Vertical Blinds: How to Measure and Install Them

How to Measure for Vertical Blinds

When it comes to purchasing blinds, it's easy to wind up spending more money than you had originally planned – especially if you pay for someone else to install them for you. Vertical blinds are one of the most versatile window treatments available, and with a few simple instructions, you can save yourself both time and money by installing them yourself.

In this article, we will run through everything you need to know about measuring and installing vertical blinds, right from purchasing the blinds to ensuring a perfect fit. Without further ado, let's get started!

Check out our Custom Window Shades Buying Guide here!

Your Handy Guide To Vertical Blinds

Before moving on to the measuring and installation sections, let’s discuss some factors to consider when making your purchase. There’s an incredibly wide range of options to choose from.

Types Of Vertical Blinds

First of all, it's important to understand that vertical blinds aren't a one-size-fits-all product. They come in a variety of types, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • PVC (vinyl) vertical blinds are the most popular type and are available in a huge range of colors and styles. They're also the cheapest option, and they are by far the easiest to clean – not to mention their durability.
  • Fabric vertical blinds offer a much more stylish and elegant look, and are available in a wide range of colors and textures. However, they can be a little trickier to clean, and they're not as durable as PVC vertical blinds.
  • Faux wood vertical blinds are perfect for people who want the look and feel of wood blinds but don't want to pay the high price tag. They're also very easy to clean and highly durable.
  • Metal vertical blinds are a good choice if you're looking for something that's both stylish and durable. However, they can be a little on the expensive side, and they're not as easy to clean as some of the other options. Now that you've chosen the type of vertical blinds you want, it's time to consider your budget range and preferred style.

Things To Consider Before You Buy

You've chosen a type of blinds – but don't rush into a purchase just yet! There are a few other things you need to take into account before making your decision:

  • Your budget. How much are you willing to spend on the blinds?
  • The material you want. As mentioned in the previous section, there are a few different materials to choose from. Take note of the colors and textures available in each type of material before making your decision.
  • Control style. When choosing blinds, you can generally select one of three control styles: wand, cord, or chain. Wand-controlled vertical blinds are easy to use and give you a good range of motion. Cord-controlled and chain-controlled vertical blinds are perfect if you want to be able to adjust the blinds from a distance.
  • Stack. There are three different stack options to choose from: right, left, and center. Most people prefer to have the stack on the right side of the window, as it leaves more room on the left side for furniture or other decorations.
  • Size. When you are looking at options, make sure you check their standard measurements. Vertical blinds are available in a range of sizes, but you don't want to purchase a set that's too small or too large for your window. Custom blinds may be needed if your window size falls outside of the standard range.

Vertical blinds

Are Vertical Blinds Right For You?

Although horizontal blinds are an incredibly popular window treatment option, there are a number of situations in which vertical blinds make more sense than horizontal blinds or roller shades:

  • When you want to cover a large window, but don't want the bulk of horizontal blinds
  • When you want to be able to see out of the window with optional privacy and light control
  • When you have a window that is at an angle or difficult to reach with horizontal blinds
  • If you have sliding doors or extra-wide patio doors
  • If you are looking for a budget-friendly window treatment option

However, vertical blinds are not for everyone. If you are looking for a window treatment to keep your home cool in the summer, vertical blinds may not be the best option because they do not allow as much airflow as other window treatments.

They are also less private than curtains or horizontal blinds. If you are still unsure if vertical window blinds are right for you, consider consulting with a professional window treatment specialist.

How to Measure For Vertical Blinds

Now that we've covered all of the relevant information about how to choose vertical blinds, let's move on to measuring your space.

Before You Get Started

Before you pick up the measuring tape, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always take all measurements to the nearest ⅛ inch.
  • Always keep track of which measurements you are taking.
  • Always list the width before the height measurement (W x H) in a standard format.
  • Always measure each window individually, even if they seem to be the same size.
  • Always choose a steel tape measure to take the most accurate measurements.

Measuring for Inside Mount Vertical Blinds

Inside mount blinds are installed between the window frame and the wall. They are a popular option because the mounting brackets take up very little space on the window sill. To measure for inside mount vertical blinds, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the depth of your door or window and compare it to the mounting requirements for your chosen vertical blinds. If the window isn’t deep enough to support an inside mount for your chosen window treatment, you’ll need to outside mount it or choose another window treatment.
  2. Once you have confirmed your window can support an inside mount, measure the width of the window at three locations: top, middle, and bottom. Use the narrowest of these three measurements as the width of your window.
  3. Repeat this process to measure the height of your window blinds at three locations: right, center, and left. Once again, use the shortest of these measurements as the height of your window.
  4. Submit the window measurements to the vendor for your order. Don’t preemptively take any deductions – the manufacturer will take care of these for you, so if you take deductions on the front end, you could end up with vertical blinds that are too short or not wide enough.

Measuring for Outside Mount Vertical Blinds

Outside mount blinds are installed on the wall outside of the window frame, and they require accurate measurements to ensure a proper fit. To measure for outside mount vertical blinds, take the following steps:

  1. Measure the area above your window and compare it to the blind specifications to ensure that you have enough room for a flat mount above the window. If your window or door has trim that is wide enough, you might be able to mount the blinds directly into the wood trim. Otherwise, you will have to mount them to the wall above the trim.
  2. If your window has trim, measure the width of the window from one edge of trim to the other at three locations: top, middle, and bottom. If your window doesn’t have trim, take the three measure measurements and add 2-3 inches on each side to provide enough overlap, for a total of 4-6 extra inches. Use the narrowest of these three measurements as the width of your window.
  3. If your window sill protrudes at the bottom, measure from the sill to three inches past the top of the window opening to leave enough room for mounting hardware. If the window sill doesn’t protrude, start measuring two inches below the sill, and then go three inches beyond the top of the window opening. If you’re measuring the height of a sliding glass door, measure from the floor to three inches beyond the top of the window opening.
  4. Once you’ve determined your starting and ending places, measure the height of your window at three locations: the left, center, and right of the frame. Select the shortest of the three measurements and use that as your height width measurement for the vertical blinds.
  5. Before you submit your measurements with your order, double-check that they are correct. For outside mount blinds, the manufacturer will not take deductions, so what you order is what you get. Make sure those numbers are right before you hit the “place order” button.

And that’s it – you’re ready for installation!

Vertical blinds

How to Install Vertical Blinds

After carefully and accurately taking your measurements, you'll be ready to install your vertical blinds. Let's get started!

Installing Inside Mount Vertical Blinds

For inside mount vertical blinds, follow these simple steps:

  1. Gather all your tools and unpack your blinds and mounting hardware. Carefully read all the instructions in case the blinds have special considerations you must take into account while mounting them.
  2. Your blinds likely came with a valance—i.e., wood or faux wood trim that clips onto the front of the bracket to hide the hardware. Set your bracket clips three inches from the left and right edges of the valance.
  3. Using the bracket clips as a guide, mark the starter holes for the screws with a pencil. Use a nail or a drill bit to create pilot holes for the screws. Using the screwdriver or drill, fasten the brackets to the wall using the screws that were included in your mounting hardware kit.
  4. Set the head rail of the blinds into the brackets and rotate it until it snaps into place.
  5. Now it’s time to install the vanes or slats of the blinds. Open the blinds so the clips at the top are evenly spaced and rotate them so that they face you.
  6. Gently slide the vane into the clip until it clicks into place. Repeat this process for each vane.
  7. If your blinds came with a safety clip, mount that to the wall.
  8. Test your new vertical blinds to make sure they open, close, and rotate freely.

Installing Outside Mount Vertical Blinds

If your blinds are outside mount, follow these simple steps:

  1. Measure from where you want the bottom of your blinds to hang to where the headrails of the blinds will sit. Lightly mark this height with a pencil.
  2. Center the headrail above the window or door on that mark. Measure in three inches from each end of the headrail and make a mark of that as well.
  3. Use a nail or a drill bit to create pilot holes for the screws. Using the screwdriver or drill, fasten the brackets to the wall using the screws that were included in your mounting hardware kit.
  4. Set the headrail of the blinds into the brackets and rotate it until it snaps into place.
  5. Now it’s time to install the vanes or slats of the blinds. Open the blinds so the clips at the top are evenly spaced and rotate them so that they face you.
  6. Gently slide the vane into the clip until it clicks into place. Repeat this process for each vane.
  7. If your blinds came with a safety clip, mount that to the wall.
  8. Test your new vertical blinds to make sure they open, close, and rotate freely.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed your blinds, saving both time and money in the process.


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