How to Install Blinds
Rather than spending big bucks to get someone to install your blinds for you, why not do it yourself? The process isn't as difficult as it might sound. To install blinds, measure the dimensions for an inside or outside mount and purchase blinds specific to those measurements; attach the brackets using a drill, place the head rail into the brackets, attach the valence to the head rail, and secure the blind wand to complete the process.
Measuring and Determining the Mount
Measure your windows. You need to do this to make sure that you buy the correct size of blind. Use a measuring tape to determine the size of the window. You can either mount your blinds on the inside or on the outside of the casing. If you hang your blinds on the outside, your window (and the blinds) will look larger. Hanging the blinds on the inside gives your window a slimmer look. Inside mounts also allow more light to shine around the edges of the blinds.
- Measuring for an outside mount: Measure along the outside edges of the casing that surrounds the window. Measure the exact length from the top of the casing to the bottom of the casing (or to the sill if your window has one).
- Measuring for an inside mount: Put your measuring tape inside the casing where the glass of the window meets the casing. Measure the width of the window at the top, middle and bottom. If there is any difference in the numbers, use the smallest figure to base your measurements off of.
Purchase your blinds according the measurements you made. There are many different kinds of blinds to choose from--vinyl, PV, aluminum, wood--and the choice you make will have to be based on personal preference.
Make your mounting marks. Unpack your blinds and make sure all of the parts are there. If there are instructions that come with your blinds, follow them along with the steps listed here. You will need to make some pencil marks so that you know where to place your brackets
- For an outside mount: Hold the blind up so that the head rail (the top part of the blind) is centered and leveled with your window’s casing (the two vertical slats that form the ‘frame’ of the window). Make a pencil mark right below the head rail on each side of the casing. You should also make a mark ¼ of an inch past the end of each head rail.
- For an inside mount: Place the head rail inside the casing. It should be level--keep your handrail level, even if your window is not. Make pencil marks below the head rail on each end.
Open the bracket door and hold the end brackets in place. Place them inside the pencil marks you have made. There are two open sides to the bracket--one of them should face out towards you, while the other should face in towards the center of the window. The bracket door must face towards the inside of the room.
- If your bracket door is tricky to use, consider trying to open it with one of your fingers and a screwdriver.
Mark where you will be drilling. Using your pencil, mark the spots where you will need to drill your pilot holes (there should be two of them). You should choose two diagonal holes to drill into so that your brackets are sturdier. Take the brackets away and hold up a level to the two holes are even
- For an outside mount: The brackets should be placed on the outside face of the window casing on both sides of the window.
- For an inside mount: The brackets should be placed up against the inside top corner of each side of the window.
Drill the holes for the screws. Each bracket comes with two screws. If you are drilling into wood, use a 1/16-inch diameter drill bit to make a hole that is slightly smaller than the screw that you will use to secure your bracket. Replace the bracket and drill your screws into place
Installing the Head Rail and Valance
Snap the valance clips in place. Valance clips are used to attach the head rail to the valance. The valance is what covers the head rail and makes it look a bit more decorative. The valance clips should be snapped over the front lip of the head rail before the head rail is inserted into the bracket
- Your blinds may be made up of ‘ladders’ of blinds. If this is the case, snap each valance clip into place next to the top of each ladder--not directly on top of it. If they are put directly over each ladder, the valance clips might get caught in the cords of the blinds.
Place the head rail into the brackets. Once you have finished drilling the brackets into place, make sure the bracket doors are wide open and then insert the head rail into the brackets. When you have situated the head rail, snap the bracket doors closed. You should hear an audible snapping noise.
Attach the valance. Place the valance along the head rail in the position you would like it to be in. Rest it on top of the valance clips. When you have positioned it the way you would like it be, press gently down so that the valance clips snap into the valance, holding it in place
Secure the blind wand. If your blinds came with a wand for opening and closing them, and it did not come pre-attached, attach it now. Push the plastic sleeve of the hook up, insert the wand’s end into the hook, and then slide the plastic covering back down.