Installing Blinds and Shades: How to Measure Properly

So, you’re decided on a style of window treatments for your home. Now it’s time to order them! The first step before doing so is to properly measure the area they are going to be installed in.

No two windows are alike, so it’s extremely important to measure them properly. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Note that the following instructionsonly apply to the most common window treatments such as wood blinds, faux wood blinds, mini blinds, roman blinds, roller shades, solar shades, sheer shades, cellular shades, and woven wood shades.

Get the right tools

To get the most out of your measurements, it’s important that they are accurate. The most crucial tool to ensure this is a steel measuring tape. Don’t use cloth or other types.

Decide on amount

Generally speaking window treatments can be mounted in one of 2 ways – inside mount and outside mount. You need to decide which one you’re using before doing your measurements.

In most cases, an inside mount is preferable – it looks cleaner. However, if your window doesn’t have any depth to it, you will have to go with an outside mount. Outside mounts are larger and cover the entire window frame. You can find the minimum inside mount depth required by checking the specifications of your product.

How to measure for inside mounts

  1. Measure width

Measure the width of your window’s inside frame at the top, middle and bottom. Find the narrowest of these measurements. That will be the width you use when you order your product.

  1. Measure height

Measure the height from the window sill to the top of the window opening 3 times – from the left, center and right. Find the tallest of these measurements. That will be the height you’ll use to order your window treatment.

How to measure for outside mounts

You’re going to basically repeat the steps used for inside mounts with a few differences.

  1. Measure the width

Generally speaking, outside mount blinds or shades can bemounted in one of 2 ways – on the trim around your window, or on the wall above the window.

If you’re mounting to the window trim, measure the width of the top trim.

If you’re mounting to the wall, then you just need to measure the width you’d like the blinds or shades to be. This is flexible, but it’s typically recommended to add 2 or 3 inches to the width of the window opening.

  1. Measure the height

Depending on the type of window sill, measure the height starting at the sill and up to 3 ½” beyond the top of your window if it’s protruding. If the sill is not protruding, start the measurement 2 or 3 inches below the window opening and add 3 ½” to the top.

When to call the pros

This handy guide will help you take the right measurements yourself. However, in some cases you might want to call a professional to help you out.

Reach out for help if you have a lot of windows, windows that are out of reach or oddly shaped. Also, if you are ordering unusual styles of window coverings like plantation shutters, make sure to get help from a window covering expert. It will save you a lot of stress and headaches down the road.