Fix-It Chick: How to install window blinds

Installing mini-blinds is an easy way to update the look of any room, add privacy and increase energy efficiency.

Step 1: Decide whether the blinds will be mounted on the inside or outside of the window frame. Inside mounted shades do not need to be mounted flush with the window frame. Brackets do need to be mounted securely, and the blinds should not interfere with the operation of the window.

Step 2: Pre-packaged blinds come in standard sizes that fit most window applications. Custom-sized blinds can be ordered for a premium price. Measure the window opening to determine the appropriate blind size. Consider trim width and height requirements when calculating minimum and maximum blind dimensions.

Step 3: Packaged blind sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Measurements on the package may refer to actual blind width and height or suggested window width and height. A 1-inch difference in width translates into a half inch “play” on either side of the blind. Slightly larger or smaller blind measurements will typically work for most mounting applications.

Step 4: Small wood screws are usually included with standard mounting hardware. Drywall anchors, concrete screws or toggle bolts will be needed if shades are mounted into anything other than wood trim or studs.

Step 5: Assemble the blinds and attach the mounting brackets. Position the hardware a minimum of 3-1/2 inches from either end of the blind. Make certain the mounting hardware does not interfere with the blind operation before proceeding.

Step 6: Use blue painters tape to mark the center point of both the window and the blind.

Step 7: Hold the blind in its mounting position, aligning the center of the blind with the center of the window. Use blue painters tape to mark the edge location of each end of the blind on the window frame or wall.

Step 8: Measure the distance of the mounting brackets from either edge of the window blind. Remove the brackets from the blind and mount the brackets accordingly. Use the edge markings on the window frame or wall to determine the correct mounting location. Make sure the brackets are equally spaced and level.

Step 9: Large window blinds may require an additional center support bracket as well.

Step 10: Follow the blind manufacturer’s instructions and mount the blinds onto the support brackets. Attach additional hardware and valances after making necessary adjustments.