Measuring for Shades and Blinds

When it comes time for measuring for shades and/or blinds, several factors need to be considered. Typically, people will visit a local window treatment store, retail store, or home improvement store to purchase shades and blinds. Because you are going there, it is important exact measurements be taken so you get the most out of your new window treatments. After all, when shades and blinds are fitted right, they can provide privacy, protection from outdoor elements, and style.

Measuring Tips

To make sure you get the best measurement, most experts suggest you use only a steel tape measure, not cloth and not a yardstick. Then, the window needs to be measured to the nearest eighth of an inch, always going to the exact number without rounding up or down in number. Unfortunately, many people will write down the width and height, only to discover they mixed the numbers up. While a common mistake, especially if your window is close to the same size in dimensions, you want to pay close attention. While this might seem like a silly mistake, you would be surprised at how often it occurs.

Other Measurements

Then, you do not need to worry about any deductions in that the manufacturer will worry about this. All you need to do is measure the window and provide the salesperson with the numbers. Keep in mind that the measurements you take will vary depending on the type of mount. For example, if you plan to mount the shades or blinds on the outside of the jamb, you want to add space for the hardware, as well as any overhang. On the other hand, if you plan to install the shades or blinds on the inside, the window opening would be measured.


Although the type of mount you choose is probably personal preference, we do recommend you consider an outside mount. In addition to looking better and being easier to install, this type of blind or shade mount also eliminates the wood being drilled into. Again, this decision is yours and in some homes, there may not be space on the outside for mounting. Obviously, in this situation the inside mount would be the better choice.

Another consideration for blinds and shades is that if you decide to go with horizontal window treatments, the inside-mount would need to be measured in three different places to ensure accuracy. Because your window may not be perfectly square, you could end up with different numbers, even slightly. For this, go with the longest width and height. However, if you will be hanging your blinds or shades using an outside mount, you can simply measure where the hardware will be installed, plus or minus any overhand.

Other Window Types

There are also many non standard windows and places that people may want to hand blinds, shades, or curtains. Some of these windows include skylights, arches, corners, and other places that are somewhat unique. In this article area, we have articles that are designed to provide measuring instructions for these specific window or window covering types.