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How to Measure Your Windows for Solar and Blackout Shades

November 01, 2018

How to Measure Your Windows for Solar and Blackout Shades

If you are buying shades from the shade shop online, you need to take the measurements yourself for the best fitting shades. All you need to decide is if you want your shades mounted inside the window frame or outside. Neither is right or wrong, just a preference on how you want your windows to look. An inside mounted shade will fit completely inside the window frame, providing a clean look with more of the woodwork exposed. To fit the window treatment best, a minimum space requirement of ¾ inches is needed for the shades to function properly. For an outside mount, the entire shade will go over the window frame, giving a more dramatic, taller appearance to the windows. There is no depth requirement for this option.

Once you have decided which mounting option you prefer, follow this simple guide to getting the best measurements for the space. All you will need is a measuring tape, pen, and a piece of paper.

Inside Mount Measuring

Find a spot on the inside of the window frame where you want the shade placed. Hold the end of the measuring tape in place as you stretch your tape all the way across the window to the opposite side of the frame where the other end will sit. For the most accurate measurement, make sure your measuring tape is level as you measure. Write that length down as your ordering width and round to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.

Next, measure from the top of the inside frame, all the way to the bottom of the window on the inside frame. For best results, measure in three separate locations- left, middle, and right- since frames are not always exactly even. Again, make sure your measuring tape is exactly vertical for the most exact measurement and write down the largest of the three measurements. This will be the length of the shades you order.

Tip: You only measure the top when measuring the window shade.

As a note from the workroom, the solar shade and black shade will be about 1 3/8” narrower. This allows for the material to clear the brackets. If you are ordering blackout shades and think that you will not like the light gap left, consider getting the outside mount option instead.

Outside Mounting Measuring

For an outside mounting outside mount installment, the process is similar. Choose a spot on the outside of the frame where you want your shades mounted. Measure from this spot all the way to the other side, again making sure that the measuring tape is kept level. Write this measurement down as your ordering width.

Tip: If there is no window frame, you can just measure from the outside of the window box, giving an extra inch of space for clearance and style.

Measure from the top of the frame to the same spot on the bottom, making sure that it is straight for the best measurement. Write this down for your ordering length.

As a note from the workroom, the fabric for the shade will be 1 ¾ inches narrower to clear the brackets. If you do not want a light gap, make sure you are adding the extra space to the window opening for your ordering width. Also, upholstered valances will be 1” wider due to returns.





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