How To Measure For Blackout Blinds
If you’re in the market for a set of blackout blinds, it’s important to get the right fit to ensure they’re blocking out the maximum amount of light.
Here’s how to measure for blackout blinds to make sure you get the perfect fit.
Before You Start
Measuring your windows for blackout blinds shouldn’t take any more than 10-15 minutes.
Measuring correctly will help minimize any light that might be able to get through the sides, so before you start, make sure you have the following tools:
- A metal tape measure
- A small step ladder
- A pencil
- A notebook
When measuring for a blackout blind, measure the exact width across the area you want to cover, to ensure a perfect fit.
And remember – check your measurements twice – you don’t want to order the wrong size!
Where Do You Want Your Blackout Blinds to Hang?
The first decision when measuring for blackout blinds is to decide on the positioning of the blind – do you want the blind to sit inside or outside the window recess.
For those that are not familiar with the term recess, a window recess is the area where the window is set back into the wall.
Inside The Window Recess
When you hang your blackout blind inside the recess, you hang the blind right cross the window.
Hanging your blind inside the window has a couple of advantages – it looks neat and tidy, it takes up less space on the wall, and the blind mechanism is hidden away.
For blackout blinds, it’s a great option because it leaves a very little gap between the window and wall, which means less external light coming through, and it can also be easier to install.
It also means window sill objects will still be on display, even when the blind is down, which can be useful if you have items on the window sill that you use regularly or you have ornaments that you like to be able to see.
Fitting blackout blinds inside the window recess is a good idea for smaller windows, but there are, however, some drawbacks to fitting blackout blinds in the recess.
The positioning or fitting at the top of the window could prevent some light from entering the room when the blind is rolled up, although this mainly applies to smaller windows.
A protruding window handle can also obstruct your blind, and you may have difficulties opening/shutting your window when the blind is down.
If you choose a blackout blind with a scalloped or wavy bottom, fitting it inside the window recess will mean that it will let light in, which could be a problem if you’re using your blackout blinds for a bedroom.
Outside The Window Recess
The other option is to fit your blackout blinds outside of the window recess.
This is where the blind is mounted to the wall above the window recess, covering some of the surrounding space so that light does not spill through any edges.
The advantage of fitting a blackout blind outside of the window recess is that more light is blocked out when the blind is drawn or fully rolled down, and more light can enter the room when the blind is open, as the fitting won’t obscure any of the windows.
When the blind is closed, inward opening windows can still be opened, and ventilation through open windows is much better, compared to an inside recess fitting.
You can have items on a window sill, and they will not be a problem when closing the blinding or if your window has an inward opening.
It also allows for more flexibility on the size of the blind, when fitting outside the recess, and the blind colour will not fade as quickly, as it is not positioned against the window itself.
However, any ornaments or objects on display on your window sill will be hidden when the blind is closed, as the blind will fall over and below the window sill (depending on the length).
It’s also worth noting that roller blinds don’t always suit the inside of a recess, as the controls will make the blinds narrower and may expose some of your windows, compromising privacy and letting more light in.
Measuring For Blackout Blinds: Inside The Recess
Measuring windows to fit a set of blackout blinds inside the recess is simple.
Using a metal tape measure, measure the width of the recess at the top, middle, and bottom. Take the tape out to the inner edge of the recess, not to the outside wall. The shortest measurement will be your width measurement.
Measure the height of the recess at the left- hand side, middle and right-hand side. The longest measurement will be your height measurement. Note this down.
These two measurements are all you need!
Measuring For Blackout Blinds: Outside The Recess
Measuring outside of the recess for blackout blinds has some more variables, but is still a simple task.
First, you must decide where the blind will be placed. Usually, this will be around 1.5 – 3” above the window.
Measure from where the blind will sit to the bottom of the window.
Take your tape measure to about 3” below the window (this is to allow an overlap) – this is your height measurement.
Note this down.
Measure the width of the window at the top, middle and bottom and allow yourself an additional 3” either side, as well as the top and bottom (this is to allow an overlap). This will be your width measurement. Note this measurement down.
And that’s it – measuring your window for a blackout blind is really that simple!
Once you know where your blackout blind is going, and have taken down accurate measurements, decide what colour best matches your interior, make a note, then choose a set of blinds that you like.
Take your measurements and select the nearest size option available (always go for something slightly bigger as this can be cut down to size).
When you receive your blind, take it out of the box and place against the window, to check if the size is correct.
If you have selected the size nearest to your measurements, but slightly larger, you will need to cut the fabric to size. This should not be done until you are at the hanging stage of fitting the blinds. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, you can easily cut the blind fabric to size.
Before cutting, calculate how much additional width you have, then simply slide the fabric out of the metal tube for easy cutting. If you have difficulties with scissors, (they might not be sharp) try a small hand saw.
Every set of our blinds comes with a set of clear installation instructions so you should have your blackout blinds up in no time!