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How to measure for blinds

Date posted: 14 November 2013

If you want to buy and fit new blinds on your windows, and are planning to measure up yourself, always take the measurements twice to be absolutely sure they are right. You will waste both time and money if you measure incorrectly and have your blinds made or cut down to the wrong size.

To measure and fit the blind you will need a number of tools including a ladder, a metal tape measure, a spirit level and power tools such as a drill. If you don't have all the equipment you need, call your local tool hire centre.

First you will need to decide if the blind is going to be fitted inside the window recess, or outside of it. The types of blinds that can all be fitted inside or outside the window recess include Roman blinds (those which fold into flat pleats), London blinds (which have soft pleats), and Austrian blinds (the ruched/ruffled sort). These will be attached to specialist tracks or to a batten. Both Roman and London blinds need to be bought or made at exactly the right size if they are going to be fitted inside a recess, while Austrian blinds have more flexibility because they can be gathered at the top to alter the width.

Measuring to fit a blind inside a window recess

If your window has a deep recess, you can achieve a neat finish by fitting the blind inside the recess. The recess will need to be at least 7.5cm deep in order to accommodate the operating mechanism, however, and you also need to make sure that the recess is not obstructed in any way (by furniture, etc) so that the blind can hang freely when it is fully extended.

Using a ladder if the window is high enough to demand it, and a metal measuring tape, measure the width of the recess in three different places. This allows for any slight variation or irregularity in your windows. Note down the smallest measurement of the three you take, to the nearest millimetre.

Follow the same process to measure the length, from the top of the recess down to the windowsill.

Measuring to fit a blind outside a window recess

If you are going to hang your blind outside the window recess, decide how far you want the fabric to overlap on all sides. Blinds usually look best with an overlap of at least 4.5-5cm on each side to help block out light. If the window has wide mouldings, however, you could measure up so that the final blind will be flush with the edges.

Using a metal tape measure, carefully take the measurements for the width, including the required overlap, to the nearest millimetre. If you are fitting roller blinds, add an extra 38mm to allow for the operating mechanism. Measure the length to allow for the full extended drop you require and again note down the measurements to the nearest millimetre.

Once you have your blind made or cut to size, you will also need a spirit level and power tools to fit the blind properly. Check out another of our articles, “Choosing and fitting a blind”, to find out about how to trim your blinds to size; put up brackets correctly; and hang your new blind.

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