Fitting vertical blinds is a necessary task if you want create shade and privacy in your home. Read on and learn how to be successful when fitting blinds and making them the ideal size for your room.
Make sure you have the right tools
Before you embark on fitting vertical blinds it's important to have the right tools at hand:
- A tape measure (preferably a steel one)
- A pair of pincers
- Saw for metal (hacksaw)
Keep track of the measurements
When you take measurements for shortening vertical blinds, you must first decide whether you want the slats to hang inside or outside of the window frame. If you want the track to sit inside the window frame, then deduct a further 0.5 - 1cm from your measurement of the width of the track.
You also need to be aware that you usually need to deduct 3cm of the total width of the track for operation. In those 3cm there will be no slat fabric to cover the window. If this is a problem then consider whether it might look better if you installed the blind track outside the window frame.
When you take measurements for fitting vertical blinds, remember to take into account the handles, cornices and how the window opens. We also recommend taking control measurements, because there may be a difference between the width of the window at the top and at the bottom. If there is a difference in your control measurements, you should always choose the lesser of the two measurements.
How to shorten vertical blinds in the width
If you want to place the blind track inside the window, you will often have to reduce the width. By removing some of the holders for the slats, you can also avoid surplus slats, which would obstruct the view when the blinds are rolled to one side.
Fitting vertical blinds in the width takes a bit of sawing. You need to saw the track at the opposite end from the control cords. Start by loosening the end of the track with a screwdriver, and then pull the surplus slat holders out of the track. Using a hacksaw, shorten the track according to your measurements, which you can mark with a pencil. Be careful not to cut the cords that control the slats.
Using a set of pincers, take the holders apart, so they can be removed from the cords. Then assemble the end again and the track is ready for installation. Once the track is in place, you just need to adjust the cord inside the track. It needs to be shortened by the same length as the overall width of the slats you removed. You can find video guides for different types of vertical blinds on YouTube. They show the procedure in greater detail.
How to shorten vertical blinds?
Even though it may take longer, we recommend cutting the slats one by one to make them the same. You can only shorten vertical blinds from the top of the slat, because you need to use the folded pockets for the bottom weights, which keep the blind in place.
Do not measure the length of the slats until you have fitted the track. Fix a single slat on a hook and check what length you need. This can then serve as a model for the others. If you want your blinds to reach right down to the floor, we suggest that the vertical blinds stop 5 cm from the floor to prevent them dragging along the floor and gathering dirt. It also makes vacuuming easier.
If you are installing the vertical blind above a windowsill, 3 cm from the bottom will usually be sufficient, but this is a matter of taste. You also need to be sure that the slats can keep out sunlight, if the sill at the bottom of the window is low.
Fitting vertical blinds
Vertical blinds always come with detailed fitting instructions when you buy them in standard sizes. Always follow the instructions, because they may vary according to the particular brand of the vertical blinds.