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How to Measure Windows for Blinds

Updated on July 1, 2011

Measuring your windows for blinds can save you time.

Whether you are installing your own blinds, or having them custom made for you, it is always a good idea to measure your windows first.  Obviously if you are installing them yourself, you will need to know what size blind to buy, but if you are having them custom made, why bother measuring them you might ask.  For starters, having measurements of your windows before you start shopping for blinds can save you a lot of time.  Most blinds are sold per square foot, and a lot of places include free measure and install.  Instead of waiting for somebody to come out and measure all of your windows, which can take days sometimes, you can provide the manufacturer with the measurements over the phone and at the very least get a rough estimate within minutes.  Repeat this process with a few different retailers to get a feel for the cost differences between them.  Obviously factors such as color and type of material will play a part in the final estimate.

Inside or outside mount

One thing you need to consider before you measure your windows for blinds is whether you want an inside mount or an outside mount.  An inside mounted blind is one where the mounting brackets are installed on the inside of the window frame, and an outside mounted blind the brackets are installed on the outside of the frame.  The majority of blinds are inside mount, but there are some instance where you may want to use an outside mount such as:

  • an irregular shaped window
  • french doors
  • obstructions inside the window (older window cranks for example)

Measuring your window for an inside mounted blind

In order to get the best result, you will want to take a total of 6 measurements, three horizontal and three vertical.  The reason for this is a majority of the time, the window is not perfect.  This can be due to:

  • imperfections in the drywall or finish
  • uneven sil
  • warped window frame

When using a tape measure, make sure to keep the tape as level as possible.  Then you want to measure the window once at the top, once in the middle, and once near the bottom horizontally.  Then repeat this process for the left, middle, and right vertically.

To ensure that your new blind fits correctly when installed, you want to use the smaller of the three measurements you took horizontally and vertically. 

Make sure you have a good tape measure!
Make sure you have a good tape measure!

Measuring your window for an outside mount blind

In order to measure an outside mounted blind, follow the same steps as an inside mounted blind.  After that, figure out how much larger than the window opening do you want to make the blind.  There really is no set rule here, but it would be a good idea to check with your manufacturer how much room they need for an outside mount.  For French doors, you simply want to measure the outside edges of the window panes. 

Measuring Tips

  • If you are dealing with a local merchant, you will probably be using your measurements to get a rough estimate. It is always a good idea to have the manufacturer come out and remeasure your windows for you, especially if it is included in the price. That way, you can not be held responsible for any mistakes that were made measuring the windows.
  • If you are ordering your blinds through an online merchant, double check with their web site to see if they have specific instructions for measuring your windows.
  • Always supply the manufacturer with the exact measurements unless otherwise instructed. Most companies shave off 1/8"-1/4" off the measurement to make sure it is not a tight fit.  If shave off the same amount, the product could end up being too small for the window.  Always send them the exact measurements to avoid this problem.


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    • 1974 profile image

      1974 8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Bluemeanie, I'm new to this whole hubpages thing and getting a nice comment just reinforces my desire to create more useful hubs!

    • bluemeanie profile image

      bluemeanie 8 years ago from Canada

      Excellent hub!I used to work for a drapery & design centre & it is crucial that the correct measurements are precise.You have taken the mystery out of this!Thank you!