windows that are both wide and very tall. If that’s what your windows are like, you can jump straight to the “Measuring the window frame” section below.
Horizontal blinds open up a lot more design options for you. By the time you go through all the following sections though, you’ll have narrowed them down a lot. For other irregular-shaped windows like bay windows or arched windows, call your blinds manufacturer for advice.
Inside or outside mount
Window treatments can also be divided into the way they’re mounted over your windows. Inside mounts are installed within the window frame dimensions while outside mounts are hung outside the window frame.
Inside mounts are efficient for blocking light and – in the case of cellular blinds – insulation. They’re also better style-wise since your window lines will look a lot cleaner. Outside mounts are usually chosen when the window frame is not deep enough for an inside mount or if the window has protruding handles. Outside mounts are also used for vertical blinds.
Measuring the window frame
Now comes the custom tailoring for your window. Rather than using a tailor’s tape measure though, get a retractable steel one for more exact measurements. How you measure your window depends on whether you’re going with an inside or outside mount.
Even if you think your window frame is deep enough for an inside mount, it’s best to know for sure. Every blinds or shades design has a minimum depth requirement, which will help you figure out the right fit for your window. To get the correct depth of the window frame, measure from the window glass to the interior side of the wall.
For the window frame width, start at the top edge of the window frame. Measure from the left inside edge of the window frame to the right inside edge. You can round the measurement off to the nearest 1/8 “. Repeat this for the middle part and the bottom inside edge of the window frame. Then keep the shortest of the three measurements. This will make sure you get window coverings that fit within the window frame even if it’s not perfectly square. That’s more common than you can imagine – especially in older houses!
Next up is the height. Start at the left edge of the window frame. Measure from the top inside edge of the window frame down to the window sill surface and round to the nearest 1/8 “. Do the same for the middle part and the right inside edge of the window frame. Keep the tallest measurement of the three.
For outside mounts, you need extra material to account for higher mounting brackets and enough coverage past the window frame edges. You also need to make room for any decorative moulding. If there is moulding around your window frame, ask us for help on how much to pad your measurements by.
Starting with the window frame width, measure from the left inside edge to the right inside edge and add 6 “ to the measurement. Use this padded measurement to give you enough width for your blinds or shades to fully cover the window opening.
The height is a little trickier. Measure from the top inside edge of the window frame down to the window sill surface. If the window sill doesn’t jut out at the bottom, add 6 – 7 “ to the window frame height; if it does jut out, add 3 – 4 “.
With the technical side of things taken care of, it’s time for the aesthetics. Find out more in Part 2!