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How to Measure Roman Shades: Expert Tips for Accuracy

How to Measure Roman Shades: Expert Tips for Accuracy

Roman shades are a classic and versatile choice for window treatments, merging the elegance of drapery with the practicality of shades. Accurate measurements are paramount for smooth operation, optimal light control, and aesthetic pleasure. 

We're going to walk you through measuring for Roman shades, discussing the essential tools, the setup process, and decisions surrounding your mount. 

It starts with the simplest tool – a measuring tape – then, what's next? Read on to find out.



Roman Shades: A Brief Overview

How do you measure for Roman shades? Let’s first give them the limelight. 

Roman shades have long been celebrated for their timeless appeal. This classic window treatment ingeniously weds the soft elegance of drapery with the effervescent functionality of shades. 

What sets them apart are their unique pleats or folds. When a Roman shade is raised, it unfolds beautifully, creating a visually captivating layer of texture. 

There's a smorgasbord of styles to choose from – the minimalist flat, the classic hobbled, and the romantic balloon, each radiating a unique ambiance. Moreover, the aesthetic facet of Roman shades dovetails perfectly with their practical side, forming a versatility that makes them favourable in numerous interior settings. 

Some custom Roman shades offer energy-efficient features that lend a helping hand in the thermal insulation of the room, while the blackout options ensure seclusion from light interference. 

Just remember that for households with young children, there are cordless Roman shades that foster a safer environment.

Mounting Matters: Inside vs. Outside Mount

Understanding the choice of mounting – whether inside or outside – is crucial in determining the final look and function of your Roman shades and how these factors play into cost considerations. 


Each approach represents a different style and set of benefits, carrying implications on light control and privacy.

Inside Mount: Flush Appearance

Inside-mounted shades are placed snugly within the window casing, following the frame's exact measurements. Offering a tidy, flush appearance, these blend seamlessly with the window molding and showcase the frame, enhancing architectural intricacies. 

This mounting method helps illuminate the room, making it appear larger while maintaining light control. 

But as with all treatment types, you must ensure the window depth can accommodate them all – blinds, shades, and shutters. And while taking the measurement, keep in mind that you need the narrowest measurement to prevent hitches in the shade's operation.

Outside Mount: Flexibility and Coverage

If your window depth lacks sufficient space for an inside mount, outside mount Roman shades and no drill blinds would be ideal for you. 

These window treatments are fitted to the window casing or the wall around the window. This technique offers many advantages, including a broader visual of the window, concealing any possible window faults, and making windows appear taller. 

Outside mounted shades, as the name suggests, cover the entire window casing and sometimes even more. This flexibility achieves maximum light control and full coverage, even in architectural imperfections. They are also commendable for windows and doors with operational handles or levers. 

Tools and Setup: Starting on the Right Foot

Accurate measurements are the building blocks of a perfectly fitting Roman shade. Preparing for this endeavour is crucial, and here are some tips for a better setup as you measure for Roman shades:

  • Clear the surrounding area, clean the window frame, and remove any old window treatments. 
  • Recall a before picture to help you appreciate the transformation, especially the window sill upgrade. 
  • Make sure you are working in an environment with good natural light to ensure precision throughout the process.

Essential Tools

Before measuring for Roman blinds and shades, ensure you have the necessary tools, most of which might already be lying around in your house. Here's a quick rundown of what you'll need:

  1. Metal tape measure: The gold standard for accurate measurement. Unlike cloth tapes, metal tapes provide precision and are less prone to errors. When it comes to how to measure Roman shades, the first tool that should be within your reach is a metal tape measure.
  2. Pencil: A basic yet vital tool for marking. 
  3. Notepad: Ideal for documenting your progress. Jot down your measurements here as you go along, ensuring all critical numbers are recorded.
  4. Smartphone: In today's digital age, a smartphone can supplement your measuring toolbox. Whether it's to take quick reference photos or jot down measurements digitally, it can come in handy when measuring for Roman blinds and shades.
  5. Backup measuring tool: As the saying goes, two measures are better than one. A second measuring tool can be great for cross-checking figures and ensuring accuracy.

With these essential tools, you're now ready to understand how to measure Roman shades effectively and achieve a perfect fit for your windows.


Measuring for Inside Mount Roman Shades

The right measurements, especially for custom Roman shades, set the tone for the perfect window dressing. To help you learn how to install inside mount blinds and shades accurately, we’ll discuss how to measure the width and length properly. 

On a side note, if you’re thinking, “How wide can a Roman shade be?” It can go up to 300 centimetres. So, for broad windows, it's beneficial to have a helper for spots that are hard to reach.

Width Measurement

Start by measuring the top, middle, and bottom of your window. The key here is using the narrowest measurement to ensure a proper fit. Remember, window hardware can influence your measurements, so account for this in your calculations. It's also worth noting that windows are not always perfectly square. 

There could be slight variances in the width at different heights, a typical characteristic of window constructions.

Height Measurement

Just as critical, measure from the top inside edge of the window frame straight down to the window sill. This should be done in three different areas – the left, center, and right – with the longest measurement used. 

Considering getting a Roman shade lengthier than your window? Extending the length can provide a more pronounced, dramatic look. Make sure to also account for a protruding window sill, as it can impact the overall fitting of your Roman shades.

Measuring for Outside Mount Roman Shades

Measuring for Roman shades that are outside-mount represents a different approach from the inside mount. The key advantage of outside mounts is their flexibility, as the measurements can be taken beyond the window's actual dimensions. 

Widely recognized as an effective method for DIY installations, outside mounts are straightforward to implement.

Width Measurement

In measuring the width for outside mounts, extend beyond the actual window's width by a few inches. This added buffer guarantees ample coverage and superior light control. 

Consider starting and ending points that meet your aesthetic preference when marking your measurements. Wider shades can amplify the visual impact of your windows, making them appear larger. Be careful to consider any adjoining furniture or obstacles that could collide with your shades.

Height Measurement

Measure from your chosen top starting point – often above the window moulding – down to your desired bottom end. The extra height of the shade's valance or header and any overlap at the bottom should factor into this measurement. The increased height should also blend seamlessly with your room's decor. 

Don't forget to account for any baseboards or other wall features that might affect the mount.

Pro Tips and Common Measurement Mistakes

In the final stage of understanding how to measure Roman shades, we will explore some professional insights to ensure your measurements are perfect. 

  1. Headrail depth: Maintain a keen focus on the headrail's depth; it’s a detail that can significantly influence the installation process. 
  2. Full Raise Stack: Understand that the stack could obstruct your view more than you might anticipate when the shade is fully raised. 
  3. Hardware: One of the common measurement mistakes you can avoid is overlooking window handles or other hardware components. These small details can alter Roman shade measurements and disrupt a smooth installation. 
  4. Checklist: To simplify the process, prepare a checklist to keep an organized track of the steps. This will ensure no necessary tasks slip by unnoticed. 
  5. Manufacturer's Guidelines: These guidelines often contain critical tips for accurate measuring. It's beneficial to refer to them as a part of your preparatory research on how to measure windows for Roman shades. 


Ready to Redefine Your Windows?

Accurate measurements remain key in achieving the ideal fit for your Roman shades, providing the perfect balance between window depth, window sill, and the overall look you desire for your interiors. 

Whether you're aiming to install inside mount window blinds or looking for a vertical overhang with outside mounting, remember there are countless styles in varying Roman shade sizes and types. 

So, grab your measuring tape, clear your window casings, prepare your window frame, and embark on your Roman shade adventure. With the right measurements, your Roman shades will add the perfect touch to your home.

At Factory Direct Blinds, we pride ourselves on offering top-notch products and services, free samples, and free shipping. Take it from one of our satisfied customers who gave us a 5-star rating: "Directions were easy, measurements exact. Very satisfied." 

Why wait? Enjoy the ease of measurement and installation, and make your dream window design a reality today with Factory Direct Blinds!


How do you know what size Roman shades to get?

Searching ‘what size Roman shade do I need’ on the internet? Determine the size of Roman shades based on accurate measurements of your window height and width, following manufacturer guidelines.

How should Roman shades fit in the window?

Roman shades should fit snugly within the window frame for inside mounts or extend beyond the frame for outside mounts. 

How much of the window should a Roman shade cover?

Roman shades should cover the entire window glass for optimal light control and privacy.

How much room do you need for an inside mount Roman shade?

For inside mount Roman shades, you need a minimum window depth requirement stated by the manufacturer. In cases where the window isn't deep enough, you may ask, "Can Roman shades be longer than windows?" 

The answer is yes. If preferred, Roman shades can extend beyond the window length, especially for outside mounts.

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