How to Install DIY Blinds: A Comprehensive Tutorial

6 min read

Installing blinds can transform the look of your home, providing both functionality and style. Not only do blinds offer privacy and control over natural light, but they also add a polished touch to your windows.

For those who enjoy DIY projects, installing DIY blinds yourself can be a rewarding experience. In this comprehensive tutorial, we will guide you through the entire process, from choosing the right blinds to ensuring they are properly installed and maintained.

Understanding Different Types of Blinds

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are simple, versatile, and stylish. They consist of a single piece of fabric that wraps around a cylindrical tube. Roller blinds are ideal for rooms where you want a clean, minimalist look. They are easy to operate and come in various materials, including blackout options for bedrooms.

Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds feature horizontal slats that can be tilted to control light and privacy. They are typically made from wood, aluminium, or PVC. Venetian blinds are perfect for living rooms and offices, offering a classic, elegant appearance. They allow for precise light control but require regular cleaning due to the horizontal slats.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are made from fabric that folds into pleats when raised. They add a touch of sophistication and are suitable for any room in the house. Roman blinds are available in a wide range of fabrics, patterns, and colours, making them a great choice for adding a decorative element to your windows.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds consist of vertical slats that can be tilted or drawn to the side. They are often used for large windows or sliding doors. Vertical blinds are practical and offer excellent light control and privacy. They are available in fabric, vinyl, and aluminium, making them versatile for different decor styles.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you start, gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

Tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Step ladder

Materials:

  • Blinds (with all included hardware)
  • Brackets
  • Screws
  • Wall anchors (if needed)

Safety Gear:

  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask (if drilling into plaster or concrete)

Measuring Your Windows

Inside Mount vs. Outside Mount

Inside Mount:

Blinds are installed inside the window frame.
Provides a sleek, built-in look.
Ideal for windows with deep frames.

Outside Mount:

  • The DIY blinds are installed outside the window frame, covering the entire window.
  • Makes windows appear larger.
  • Great for shallow window frames or to cover imperfections.

DIY Blinds

How to Measure for Inside Mount

Width: Measure the inside width of the window frame at the top, middle, and bottom. Record the smallest measurement.

Height: Measure the inside height from the top of the window frame to the sill at the left, centre, and right. Record the largest measurement.

Depth: Ensure your window frame has enough depth to accommodate the blinds.

How to Measure for Outside Mount

Width: Measure the width of the area you want to cover. Add extra width (usually about 2-3 inches on each side) for better light control and privacy.

Height: Measure from the top of where you want the blinds to start to the bottom. Add extra height (typically 2-3 inches) to ensure full coverage.

Preparing for Installation

Gathering Your Tools and Materials

Double-check that you have all the tools and materials listed above. Lay them out in your workspace to ensure everything is within reach.

Reading the Instructions

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your blinds. Each type of blind may have specific installation steps or tips.

Pre-Installation Checks

  • Ensure the wall or window frame can support the blinds. For heavier blinds, you may need to use wall anchors.
  • Identify and mark the drill points according to the instructions.

Installing the Blinds

Installing the Brackets

Inside Mount:

  1. Mark the position of the brackets inside the window frame.
  2. Drill pilot holes at the marked points.
  3. Attach the brackets using screws.

Outside Mount:

  1. Mark the position of the brackets on the wall or window frame.
  2. Drill pilot holes at the marked points.
  3. Attach the brackets using screws and wall anchors if necessary.

Ensure the brackets are level by using a level tool before securing them completely.

Mounting the Blinds

  1. Insert the head rail into the brackets. Most blinds will click into place.
  2. Ensure the blinds are securely attached and test the mechanism by raising and lowering them.

Testing the Mechanism

Operate the blinds several times to ensure they move smoothly and that the slats or fabric roll evenly. Make any necessary adjustments to the brackets or head rail to achieve the perfect fit.

Finishing Touches

Adding Valances or Cornices

Valances and cornices can enhance the look of your blinds by hiding the head rail and brackets. Attach these according to the manufacturer’s instructions for a polished finish.

Securing Cords and Chains

For safety, especially in homes with children, secure any cords or chains to the wall using cleats or tensioners. This prevents dangling cords and reduces the risk of accidents.

Maintenance and Care

Cleaning Tips

  • Roller Blinds: Wipe with a damp cloth or vacuum with a brush attachment.
  • Venetian Blinds: Dust regularly with a duster or microfiber cloth. For deeper cleaning, use a damp cloth or soak in a tub with mild detergent.
  • Roman Blinds: Vacuum with a brush attachment. For fabric blinds, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
  • Vertical Blinds: Dust with a duster or use a vacuum with a brush attachment. For fabric slats, spot clean with mild detergent.

Regular Maintenance

  • Check for any signs of wear and tear, especially on the cords and mechanisms.
  • Ensure all parts are securely fastened and functioning properly.
  • Lubricate any moving parts if necessary to keep the blinds operating smoothly.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Blinds Won’t Raise or Lower Properly

  • Cause: Mechanism might be jammed or broken.
  • Fix: Check the instructions for any specific troubleshooting tips. You may need to remove and reattach the blinds or consult the manufacturer for replacement parts.

Blinds are Uneven

  • Cause: Brackets might not be level.
  • Fix: Use a level to check the alignment of the brackets. Adjust as necessary to ensure the blinds hang evenly.

Damaged Slats or Fabrics

  • Cause: Wear and tear, or accidental damage.
  • Fix: Replace damaged slats or fabrics. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts if needed.

Final Words

Installing DIY blinds can be a straightforward and satisfying project with the right tools and instructions. By following this comprehensive tutorial, you should feel confident in your ability to measure, install, and maintain your new blinds.

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