How to Measure for Blinds and Shades

Measuring your windows for the installation of window treatments seems like a daunting task. The pressure of measuring accurately often makes people nervous; the slightest error can result in an improper fit. However, with the proper tools and knowledge, Shades Shutters Blinds can help you take an accurate measurement of your windows. The following information will help you measure your windows like a pro! The key is to develop a plan and create a worksheet to organize the data.

The first step is to develop a worksheet to organize the measurements of each window. Organize the worksheet in the order you are going to measure each room. Create headings for each room on the worksheet such as living room, dining room, kitchen, etc. Under each section, you will create a subsection for each window in the room. For example, if you have three windows in your living room, you can label the windows as LR1, LR2 and LR3. Many manufacturers of window treatments, including Shades Shutters Blinds, will provide you with a worksheet if you do not wish to create your own.

Next, you will determine the type of window treatments you want in each room. This will determine the method you will use to measure each window. For example, you may want blinds mounted on the inside or outside of the window frame. This will affect the measurement you will want to record for your future window treatment. You will want to indicate the type of measurement on your worksheet (inside mount, outside mount, etc.). You can choose different window treatments for every room in your house, you’re the boss! Make sure you indicate whether you have chosen shades, shutters or blinds for each room.

Windows are always measured by width and then height. You can create columns on your worksheet with width first and then height in the second column. All measurements should be in inches only. This is important: round down to the nearest 1/8th of an inch for window treatments mounted on the inside of the window frame. For window treatments mounted on the outside of the frame, round up to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

Once your worksheet is completed, you can begin measuring each window. If you have chosen a specific manufacturer for your window treatments (and we hope you choose Shades Shutters Blinds!) be sure to follow guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. Remember, the measurements may vary depending on the type of shades, blinds or shutters you have chosen. However, the guidelines should be virtually the same. It is important that you measure each window, even if the windows appear to be the same size! Also, if you have existing window treatments, avoid using the existing shades, shutters or blinds to obtain measurements.

Before you begin measuring, you will need the following:

1. Worksheet
2. Pencil (in case of a mistake!)
3. Metal Tape Measure

Measurements for Inside Mounted Window Treatments

how to measure for blinds and shades

Many shutters and blinds are designed to be mounted inside the window area. If you have chosen inside mounted window treatments, the following measuring technique will help you measure accurately.

1. Begin by measuring the width of the window. Keep in mind some windows may not be an exact square. You will measure the top, middle and bottom of the window. If the measurements differ, you should use the smallest measurement.

2. Measure the height from the inside of the top trim to the window sill. You will want to take measurements of the right side, left side and middle of the window. If there is a difference, use the smallest measurement as the final measurement.

3. For inside mounting, you will also want to measure the depth of the window. This measurement is to determine the space available for mounting brackets.


If you are ordering shutters, you will want to verify the manufacturer’s requirements for measuring the shutters accurately. The size of the mounting hardware of the shutters may need to be included in your measurements.

Measurements for Outside Mounted Window Treatments

how to measure for blinds and shadesYou will find many shades and blinds designed for outside mounting. Many people choose outside mounting to cover unattractive window framing, as replacing window framing is an extensive and expensive project. Choosing outside mounted shades or blinds is far more economical. If you have chosen outside mounted window treatments, the following instructions will help you obtain the necessary and accurate measurements you will need.

Outside mounted window treatments hang on the outside of the opening of the window. The outside mounting can hang above the window trim and on the outside of the window trim on both sides of the window treatments are mounted on the wood trim. It is important you know which area you will measure for your window treatments.

1. For frame mounted window treatments, measure the width of the window frame from edge to edge. Make sure you round the measurement down to the nearest 1/8 of an inch. If have chosen window treatments that will be mounted outside of the frame, you will measure the width beyond the frame you would like to cover with the shades or blinds. For the sides of the window, you will want to stay within 1 to 3 inches.

2. Measure the height in three places. Measure the right side, center and left side. Make sure you round the measurements down to the nearest 1/8th of an inch. You will record the smallest measurement on your worksheet. The measurement should be from the top of the window frame to the windowsill. If you want your shades or blinds longer, then you will measure from the top of the frame to the desired length of the blinds or shades. For mounting outside of the frame, it is recommended you measure 2 ½ to 3 inches beyond the frame at the top of the window. This will allow space for overlap and the mounting hardware.

Verifying Your Measurements

It is important to record each measurement accurately. It’s very easy to transpose numbers or record the width as the height or the height as the width. Shades Shutters Blinds recommends you verify each measurement by measuring a second time. While this may seem time-consuming, it should go rather quickly and will be well worth your time! This will ensure you order the correct size of shades, blinds or shutters. Many manufacturers will not refund the full amount if the window treatments were not ordered correctly.

It is easier to measure if you have two people. The first person measures and the second person records the measurements. Once you have taken all the measurements, the second person will measure and the first person will verify the previous measurements. This is the most efficient way to double-check your work when you’re measuring for window treatments!

You will find that once you have created your worksheet, the measuring proceeds quickly. Having an extra set of hands will greatly reduce the amount of time you will need to take accurate measurements. The key to successful measuring for blinds, shades and shutters is to verify each of the measurements a second time.

Whether you are ordering shades, shutters or blinds, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for measuring. The instructions will be similar; however, the manufacturer may make automatic deductions in the measurements you provide. This is often a standard process due to the mounting hardware that will be used. Be sure and ask your customer service representative if you have any questions about automatic deductions in your measurements!

Shades Shutters Blinds offers 24-7 customer service support for our products. Visit our main site today to order your custom-made shades, shutters or blinds!

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