- Home Improvement
Aluminum Mini Blinds-How to Repair or Shorten
Are your aluminum mini blinds way too long? Do they have creased or broken slats? Do you want to replace them or would you rather fix them yourself?
Well, if you have the time and would rather not spend the money to replace them or have someone come in and fix them you can do it yourself.
I would not contemplate this project with a cheap blind hanging in the garage but for designer or custom blinds it is well worth the effort. It is a bit time consuming but they look good as new once you have finished the repair. I was pleased with the end result.
There were at least twenty, probably more, extra slats at the bottom and three slats in the middle were creased.
To avoid the problem of so many extra slats the window needs to be measured properly but creased or broken slats are a common problem with aluminum blinds that has to be remedied to improve the appearance.
- Under the bottom rail of the blind you will see some "buttons"
- Some of them are solid, others have a hole in the middle
- If your blinds have the button with the hole in the middle simply pull the string out of the hole and untie the knot
- If your blinds have a solid button you will have to gently pry it off
Remove and Replace Creased Slats
The string runs through the holes in the slats and is what causes them to rise when you pull the drawstring.
- Pull the strings up through the blinds until you have reached the broken slats
- Slide those damaged slats out
- Slide the same number of extra slats at the bottom of the blind out and into the into the empty places created when you removed the damaged slats
- The strings the slats slide into are like ladders
- The slats should have a ladder "rung" underneath them when you have put them in place.
- This rung stabalizes and separates them from each other.
Shortening The Ladders
Once you have replaced the damaged slats and removed all the extra ones from the bottom of the blinds you will have excess ladders that have to be shortened.
Remember the "buttons" at the bottom of the rail?
- Remove them one at a time
- I suggest pushing them out from the inside of the bottom rail. The plastic is thin and easily broken
- The ladder is knotted on the inside of the bottom rail. Untie the knot.
- You will have to trim the ladder rungs between the bottom rail and the last slat above it.
- Make sure to leave the rung under the last slat intact. That will allow the rail to be secured in place right under and even with the last slat.
- Pull the ladder up through the hole until the bottom rail is even with the last slat.
- While holding the ladder taut and making sure the bottom rail is level and not leaning forward or back, replace the button.
- Trim off the excess length of the ladder leaving 1 1/2 inches (to be safe).
- Retie the knot and stick it inside the bottom rail.
Repeat this procedure with all the buttons. Each time you will have to make sure the bottom rail is even before you replace the button and retie the knot.
Putting The Pull String Back Through The Blinds
Before you begin this final (whew!) step:
- secure all the pull strings on the cord together with a clamp or tie them together
- This will insure that the strings stay even..
- you don't shorten one or more of them too much and
- the blinds will raise evenly once the repair is complete.
You will weave the string through the slats. By this I mean:
- when you put the string through the hole of one slat you will be to the left of the rung below it.
- with the next slat the string will be to the right of the rung below it. So on and so forth until you get to the bottom rail.
When you get to the bottom rail put the string through the button hole so it is protruding underneath.
- Make sure the bottom slat is laying on the bottom rail.
- You will lift the bottom rail slightly so when you tie a knot in the string and release the bottom rail the knot is just inside the button hole.
- Don't trim any excess string until you have done this procedure with all the pull strings.
- Give the pull cord a tug after you have secured the string in the button hole.
- Make sure the strings in the pull cord are straight before you work on the next one
- Check the bottom of the blind. Make sure it is level and equidistant from the windowsill before moving on.
We're Almost Done-A Final Check!
- All the pull strings are secured under the bottom rail and the knots are inside the buttons.
- The bottom slat is laying on the bottom rail.
- The blind is level and equidistant from the sill.
- Raise the blinds and make sure they rise evenly.
If all of the above has checked out you can trim the excess from each pull string and the job is complete.
If the blind does not raise evenly you can adjust the length of the pull string(s) by loosening the knot(s) in the bottom of the buttons...one at a time. Always make sure the strings in the pull cord are straight after each adjustment.
The level of difficulty with this project increases when the blind is very wide (like the one pictured here) and when there are many excess slats that need to be removed.
If it is just a matter of replacing damaged slats the project is relatively simple. Most blinds have a few extra slats on the bottom in the event damaged ones need to be removed.
DIY projects are not always easy. However, a visually pleasing and a successful outcome can reward you for time spent and money saved.