By: Dana

So you have scoured through the endless websites, flipped through numerous design catalogs and have finally envisioned what your perfect shade or blind will look like. What’s the next step? Measuring! This will be one of the most important steps in buying your blind or shade, so don’t take it lightly. All you will need is a steel-tipped tape measure, pen, a piece of paper and depending on your window size, a friend to help you. Where you measure is going to depend on one big question: where are you mounting your blind?

If you want your blind or shade to be mounted inside your window box, you will be measuring for an inside mount. Many people prefer inside mounts, as the window trim acts as a frame for your blind or shade, creating a clean and finished look. You will need to measure the width across the top, middle and bottom of the window, measuring the exact opening size from the jam to jam, usually to the nearest 1/8”. For the height, you would repeat the same pattern, measuring from top to bottom, on the left side of the opening, down the center and to the right side. Measuring six different times for the width and height may seem a little repetitive, but in many cases, houses and buildings tend to settle and shift, making many windows and doors a little lopsided. Measuring in these different areas will give you and/or your consultant a better idea of how large to make your shade (usually taking the smallest width and longest height for an inside mount). In addition to the width and height, be sure to measure how deep our window is. The best custom-made shade isn’t worth anything if you can’t hang it up! To measure how much depth a window has, measure at the top (wear most shades will be mounted) from the part of the window pane that protrudes out into the room the most, to the edge of the opening. Keep in mind that many windows don’t have a lot of depth, so it isn’t unusual for shades to stick out from the window a little bit.

If you want your blind or shade to be mounted on the outer frame of your window, or on the surrounding wall, you will be measuring for an outside mount. This is a very convenient way to measure if you want to cover up any less than desirable looking window trim. Plus, measuring for an outside mount is almost goof-proof. You have much more wiggle room since your not trying to fit a shade inside a limited amount of space, as is the case for an inside mount. Measuring for an outside mount is similar to an inside mount, except that instead of measuring inside the window opening you will measure the width and height from the outside edge of the frame to the other. If you want to mount your window covering into the frame directly, you don’t need to do anything to these measurements. If you want to mount your blind or shade to be mounted on the wall, extend the measurements to reflect the exact size you want your shade to be. Before you put away your tape measure, remember to check for any obstructions (handles, cranks, light switches) that might interfere with the operation of your blind or shade. Follow these easy measuring strategies and you will be on your way to creating the window décor of your dreams. When all else fails and/or you would rather put your focus on the creative aspects of the design; you can always hire a professional installer or your trusted handy man to measure for you.