Sliding Doors and Need for Window Treatments
Sliding glass doors or patio doors make a gorgeous addition to your homes. The big glass doors covering almost an entire wall lets ample natural light into the house and also offers a brilliant view of the outside landscape or gardens. It is fascinating to watch the rains or even a beautiful sunrise and sunset from the comfort of your homes. While these doors do wonders for your homes, they also pose practical challenges. Glass doors can cause loss of energy as they can easily allow heat loss or heat gain from the house. They can compromise your privacy by exposing the insides of the house to outsiders and also allow easy passage for harmful UV rays that can cause damage to your health and to your expensive décor.
Sliding doors must be wisely treated to make them more functional. Window shades or blinds have to be used to provide insulation to the door, make them energy-efficient, preserve your privacy and help block out sun’s glares and UV rays. Before you can go ahead and invest in a window treatment for your sliding glass doors there are a number of considerations.
Measuring Sliding Glass Door for Blinds: Steps
Type of Blinds/Shades
Firstly you need to decide on the type of blinds or shades for the sliding door. Vertical blinds are better suited for larger windows and doors as they stack sideways and hence allow you the space to operate the doors. Pleated shades, Cellular Honeycomb Shades, Faux Wood Blinds, Wood blinds, Roller blinds, and Fabric blinds are popular choices for your sliding doors. You also need to decide whether you want one large shade/blind that will cover the whole door or you want to pieces, side-by-side shades that can be operated independently.
Vertical blinds can be split stack or side stack. Split stack vertical blinds open from the center and the vanes stack equally on either side of the door. Side stack vertical blinds open stack on either side of the door. So they can be left side stack or right side stack vertical blinds. If your sliding door opens on the right you need left stack blinds so that the vanes stack on the left side leaving the right exposed for usage. If the door opens on the left then you need to opt for right stack blinds. Split stack blinds are more suitable for French doors as they open at the center.
Mount type also has an important bearing on the measurement of your sliding glass door for blinds. Inside mount are fitted inside the window casing and will not cover the glass door’s border. Outside mounts, on the other hand, are fitted outside the door frame on the wall. The type of mount depends upon the depth of windows. If there is no enough depth in a window to mount the blinds inside the frame then you have to opt for an outside mount. Outside mounts are more commonly used for vertical blinds.
Moulding or No Moulding
If there is a moulding encasing the window, make sure that the measurements take the molding into consideration when you are doing an outside mount. Add 2 inches to the length of your vertical blinds which means that you have to measure from the floor to 2 inches above the molding. In the absence of moulding, the measurement will be from the floor to 2 inches above the opening.
Measurement of Width
• Measure the width of the window/door. Measure the exact width from the inside edge of the frame on the right to the inside edge of the frame on the left.
• Measure the top, bottom and center of the window/door. Identify which is the narrowest width of the three and round it to the nearest 1/8 inch.
• Provide 2.5 inches minimum depth for completing the installation of blinds inside the window/door.
For outside mounts, determine where you want the edges of the blind to extend on either side of the window. Vertical blinds will extend about 4-5 inches beyond the actual window while outside mount shades should cover about 1/1.5-2 inch of the wall on either side. The width of the window trim must be taken into consideration when measuring outside mount blinds and shades.
Measurement of Height
• Measure the height of the window/door. If it is an inside mount then measure the height from the inside of the top of the window’s trim to the inside of the trim at the bottom.
• Measure the door on the left, right and center and take the tallest measurement and round it up to the nearest 1/8 inch. Take the measurement in such a way that the blinds sit just above the floor to prevent dragging of the vanes.
• For outside mount, you will have to take measurement from the top of where the headrail is fitted, down to the floor. Vertical blinds should be mounted about 3 inches above the window opening. The vanes should not touch the floor and must fall just short of the floor.
• Unlike shades, height is very important for vertical blinds. For most shades, any extra will not be too noticeable (as the extra fabric will stack or stay in the roll). However, for height, it will determine the length of the vanes.
Make sure that you recheck and record the measurements: first the width and then the height, and not the other way round.
Measurement for Side-to-Side Shades
If you have opted for two side-by-side shades instead of one single then you must take care to measure both sides separately. Take special cognizance of the width of the frame around the part where the door moves to determine that there is no gap at the center from where the light will pass through. The shades should meet at the middle mullion of the door, which will help block any light that would come through the gap between the two shades.
Points to Remember
• To get the best measurements, use a steel tape measure.
• Don’t get confused between width and height measurements. Follow the width by height format always and mark them down.
• Measure them to the nearest 1/8 inch.
• There may be more than one door in the house, but make sure to measure them separately. Never assume that all doors are of same size.
• If you are installing vertical blinds very close to wall heaters ensure that the blinds clear the heaters by 6 inches on the side and 12 inches on the top.
• There mustn’t be any obstructions on either side of the doors that might prevent you from fitting a wider blind.
• If there are any obstructions near the door then make sure to take measurements to the right and left of the door frames up to the closest obstructions.
Sliding glass doors are stunners and to do complete justice to them you must choose the right window treatment. More important is taking the correct measurements for the blinds so that they make the perfect fit and does not look sloppy. Ill-fitted window blinds can be recipe for a disaster for your sliding glass doors.