You can purchase blinds in many different styles and colors and new window blinds will give your room a great new look for a relatively low cost.
Most people are familiar with horizontal blinds traditionally used to cut sunlight this type of blind is normally installed on single windows or can be mounted together to cover openings with more then one window.
For larger openings vertical blinds work well for sliding glass doors and bay windows where a single horizontal blind would be too heavy to lift.
You can also purchase window shades that are normally made of a mold resistant fabric that rolls up to allow sun in but when pulled down can cut up to 98% of the light that comes through your window.
Inside or Outside mounted blinds which is best?
There are basically two different ways that you can mount blinds and shades.
Inside mount blinds sit within the window well opening and attach to the sides. You will need enough room within the window opening to mount the blind so that it can operate correctly while remaining within the window well.
Outside mount blinds and shades mount to the exterior surface or molding of the window opening. They are somewhat easier to install but you may find that they are more prone to damage.
Each blind will come with minimum clearances to help you measure if you can use your bind inside or outside of your window.
Measuring for inside Mounted Blinds
Measuring for the size of the blind that you need should be done in three places along the vertical and horizontal surfaces of your window opening.
Measure on the left, right and center then average that distance to the nearest 1/4 inch.
Measure on the top, bottom and center of the window opening and then average that distance too.
Make sure that you measure each window independently and number windows or draw a floor plan layout when you are recording your measurements.
If one window opening is slightly bigger or smaller the person at the store can cut a blind to match the opening.
Measuring for Outside Mounted Window Blinds
Measuring for outside mounted window blinds is slightly harder then measuring for inside mount blinds.
First you should take the rough inside measurement of your window and record that measurement.
Then you want to measure at least 1 – 1/2″ larger around the window opening to make sure the blind is large enough to efficiently block the light.
If you have wood moldings around the window you can pick a larger blind to cover the molding.
Selecting the correct size blind to purchase
Blinds come in different standard sizes to match the standard sizes of windows on the market. Normally you can purchase a blind that will closely match your opening without the need to have the blind cut at the store.
For Horizontal Blinds you will normally cut the width of the blind and allow the excess length to be stored. If you do have the size adjusted remember to get the blades they remove so you can repair your blind later if you happen to damage it.
If you have a non standard size that you need to use then you will need to pick the next larger size blind and have it cut at the store.
Both Shades and Blinds can be cut but some materials cut easier then others.
Custom blinds should be ordered to the exact size of the opening and if they are expensive then you may need a sales person to take the measurements in your home for you. This is common in stores that only sell blinds and general merchandise stores may not be able to cut your blinds or make measurements.