The Installation Guide: How to Install Roller Shades

The Installation Guide How to Install Roller Shades
A stylish window treatment option, roller shades offer versatility and customizability, making them an excellent choice for any room. Roller shades come in corded or cordless styles, so they are easy to operate. They can be made from multiple materials, offering slight light diffusion or completely blocking out light. 


Roller shades are straightforward to install, taking less than 30 minutes once you know the steps. You don’t need any fancy tools to get started, either. You likely have everything you need already in your home repair toolbox. Here’s everything you need to know to install roller shades yourself.  

Gather Your Materials

Streamline the task of installing your roller shades by gathering the right tools for the job in advance. In addition to the parts included with your blinds, you only need a few basic tools to install roller shades successfully. 

Before you begin, make sure you have a drill, drill bits, a tape measure, a pencil, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. A step stool or ladder is necessary if you can’t comfortably reach the top of your window frames. 

You should also keep any instructions from the manufacturer to reference while you work. While the installation of most roller shades is similar, your particular manufacturer might have some suggestions to make the installation process go more smoothly.

How to Install Inside Mount Roller Shades

How to Install Inside Mount Roller Shades

The mount location of your window blinds should have been determined before ordering your shades. Inside mount roller shades are narrower than outside mount shades since they attach to the inside of the window frame. They provide a clean and finished look, which makes them a popular installation type. 

Place Your Brackets

Each roller shade should come with two brackets that hold the shade in place. Be careful when measuring the location for your brackets, as slight errors can make the blind uneven or difficult to adjust. 

Brackets should be placed at least ¼ inch away from the window to allow the shade to move freely up and down. Leave at least ¼ inch from the top of the window frame to the top of the bracket to ensure the shade fits when rolled all the way up. 

Mark the location for your bracket with a pencil. You’ll want to mark the location for the corner of the bracket, as well as the locations for the attachment screws. If you have one, a laser level can confirm both the right and left brackets are placed correctly. 

Mount Your Brackets

You can make installing your brackets easier by pre-drilling holes into your window frame. Use the pencil markings to guide where to drill or hold up the bracket in the correct position to drill through the screw holes.

Some roller shades have brackets that are right side or left side only. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine which brackets need to be mounted to which side. Inside mount brackets should be installed with the slotted bracket’s opening facing the ceiling. Once you have the correct bracket, secure it to the wall using the included fasteners.

inside mount roller shades

Insert the Shade

After your brackets have been properly secured to the window frame, you can pop the roller shade into place. Insert the pin end of the shade into the bracket first. Then place the roller shade in the slot of the opposite bracket and secure it into place, ensuring the cord hangs straight down. 

Install the Safety Cord Guide

Your safety cord guide can be placed on the inside or outside of the window. It keeps the cord in place and ensures your roller shade functions properly. 

Place the cord guide at a level where the cord hangs loosely within the guide. Do not apply tension to the chain; this could damage the cord control bracket. If installing the safety cord guide into drywall, you may need to use anchors to create a secure attachment. 

Once you have marked the level for the safety cord guide, you can secure it to the wall or window frame. Insert the two screws through the holes in the base of the cord guide.  

You should now be able to open and close your newly installed roller shade without obstruction.

Reverse Roll Blinds

Inside mount roller shades have the option of being a reverse roll. This means the window shade fabric rolls off the front of the roller, closer to the inside of the room, instead of the back of the roller, closer to the window. 

When installing reverse roll blinds, the bracket installation may be different than for standard shades. The opening on the slotted bracket should face toward the window instead of away from it. Pay attention to any diagrams included in the manufacturer’s instructions to help you install your brackets correctly the first time. 

Roller Shades Are Easy to Install All by Yourself

How to Install Outside Mount Roller Shades

How to Install Outside Mount Roller Shades

Outside mount blinds cover your entire window, offering complete privacy and maximum sun protection. This type of mounting is a great choice for traditional bathroom blinds and bedroom blinds. Installing outside mount roller shades follows the same basic steps as inside mount blinds. 

Place Your Brackets

You have more flexibility for where you place outside mounted blind brackets. You can install them on the outer edge at the top of the window frame or even slightly above the window frame. It’s important to use the same approximate location you used when measuring your window to order your blinds. You don’t want a slight change in bracket placement to result in a small gap at the bottom of your blinds. 

Measure the location for the right and left bracket, making sure your pencil marks are even. Outside mounted brackets should be attached at least ¼ inch from the wall to ensure the blind can move freely. If you aren’t attaching your brackets to the window frame, double-check that the distance between them will fit your roller shade. 

Mount Your Brackets

Your brackets may need anchors or alternative fasteners if your brackets are being mounted into brick, aluminum or concrete. Pre-drill holes for anchors and install them before the brackets if they are needed. For standard materials and brackets, pre-drilling holes makes it easier to insert your screws. 

Paying attention to specific right and left side brackets, hold your bracket to your measured and market location. Then attach the bracket to the wall or window frame using the provided fasteners and screws. The bracket will face the same way as an inside mounted bracket, with the slot opening to the ceiling. 

outside mount roller shades

Insert the Shade

You can now snap your roller shade into the properly secured brackets. Take note of the different ends of the roller shade. Insert the side of the shade with a retractable plunger into the bracket with a pinhole first. The opposite end of the shade should line up with the slot opening. Slide the shade down into place. 

Attach the Safety Cord Guide

The safety cord guide keeps the cord in place for corded roller shades, helping maintain proper blind functionality. The safety cord guide is designed to be flexible and can be installed at any angle inside or outside the window opening. 

Mark the location for the cord guide, keeping the cord or chain loose and free of twists. Then attach the guide to the wall by securing two screws through the holes in the cord guide. 

Install Bracket Covers

The brackets of outside mounted roller shades are exposed. Some manufacturers will include bracket covers to improve the appearance of blinds by hiding the brackets. If your blinds include bracket covers, install them by sliding directly onto the bracket until they click into place. 

Your outside mounted roller shade is now installed. Test everything is working properly by moving the shade up and down a few times. 

Cordless roller shades

Installing Cordless Blinds

Cordless roller shades offer a clean and finished look for your window treatments. Many individuals looking at new window treatments want to know how to install cordless blinds. These blinds can be installed with either inside mount or outside mount brackets. However, you need to follow a couple of additional steps to ensure your cordless shades work properly. 

Adjust Spring Tension

Most cordless blinds rely on a spring motor to provide reliable movement. This spring requires the proper tension to function correctly. Many manufacturers adjust the spring tension before shipping their products, but the effects of transportation and unpacking can negatively affect it. Whenever you are installing cordless blinds, pay particular attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding spring tension. 

The tension on the spring in your cordless roller shades can be too loose or too tight. A spring without enough tension is too loose, and the window shade may refuse to roll up. If your window shade won’t stay down, the spring is likely too tight, and you need to reduce the tension. 

To increase the tension in your roller shade, simply pull the shade down about 18 inches. Then pop the roller shade bar out of the brackets with the shade partially unrolled. Once it’s out of the brackets, roll the shade up completely by hand and place it back into brackets. Test the window shade to see if the spring now has enough tension. The process can be repeated as many times as necessary. However, over-winding the spring may result in permanent damage to the shade. 

If you need to decrease the tension in your roller shade, start by removing the shade from the brackets. Unroll about 18 inches and let the material hang down while you place the shade back into the brackets. Test the tension by rolling the shade up and down. If the shade still has difficulty staying down, remove it from the brackets again and repeat the process. 

Correct an Uneven Roll

It’s frustrating when your cordless blinds won’t roll up evenly. A common reason for a shade that does not roll straight is unevenly mounted brackets. If you have double-checked to make sure your brackets are mounted level and your shade still rolls unevenly, placing a simple shim can solve the problem. 

Lower your blind completely. If your shade veers to the right when rolling or unrolling, place a small piece of tape as close to the left edge as possible. This will act as a shim to help the shade roll straight. Place the tape on the opposite side for a shade that veers to the left when rolling. Test the roller to see if the tape has fixed the issue. If the shade still rolls unevenly, place another piece of tape on top of the first piece of tape. Keep adding layers of tape until the shade rolls evenly. 

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Maintaining Your Blinds

Roller blinds are just as easy to maintain as they are to install. Once you have installed your new blinds, keep any manufacturer instructions and extra parts in a safe place. They might come in handy if you ever need to make repairs in the future.

Maintaining your blinds

Keep your blinds looking as good as the day you installed them by cleaning them regularly. You can dust your blinds with a standard duster or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. 

For more persistent dirt and grime, wash your blinds gently with a sponge, cloth or soft brush. Use warm or cold water, rather than hot, to prevent damage. You can place a mild detergent in the water to increase the cleaning power. When washing your blinds, protect your window sill and flooring by placing towels on the floor. Once you’ve finished cleaning your roller shades, leave them in the down position for at least 72 hours to dry. This prevents wrinkles and creases.

Every Room Deserves Great Blinds

Roller shades elevate the style in any room. Made from high-quality, durable materials, the selection of roller shades at Factory Direct Blinds can give you the privacy you need and help manage your home’s comfort level. Clear instructions make installing blinds easy, even if you’ve never done it before. Explore our full range of blinds online or contact Factory Direct Blinds at 1-800-355-2546 to speak with our customer support staff for more information on blind installation or maintenance. 

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