How To

How to Measure for Blinds


14th February 2014

Many people often fail to plan ahead when it comes to incorporating blinds into their home. The last thing you want to do is pick a size thinking it will fit – only to find when you return home that you're miles off! In actual fact it couldn't be easier to measure for new window blinds so, to avoid a lot of wasted time and money, we've put together this simple guide.

To ensure you receive a perfect fit each and every time is to you'll first need a pocket tape measure. A 3 or 5 metre tape will be more than adequate to cover the majority of window heights, widths and rebates.

There are two key types of blinds to choose from; internal and external blinds. Internal blinds are mounted inside the window recess/rebate whilst external blinds are mounted outside the recess. To make things easier we've covered the measuring/fitting of both types below.

Measuring for Internal Blinds

Internal blinds fit entirely within the window recess and commonly include roller blinds, Venetian blinds and so on. There are therefore three key measurements that you need to make with your tape measure. Remember! As always when using a tape measure make sure to take each measurement twice, writing them down to guarantee no mistakes.

  1. The width of the window recess/rebate - Use your tape measure to measure the recess from left to right. This will tell you the width of your blind/blinds. Measure in 2 to 3 places, ideally at the top, middle and bottom of the window to take into account any variations.
  2. The height of the window recess/rebate - Measure from the top of the recess to the bottom. Add at least 5cm to this measurement (to block out any light appearing around the fabric) and this will tell you the length of your blind/blinds. For shorter windows any old pocket will do for taking these measurements. However, if measuring taller windows alone you should ideally use a tape with greater standout (i.e. the length the tape can be extended without snapping/bending). A tape such as the Stanley FatMax Xtreme 5m/15ft would be ideal thanks to its incredible 4m standout. However, for taking internal measurements why not consider an internal measurement tape such as the Advent Vice Versa Dual Read Tape? As above, make sure you measure at 2 or 3 places.
  3. The position of the bracket - With internally mounted blinds the bracket can frequently be screwed into the top of the recess or onto the top of the window frame itself. This obviously depends upon the surface to which you're drilling into... Certain surfaces (such as plasterboard etc.) may require a special type of plug/connector. If you're under any doubt whatsoever consult the blind's manufacturer or a professional. 

Measuring for External Blinds

External blinds sit outside the window recess and commonly include roman blinds, London blinds, Austrian blinds and the like. Once again, there are three important measurements to be taken using your trusty tape measure.

  1. The position of the bracket - It's important to measure this first as this helps determine the length of your blind. When fitting many externally mounted blinds (including roller blinds - the most commonly fitted type) the bracket can often be fitted to the wall approximately 4 to 5 centimetres above the window recess. Externally mounted Venetian blind brackets can frequently be installed at a similar height but, as with all blinds, be sure to check with a professional or the manufacturer to before taking our word for it.
  2. The width of the blind - Measure the width of the recess from left to right adding at least 5cm onto each side. This will help to block the light from outside once the blinds have been fitted. Once again, as with all measurements here, make sure you measure twice and at at least 2-3 different positions (top, middle and bottom).
  3. The length of the blind - Measure the height of the recess making sure to add on at least 5cm at the bottom (to keep the light out) and the distance to the top of the bracket. Remember, with roller blinds, it's always worth adding a little extra length just to make sure. Better safe than sorry!

Useful Tips

If you're not completely confident at fitting blinds yourself it's always best to call in a competent DIY enthusiast who is or, alternatively, hire a professional. Blinds and curtains can be a focal point for any room - get them wrong and the results can leave a lot to be desired!

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