When in the market for new blinds, one of the most important decisions you will make is size. While you certainly want to choose a style and material you like as well, if the blinds do not fit properly, not only will they be unsightly but also do little for privacy or energy conservation. Although it might be tempting, do not simply estimate the size. Instead, it is important to take accurate measurements.
The first decision for your new blinds in relation to size is what type of mount you want. Your two choices include inside and outside mounts. With the inside mount, the hardware would go on the inside of the window jamb. For the outside mount, the hardware is actually attached to the wall, outside the window jamb. In both cases, accurate measuring is crucial to the fit of the blinds.
Typically, people who want a cleaner, simplistic look will choose the inside mount. With the blinds attached on the inside of the frame, the jambs show unless the blinds are coupled with curtains. On the other hand, you have people who prefer the outside mount, which allows the placement of the hardware to be even with or above the top frame. For instance, if you do not like the appearance of the window jamb, an outside mount would hide it.
Once you determine which mount is right for your needs, you would take measurements. An important tip is to use only a steel tape measure, never a yardstick or cloth measuring tape, which can crease or bend, giving you an improper measurement. Keep in mind that for window blinds, you want to measure to one-eighth of an inch. Therefore, if a cloth measuring tape were to be just slightly off, it could make a huge difference in the overall fit.
Now, when measuring your window, especially for the width portion, always measure at the top, the middle, and the bottom. The reason is that your window may not be perfectly even. In this case, if you come up with three different numbers, use the one at the widest point. Another consideration for an inside mount is the depth, meaning the window has to be deep enough to accommodate the mounting hardware. For instance, if you go with mini blinds, the depth would need to be 1 to 2.5 inches whereas for vertical blinds, 2.75 to 3.5 inches.
For your outside mounted blinds, the width and height would need to be measured for the area of the window you want to cover. In this case, the measurements you take should be compared to the actual window size so you know if you have the proper amount of overlap. With good measurements, you can visit your local home improvement store or window treatment store and have them help you choose the perfect blinds.