How to Install Window Blinds
Blinds are a quick, cost effective way to dress up an entire room. A great alternative to drapes, they provide exactly the amount of light and privacy you’d like. This video will walk you through how to install window blinds, a job you can do yourself in less than an hour. Here’s what you’ll need for this quick, inexpensive project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Step Stool/Ladder
- Tape Measure
- Cordless Drill/Driver
- Drill Bits
- Precision Screwdriver
- Window Blind Kit Pre-cut to Width
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video, we’ll alert you regarding when you should and should not use the safety gear.
Measure window opening. Start by confirming that your window opening is deep enough for an inside mount. You’ll need a minimum depth of three inches for your blinds to clear the window when they’re being raised and lowered. Take three measurements for the width of the blinds at the top, middle, and bottom. Write down the shortest measurement to the nearest eighth of an inch. Then measure for length again at three points, left, center, and to the right. Now note the longest measurement. This is the minimum length blind you’ll need to purchase.
Purchase pre-cut blinds. The easiest way to install window blinds is to buy pre-cut blinds. Most retailers that sell blinds are equipped with a special jig for cutting them, which will save you time and effort. Bring your measurements with you with you shop. Pre-cut blinds are typically about an half an inch narrower than the opening of your window. You’ll adjust the length later, as needed, by removing slats.
Check for level. Use a level to confirm the top of the opening is straight. If it tilts, you may have to adjust the blinds on one side so they won’t scrape when opened.
Mark bracket position. Your kit will include side or box brackets, as well as a center bracket. Open the gate on each side bracket and position each at least half an inch from the window, farther (ph), if you notice anything that might interfere when opening and closing the blind. Once in place, mark for drilling.
Attach side brackets. Drill holes where you’ve made your marks. If instructions don’t specify the bit size needed, select one about two-thirds the diameter of the screws provided. Fasten each bracket in with your drill/driver.
Set headrail. The headrail is the mechanical end of the blind that holds the mechanism for raising, lowering, and tilting the slats. Set the headrail into the brackets, and clip the side bracket gates shut, making sure the latches face out.
Test operation. Hook the wand onto its pivot. Lower the blinds by pulling on the combined cords, angling them toward the center to release the lock. Test the blind by lowering it completely.
Remove unneeded slats. If your blind is longer than needed, use a small flat head screwdriver to pry out two or three buttons on the bottom rail. Snip off the knotted end of each lift cord and remove any unneeded slats, slipping each one out of the string ladders that support them.
Replace bottom rail. Now that your unneeded slats are removed, replace the bottom rail. Feed the ladder into the hole, using scissors to cut off any excess. As you work, be sure to leave a couple of inches of ladder string hanging below the rail. Snap the buttons back into place and feed in each lift cord, knotting each below the button.
The last step to install window blinds is to install the valance. Attach the valance clips to the headrail according to manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to slide the clips into place at the top of your blinds. If so, slide them about six inches, so they don’t block any of the other blind components. Snap the valance onto the clips, and your installation is complete. Step back and admire your new window blinds!