Making Sure That the Blinds You Need Get Ordered and Installed Correctly
Why is This Important?
When screens are located on the inside of the windows, many people don't realize that if they get certain types of window treatments, like different kinds of shades or blinds, they may not be able to get the screens out again. If you can't get the screens out, then you won't be able to wash the inside of the windows either.
Things you'll need:
A knowledge of what to look for.
Measuring tape, to determine spacing needed
This situation usually happens with shades, not only the older type of window blinds but the newer ones as well. The newer type might be ones that have an accordion look to them, or they are a heavier wood shade, or they have two pull cords; one to pull the whole shade up or down, the other will lower the shade to get some light, but no one can see in.
You might think that if you choose to use shades for your windows instead of blinds, that this problem will be eliminated, but that isn't always the case. Most shades seem to be easily removed as you can pop out one side and then the other and they go back in the hardware fairly easily.
Even then, the hardware itself could be installed too close to where the screen frame resides. If either the shades or the blinds are installed right next to the screen, which is very common, then the screen won't be able to be cleaned properly.
This may not seem to matter when the windows and screens are still new as it takes several years, sometimes, for the screens to get bad. Unless you live in an area where there are cottonwood trees, then the screens might get dirtier than you ever imagined. Those little fuzzy things that fly around and can cover the ground seem to in-bed themselves in the screens and around the hardware making it look like you haven't cleaned them in years, where it may have only been six months ago.
Many homeowners get someone from a blind company to come in and order shades for them. I don't know whether the homeowner requests that the top of the shade is flush with the inside of the window frame or whether the blind people are used to measuring them that way, but that isn't the best way to install them.
When shades are flush with the inside of the window frame or wood trim, it usually means the screen will be very difficult to remove, if it can be removed at all. By this I mean that the hardware is facing the opposite side of the window frame rather than facing into the room itself.
Sometimes the screen can still be removed if the wood trim has enough depression between where the screen will 'sit' and where the hardware for the shade is, but even then, often the screen will still get stuck near the crank of the window. It might be possible to take the screw out of the crank and remove it, but that doesn't always work either. If it's too tight of a fit it could bend the screen, and if that happens even slightly then bugs will get in easily.
I've seen some homes where some of the screens will come out as enough room was left for the screens removal, and other rooms where they won't come out at all.
One way to get around this is to completely remove the hardware from each of the windows to enable either a window washer or the homeowner to then remove the screens to clean them and the windows. Another way is to roll open and clean the inside of the window from the outside. The main problem with this, is that it's very difficult to clean the screen. It's hard to reach all sections of the screen as parts are hidden by the open window itself and the hardware on the outside of the window.
The only way that it works for the blinds or shades to be that close to the screens is if the screens are removed from the bottom of the window, where the springs are on top of the screens, and the screens just need to be pushed up and pulled out. When that is the case, it should be no problem to work with the situation. From experience, though, that is rarely the way it is.
Screens generally come out of the window frame in three different ways, depending on the type of screen you have and again this is when the screen is on the inside of the window. They will either have the springs on the top of the screens so that they can be pulled out from the bottom (very rare), the springs are on the sides and are pulled out from the opposite side and the majority have the springs on the bottom and pull out from the top.
Another things that makes it difficult is if the windows are on a second or third story. Hopefully there aren't any crossbars in the window in that situation because the person cleaning the window has to remove them first to access the window. Then they have to hold onto the ladder and the crossbars without breaking them or dropping them while cleaning the window. Once the window is cleaned and the screen somewhat wiped down as best as can be, then they have to put the crossbars back into place which can be hard from the inside of the window while standing on the floor, let alone on a ladder.
Installing the Shades or Blinds
When getting window shades installed, make sure to instruct the person who will be measuring and also the hanger of the shades, to leave enough room, or better yet to install them on the outside of the wood trim, or the outside of the wall, or to get a different style of shade.
This is most problematic when the windows are singular. When there are two to three windows in a section, this usually isn't a problem because most homeowners put one shade/blind in to cover all the windows as one section. It could still be a problem though, for the outside windows, if enough space isn't left in front of the screen.
I believe that the reason blinds and shades are installed flush with the screens is that it does give them a trim look, whereas using my suggestion may make it look bulky as the hardware will be sticking out from the frame more.
What you have to ask yourself is, would you rather have a streamlined look and never be able to clean your windows and screens properly, or go with my suggestions and be able to clean your screens and windows from the inside.
- If you have double or single hung windows, this won't be a problem because then your screens are on the outside of your windows.
- If it's a slider type window where the screen can be removed from the outside those are fine also.
- This is a problem with crank-out, which are casement windows, and possibly some that slide side to side if the screen is meant to be removed from the inside.