Sun shining through window blinds.

Want to Give Your Home Some Privacy? Learn How to Install Window Blinds

How to Install Window Blinds

Whether you have just moved into a new home or are making some changes to your existing décor, window blinds are a quick and inexpensive way to add light control and privacy to your windows. So, let’s check out how to install window blinds.

Why Install Window Blinds?

Venetian window blinds have narrow horizontal slats of thin plastic or metal. However, more expensive ones can be made from wood. When lowered and closed, you have got total coverage of your windows, which can be especially helpful when you want a darkened room for daytime sleeping or television watching. Adjusted to open, you can let in as much or as little light as you wish. And when they are raised, your windows are completely uncovered for maximum light and enjoyment of the outdoor view!

Window blinds can be hung as the only window covering or used in conjunction with curtains. Alone, they may have a too cold and impersonal look, but under more decorative draperies, they will give you that desired light control and privacy.

One thing to keep in mind is that blinds can be more work to keep clean than fabric draperies; the slats need to be dusted or vacuumed regularly to keep them looking their best. Also, if the blinds have cords, they can be a hazard around young children, so you should look for versions with safety features.

Buying Window Blinds

Once you have decided that window blinds are the way to go, you need to carefully measure them before you head to the store or turn to an online seller. You can either mount your blinds inside the window frame or to the wall. The inside mount is a better choice when other coverings will be used as well. The blinds will be more out of the way, and the overall look will be neater. However, if you are only installing blinds, or want optimum light control, go with the outside mount.

Again, make sure you measure them carefully before you buy! You want your blinds to look as custom-fitted as possible. For inside mount window blinds, measure to within an eighth of an inch, and do not round down — it’s important not to have large gaps at the sides. Measure at the top, middle, and bottom for the width and both sides, and middle for length. For outside mount window blinds, add three inches to the window frame width for generous coverage.

If your windows are a standard size, you should be able to go in and buy suitable blinds right off the shelf. Sometimes the retailer can cut your blinds on the spot for you if necessary, or if you are willing to wait, you can get custom blinds to your exact measurements. You can also get custom blinds in a wider selection of colors.

Installing the Blinds

The actual installation process for window blinds is pretty straightforward. You start by installing the brackets at the top. Using the template that came with your blinds, or the actual brackets, mark the spots for the screw holes and drill pilot holes. Then screw the brackets into place.

Next, all you have to do is snap the blind into the brackets. Lower the blinds so that they cover the window and hook the tilt wand in its place. Make sure that it will open and close the slats. Then, install the cleat at the side to wrap the blind cord so that it is not hanging loose when the blind is raised. If you purchased cordless blinds, you will not need to complete this step.

Many blinds also come with brackets to install at the lower edge so that the wind will not blow the blind around when the window is open. You can also purchase them separately and attach them with screws.

Maintenance of Window Blinds

Keep your window blinds looking their best with a simple cleaning routine. The slats' horizontal surfaces tend to collect dust, and in kitchens can also get greasy and grimy. To remove dust, use a duster or microfiber cloth on closed blinds, working from top to bottom. If you have got grime to remove, wash them with a sponge dipped in a solution of half vinegar and half water with a squirt of dishwashing soap. Really dirty blinds should be raised, removed from their brackets, and soaked in the water and vinegar solution.

Blinds can be either a temporary or permanent solution to your window covering needs, whether alone or in combination with curtains. Installed correctly and maintained properly, they can last for years!