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How to Get the Right Size Blinds and Curtains for Your Windows

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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If you’re in need of new blinds or curtains for your home, it’s crucial to know the correct measurements in order to get products that will fit well. So here’s a useful guide to measuring up your windows for blinds and curtains.

Getting accurate measurements is crucial for many fittings and blinds and curtains is just one prime example. If you don’t bother measuring at all, take a rough guess or half-heartedly and inaccurately measure up you’ll be left with blinds or curtains that don’t fit properly and don’t look good.

If the blinds or curtains are too short, they’ll look out of place and will let light in, but if they’re too long, they may dangle over radiators or generally get in the way.

It may seem like a bit of a bind to have to measure up, but unless you’ve got a blind or curtain expert doing it for you, you’ll have to get out your trusty tape measure and have a go yourself. Whether you’re measuring for blinds or curtains, it’s useful to:

  • Use a metal tape, instead of a fabric tape measure, as this may produce a more accurate measurement.
  • Don’t try and round-up measurements – instead aim to get very accurate measurements, even down to the nearest millimetre.
  • Take the measurements several times to be 100% sure.
  • Clearly write down each measurement as you take it and make a note of which is the height and which is the width.
  • It may help to draw a rough diagram of your window and then write the measurements into the appropriate points.

Measuring for Blinds

The first thing you need to decide before you measure for blinds is whether you want your blind to hang within the recess of the window or on the outside of the window recess.

To measure inside the recess: First measure the inside width of the window at the top, middle and bottom. These three measurements may be different, but you should go with the narrowest measurement. Then measure the height of the window at the left, centre and right. Again, these measurements may vary slightly, but you should go with the longest height measurement.

To measure outside the window recess: Measure the of the recess, taking into account any overlap you’d like at each side of the window. Some blind companies, for example, suggest that about 50mm of overlap at each side works well. Then measure the height of the window. Don’t forget to consider how long you’d like the blind to be – not forgetting the existence of radiators or furniture beneath the window – and space for the mount at the top of the window where the blind will be fixed.

Measuring for Curtains

When you’re measuring up for curtains, first start by measuring the width of your curtain pole or track. Then consider how long you’d like your curtains to be – sill length, below the sill or floor length? As a rough guide, some curtain experts recommend that sill length curtain finish about 1.5cm above the sill, that curtains that fall below the sill finish 15cm below and that floor length curtains finish 1.5cm above the floor.

Once you’re sure what length of curtains you want, it’s time to measure the length with your tape measure. Curtains are sold in pairs, but the measurements you’ll find on packaging refers to each curtain, rather than the two of them. You’ll generally find that the total width of both curtains should be 2 to 2½ times the width of the curtain pole or track.

With so many different types of blinds and curtains available today, you can make a real difference to many rooms of your home.

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Thank you for pointing out that with blinds that are inside the window you need to make a note of the narrowest point and measure width at top, middle and bottom. So many people only take one measurement and then become angry when they discover the blinds are too wide. Windows usually aren't completely square and people should remember that before ordering their blinds, especially if they're made to measure.
Ruthg - 5-Jul-12 @ 6:32 AM
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