How to Install Custom Shades and Blinds
Inside or Outside?
When designing your window treatments, you must first decide if you want them affixed inside or outside the window frame. As the name implies, outside mounts are installed outside the window frame, either on the window molding or just outside the casing on the wall. This is a great option if you wish to maximize sunlight, as the shade will not be directly up against the window but in front of it, allowing the light to stream through on either side for a natural appeal. If this is your preference, make sure to measure the width from the outside of the left side of window trim to the outside of the right. You can even measure a couple of inches further if you want the blinds to be installed into the wall.
The other option is installing an inside mount, which is placed inside or underneath the window casing. This, in turn, keeps the light at bay and provides a tighter and cleaner appearance. This is also more advisable if you have more ornate molding worth showing off. For this option, measure just a little bit less than the width of the window opening itself so that your blinds don’t get jammed up.
The Installation Process:
Most manufacturers will ask for the dimensions of the window you want to be treated. Once you have taken the measurements according to your preference between inside or outside mounts, your windows are ready to be dressed. Depending on the shades or blinds you choose, the installation will be slightly different, but not confusingly so. Wood blinds and faux wood Venetian are the most popular type of blind; however, horizontal shades such as cordless cellular shades, roman shades or roller shades follow an almost identical process. Most blinds will come with three brackets–one for holding the left end of the headrail, one for holding the right and one support bracket for holding the center–though this can vary if your blinds have a longer width. Hold up the end brackets evenly on both sides and pencil in where they are to be installed. The support brackets should be measured evenly between both ends. It is important that measurements are even and accurate; otherwise, you may be prone to lopsided treatments. For a cleaner job, use an electric drill to create some anchors where the pencil marks are before screwing in the brackets.
Bracket installation is by far the most tedious aspect. Once the hardware is mounted, slide the headrail into the appropriate bracket and snap it in securely. Then, attach the tilt wand to the hook so you can adjust the blinds. If a valance–the decorative piece that hides the headrail–is provided, it is usually attached by fastening the valance hooks onto the headrail and then fixing on the valance. Once this is completed, your custom blinds are ready for use.
Horizontal blinds are the perfect choice for the tall and narrow windows that make up the majority of most homes. But what about larger, longer windows, or even sliding glass doors? Because horizontal blinds only move up and down, maneuvering them out of the way just to get onto your patio isn’t ideal. Because of this, vertical blinds are the most popular window treatment for larger openings. Luckily, installation doesn’t vary greatly. Again, you must install brackets depending on your preference to inside or outside mounting, after which you slide in the headrail. The main difference in installation is that you have to fasten in the vertical panels, or vanes, onto the stems mounted into the headrail.
Window treatments are an essential part of any home. They provide the perfect balance of utility and design and have never been easier to install. So, save yourself the cost of professional installation and make your blinds a personal project you can take a step back from and be proud of.