How to Measure Windows for Blinds and Shades
No other adornment can complement a beautifully trimmed window like window shades and blinds. A carefully measured and mounted shade can really dress up an otherwise tame and unnoticeable room.
Likewise, a poorly installed shade or blind is a detraction for people with an eye for such details. This measuring guide will help you through the key steps to make sure the window shades you choose to mount are straight and attractive.
Use These Tools to Measure for Blinds and Shades
You only need two or three simple tools. No heavy machinery here. Gather a steel measuring tape, erasable marker, a 3-step ladder, and a notepad and pen. These are all you need to measure and record a straight measurement and installation for your window shades.
Make Your Mounting Choice Before Your Measurements
Two factors must be decided before making the measurements. You need to decide if you prefer the shades mounted on the inside of the window frame or on the outside. Window types or styles and how much of the window you wish to leave in view all play a role on your inside or outside mount decision.
Type of Shade and Desired Coverage
The type of shade you are mounting sometimes limit your inside or outside options. Styling and color sometimes dictate mounting locations for you. An attractive, expensive material displays much better with outside mounts so all of the material is in full view.
The amount of window concealment you wish to achieve is another pre-measurement consideration. If maximum privacy is your concern, a full window casement covering is the optimum choice. Full coverage requires outside mounting.
With these preliminary decisions made, it’s time to measure and record the exact placement for your window mounts. Gather your tools and set the ladder exactly in the middle of the first window you are to measure. Follow the instructions below for either mounting choice.
Measuring for Inside Mounts
Use this guide for both vertical and horizontal measurements.
Horizontal Inside Measurement
- Place the end of the tape in the mounting location at the top of the window frame.
- Lightly mark the location.
- Keeping the tape exactly straight, pull the tape to the other side of the window and make a light mark exactly in line with the other side of the window.
- Note the distance and record it on the notepad.
- Do the same steps at the middle of the window and at the bottom of the window and ensure your measurements match.
- If you have two or even three different measurements on the same window, take the narrowest measurement to ensure an easier fit.
- Round the measurement to the nearest 1/8th or even 1/16th.
Vertical Inside Measurement
Follow the same instructions for the vertical measurement.
- Place the tape on the top right corner and inside the frame.
- Hold one end in place and extend the tape to the bottom of the window inside the frame.
- Record this measurement.
- Repeat this process for the vertical middle and vertical right sides of the window.
You have now successfully measured your first inside mount position for shades meant to be mounted inside the window frame. Following the marked mount locations gives the straightest, most attractive mounts.
Measuring for Outside Mount Blinds and Shades
Use the same measuring and recording techniques for your outside-the-frame mounts. The major difference for the outside mounts is deciding just how far outside you want them mounted.
One helpful hint, if you are mounting outside for maximum privacy, make sure you allow enough room past the edge of the window to cover the gap created by the outside mount.
The shades are not plastered to the wall, so there is a space gap between the wall and the shade mounted in the outside position.
An intruder or otherwise unwelcome person can actually walk up to the window and see into the room through this narrow gap. Measure at least three or four inches past the sides, bottom and top of the window to cover this unwanted view gap.
Measuring For Roller and Solar Shades or Blinds
To measure for roller or solar shades or blinds, make only single horizontal and vertical measurements for inside mounts. The same holds true for outside mounts. Simple measure the outside of the window frame vertically and horizontally.
Do not adjust the measurements or make any allowances since the companies who make them for you will do that as part of customizing your order.
Measuring for Molding or Trim
Another helpful suggestion. If you want to show off the beauty of your blinds and the attractive molding and window trim, make room for that when you measure.
This, of course, means you will choose the inside mount position so that the window framing is also on display to your window admirers.