Whether you need a slight interior refreshment or you have just moved into a new home, blinds are the perfect way to customise your space, control the amount of light that gets inside the room, and even increase your home’s energy efficiency. However, blinds fitting is a decision that comes with a certain investment, so you want to get it right the first time.

But what are the main problems that homeowners face when making the decision to install new blinds?

  • Is inside or outside the window frame the right option for my windows?
  • What type of blinds suits the room best – what are the pros and cons of each type? 
  • How to take the right measurement and order the blinds that will fit perfectly?
  • How to install my new blinds?

First of all, let’s see what are the different types of blinds available on the market.

Table of Contents:

Blinds types:

Venetian blinds

Venetian blinds have horizontal slats and are often made of metal such as aluminium, wood, or plastic. They are operated by a cord and give you the option to draw them completely open to the top of the window, or you can leave them down but tilt the slats open up to 180 degrees to allow light through. Also, there are cordless Venetian blinds, designed to add an extra level of security for homes with young children and pets.

Venetian blinds are a great alternative to curtains and can create a stylish and modern look within your home. For a more contemporary feel, you can choose aluminium Venetian blinds. The strong material will not rust or bend, making these blinds ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.  

These blinds can be found in a wide variety of colours to match your décor and style preferences.

Pros:

  • Available in aluminum for a modern and clean look and wood for a more natural atmosphere.
  • Both materials look stylish, elegant and timeless and match perfectly with any home decor.
  • Provide excellent light control by partially or fully closing the slats.
  • Easy to clean
  • Child and pet safe
  • Motorisation options are available
  • Venetian blinds can be installed inside and outside the recess.

Cons:

  • The wooden Venetian blinds are not suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • The aluminium Venetian blinds can be very thin and this may lead to easy bending.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds are made up of flat slats which, when drawn, can be tilted to allow light to filter through. They are easy to operate, drawing to the side rather than lifting or lowering.

A good choice for doors and windows that slide open from side to side, French windows, patio doors, or angled windows.

tip


To create a balanced look, it’s a good idea to choose blinds in a similar colour to the window trim.

Pros:

  • Ideal for large windows, patio glass-doors and windows.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • Blackout and motorisation options are available.
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • They can be easily pulled off the small hooks if you push or pull them too hard or if you have pets.

Roman blinds

Roman blinds are designed to work by raising and lowering a series of panels. They can be top or face fixed to walls or window frames. They can visually enlarge your windows if installed a little higher above the windows. This will give an impression of higher windows, which is a nice visual effect for small spaces.

As they are made from soft fabrics, they are not suitable for bathrooms and rooms with a high level of moisture. Roman blinds are very effective in blocking sunlight which makes them useful for bedrooms or nurseries where sleeping in a calm atmosphere is a priority. 

Pros:

  • The wide variety of fabrics available makes it easy to find the perfect match for your interior and they fold elegantly when they are raised up.
  • Available in Wood Weave & Blackout.
  • As the Roman blinds are most commonly fitted outside the recess, they provide full coverage over the window and increase your privacy.
  • They are child and pet safe.

Cons:

  • Even when they are up, the fabric stack can partly block your view and reduce the amount of sunlight streaming in.
  • They don’t offer the flexibility of being partly opened or closed as the Venetian blinds do. Roman blinds are either up or down.
  • They are not suitable for rooms with high levels of moisture or kitchens where the different scents from the cooking food can get inside the fabric.

Roller blinds

Roller blinds offer a minimalistic look as they roll up neatly and don’t block the clear view. They can provide full privacy and improve the energy efficiency of your home.

If you choose this type of blinds, keep in mind that the cloth is always narrower than the bracket. This means that there will always be areas of glass that aren’t covered fully by the blinds.

If you choose sunscreen roller blinds, they can protect your furnishings from UV rays, glare, and heat.

If you need a blackout option or the ability to block out noisy neighbours, these blinds are a very good solution. In addition, the roller blinds are very effective for homes that are exposed to the winter chill because they don’t have gaps so the cold air can not get through. 

They are easy to install and clean and come in a wide range of colours and textures. These features make them ideal for families of all ages.

You can choose moisture-resistant and wipe clean PVC options, perfect for the kitchen and bathroom, or blackout roller blinds that will ensure a high degree of darkness.

Pros:

  • They offer a high level of privacy and light control.
  • There is a wide variety of thicknesses, colours, and textures.
  • There are waterproof materials suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • You can roll them up and down as much as you prefer and even when they are halfway down, they provide more visibility.
  • Child and pet safe.

Cons:

  • They are not suitable for very narrow or specially-shaped windows.
  • All fabrics have a maximum width which can be an issue with larger windows.
  • Due to the design, these blinds create side gaps of up to 22mm.

Wooden blinds

Wooden blinds bring nature inside your home or office. They are available in many different shades, stains, and colours to suit any style. Wooden blinds are lightweight which makes them a good choice for large windows. These blinds are not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms as the wood may crack or warp due to high humidity levels. 

Pros:

  • Match any style decor.
  • The natural wooden blinds are lightweight and suitable for large windows.
  • Excellent insulation qualities, provide a high level of privacy, and protect furniture from sunlight damage.

Cons:

  • Wooden blinds are not water resistant.
  • They can be easily damaged if you clean them with chemicals.
  • Installed to south facing windows or high temperatures, they may warp.

Faux wood blinds

Made from PVC/vinyl or a composite wood material, the faux wooden blinds are available in a wide range of colours and stains. Both painted and stained blinds are available with an embossed texture that imitates the look of real wood.

They are water-resistant and you can use them in high humidity areas. The material is heavier than real wood so they are not suitable for large windows.

Pros:

  • Faux wooden blinds are resistant to moisture and good for high humidity areas.
  • Match any home decor.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons:

  • Some faux woods are heavier than real wood so they are not suitable for large windows.
  • If not made from quality materials, faux blinds can warp under the harsh sunlight and high temperatures.

Inside or outside recess

What is a window recess?

They are generally described as the empty space between the glass itself and the space inside the wall. 

Blinds can be hung within the recess or outside the recess, and both possess their own list of pros and cons that you will need to consider.

Inside recess

The first step is to identify if your window has a recess so the blind can fit in neatly. This type of mount keeps the windows looking neat and refined. If there is an obstruction inside of the window frame like an alarm sensor or crank handle or the window depth is not enough for the blind to operate smoothly, you should consider an outside recess fitting. The minimum clearance between the window to any obstruction should be at least 25 mm depending on the blind type.

Pros:

  • Minimalistic look.
  • Blinds are attached to the window frame for maximum coverage.
  • If you store objects on your window sill, they will remain visible even when the blinds are closed.

Cons:

  • Less light can enter the room even when the blinds are rolled up.
  • If the blinds have an unevenly shaped bottom, they may let some small amount of light into the room.
tip

Vertical, Venetian and Roller blinds are the most appropriate types to fit inside the recess.

Outside recess

Outside mounted blinds generally, cover the entire window. Some of the most common reasons to choose this option are:

  • Unique window shape or size
  • Shallow recesses (of a smaller depth than 7.5 cm)
  • Window opens inwards
  • Windows are slightly uneven
  • Window trims have to be covered

Pros:

  • When the blinds are rolled up, it allows much more light into the room.
  • Blocks more light when fully down.
  • You can place objects on the window sill.
  • The outside recess mount type gives you more flexibility on the blinds’ size.

Cons:

  • The fitting process requires installation of a blind batten above the window.
  • The decorative objects on the window sill will be visible from the outside or when the blind is rolled up.

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How to measure for window blinds

The first step is to identify if your window has a recess so the blind can fit in neatly. This type of mount keeps the windows looking neat and refined. If there is an obstruction inside of the window frame like an alarm sensor or crank handle or the window depth is not enough for the blind to operate smoothly, you should consider an outside recess fitting.

Materials you need:

  • Metal tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • A sturdy step-ladder

Measure for inside recess blinds

Step #1: By using the metal tape measure, carefully calculate the distance from left to right within the walls of the recess. Repeat this step 3 times as you make sure to write down the top, middle, and bottom measurements. The shortest length is the one you need.

Step #2: Measure the distance from top to the bottom of your recess following the previous technique. Take measurements in three different places and write down the shortest one.

tip

Please note that the fabric for a roller blind will be approximately 3-4cm narrower than the recess width (bracket-to-bracket).

The minimum clearance between the window to any obstruction should be at least 25 mm.

When measuring the recess depth, don’t forget to add the distance between the glass to any obstruction such as a handle.

The following table will give you the most common blinds’ sizes and the required recess depth.

Slat sizeRecess depth
25mm slat Wooden Blinds55mm
35mm slat Wooden Blinds 65mm
50mm slat Wooden Blinds70mm
63/64mm slat Wooden Blinds80mm
89mm Slats Vertical Blinds70mm
15mm Metal Venetian30mm
25mm Metal Venetian30mm
35mm Metal Venetian55mm
50mm Metal Venetian55mm
Roman Blind45mm
Roller Blind Top-Fix50mm
Roller Blind Face-Fix70mm

Measure for outside recess fitting

Opposite to the inside recess fitting, the outside fitting allows the blinds to overlap on each side of the window, giving you better coverage.

Measure the size of the area you need to be covered and follow the “3 different measurements” technique.

tip

Measure the size of the area you need to be covered. For better light control, it is good to have at least 70mm at the top and 50-100mm on each side. The overlap at the bottom depends on your personal choice.

How to measure for perfect fit blinds

  • Measure the visible glass of each window by using a metal measuring tape.
  • Measure up to the edge of the rubber bead, but don’t include it. 
  • Use the 3 different spots measuring technique and take the shortest measurement. Repeat this to find the exact drop and again take the narrowest. 
  • The last step is to measure the depth of the window from the glass to the window frame. This measurement determines the bracket size.

How to install window blinds – the step-by-step process for each type

How to fit roller blinds

  1. To mount the brackets, drill the holes carefully. Drill and mount the first bracket and then check if it is levelled correctly with the marks for the other one. Drill the holes for the second bracket.
  2. Then, identify which end is the one without a control mechanism and insert it into the bracket first. 
  3. Press down the leading pin in the other bracket and pull down until you hear how it clicks securely into place.
  4. Check if the blind is working correctly.
  5. Install the child safety device and secure the cord.

How to fit Roman blinds

  1. The first step is to place the brackets exactly where you want the blind to be fitted.
  2. By using a pencil, mark the positions of the holes in the brackets. This is where the screws will go. 
  3. Drill the holes for the first brackets and then check if they are well levelled with the marks for the second bracket.
  4. Screw the brackets tightly and hook the clip into it. 
  5. When this step is done, just push the head rail down until you hear it click into the right place. 
  6. Don’t forget to install the safety device.

How to fit Venetian blinds

  1. Place the brackets on the wall so you can mark the position of the holes. Make sure they are level.
  2. Drill the holes and screw the brackets securely to the wall.
  3. Place the blind in the bracket until it clicks.
  4. Make sure the blind is working correctly.
  5. Fit the child safety device to the wall.

How to install vertical blinds

  1. To begin the installation you need to mark the position of the holes for the brackets. Mark the screw holes with a pencil.
  2. Drill the holes for the first bracket. By using a spirit level, check if it is well-positioned with the mark for the second one. Then drill the holes for the second bracket.
  3. Screw the brackets into place to secure them.
  4. Position the rail and clip it into place.
  5. Hook the back of the headrail into the bracket and rotate the headrail into position. Secure it by tightening the short screw in the front of the
    bracket.
  6. With the headrail in place, use the beaded chain to turn the hooks so they are all facing in the open position and then hook each slat onto each of the hooks on the headrail.
  7. Fit the safety device.

How to fit wooden blinds

  1. Mark the positions of the bracket’s holes on the wall.
  2. Place the first bracket and carefully drill a hole for the screw. Check if the marks for the second bracket are still levelled after you screwed the first one to the wall. Correct the position if needed. Complete the same action with the second bracket.
  3. Remove the plastic caps and insert the headrail into the brackets until it fits into place. The velcro patches on the headrail should be on the front side.
  4. Remove the velcro patches’ plastic backing and slide the fascia over the front of the headrail. Press firmly to secure the installation and make sure it fully covers the ends.
  5. Never forget to install the child safety device.

Takeaways: 

You can easily change the look of your home by fitting new blinds and even reduce the heat transfer via your windows. During the cold days, window blinds can help you keep your home warmer but don’t forget:

  1. Take into account the size of the window so you can determine how you can fit your blinds – inside or outside the recess;
  2. If the mounting method is not an issue, choose carefully the right type of blinds so they can serve your specific needs;
  3. You don’t need so many tools to complete your blinds fitting, but if drilling and climbing high ladders is not your thing, it is better to turn to an experienced handyman.

Image source: depositphotos / belchonock

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If you have any personal experience, or think we have missed something, please share in the comment section below.

Posted in Home Improvement, Home Security and Safety Tips

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