The World of Window Treatments & The Problem of Choice
The world of window treatments is truly exciting. You would be amazed to know there is so much to learn about your windows, the different types of window coverings, the purposes they serve, their designs, styles, etc. When you decide to change window treatments of the house or ponder over the types of dressings for the windows of your new homes you think about curtains and the usual blinds that you have come across in hotels or restaurants. It is only when you start gathering information and doing your research you realize that there are endless possibilities and every window treatment available in the market is meant to address different concerns: your need for privacy, the need to filter and diffuse natural light, the need to block out the harmful UV rays and glares that hurt eyes, the need to preserve your outside view, need to preserve energy and so much more. Apart from the functionality, you have to understand which window treatment which blends well with your decor style. Aesthetics are an important factor in the house. You cannot pair loud and gorgeous window treatments with minimalist home decor style.
If this wasn’t enough, once you have finally decided the type of window treatment for your house you need to decide on how you want to mount the blinds. That is, whether these blinds will be inside or outside mount.
What are Inside Mount Blinds?
Inside mount, as the name suggests, have the blinds and shades hung inside the window frame. The blinds make a snug fit inside the window frame and give a clean and neat appearance to the windows. Inside mount blinds are installed with brackets and they can be fit anywhere on the top or the corner of the inside of the window frame. Accurate measurement is the key for inside mount blinds to make a good fit and to look great. There is little room for error.
For inside mounts, the headrail of the blinds sit back in the window casing which allows the window molding to be visible and also highlights the actual size of the window. The window must have sufficient depth to be able to accommodate the width of the headrail. The depth needed for inside mounts varies with every style of blinds but on an average for horizontal blinds, the windows need a depth of 1” to 4” and for vertical blinds, the depth needs to be at least 3” to 4”.
How to Measure for Inside Mount
Since inside mount blinds will make a snug fit, measurements have to be accurate.
• Take a measurement of the window width at the top, centre and bottom of the window.
• Make a note of the narrowest width without making any deductions. The manufacturer will make the deductions necessary for accommodating the mounting brackets and the headrail.
• Now measure the height of the window on the left, middle and right side of the window.
• Make a note of the longest height. In this case, do not make any deductions.
Limitations of Inside Mount
There are few limitations posed by inside mount blinds.
• The inside mounts generally leave minuscule light gaps along the edges of the blinds or shades, since they need space on each side to operate smoothly.
• For horizontal shades/blinds, when fully raised, the stack gathered at the top of the window can obscure the view, especially with Venetian blinds that have thick slats, and Roman Shades.
• Also if there are handles, locks or cranks on the windows, they can get in the way and restrict the smooth operation of lifting and lowering shades/blinds.
• Not all windows can accommodate an inside mount – windows frames with small depth and built flush to the walls can only accommodate outside mounts.
What are Outside Mount Blinds
As the name suggests, outside mount blinds hang or are installed outside the window frame. They cover the entire window.
• The size of the window doesn’t matter and your can choose any window treatment. They do not emphasize the size of the windows.
• Outside mount blinds provide a uniform look to the windows. There may be some windows that are shorter than the other or have certain flaws. The outside mount helps to cover all blemishes and give a uniform appearance to the windows.
• Outside mounts work best for smaller windows as they give impression of larger window spaces.
• As the outside blinds are installed outside the window frame, when raised, the slats gather above the frame and do not obstruct the view.
• Unlike inside mounts, outside mount blinds do not create light gaps. As they cover the entire window from one end to another including the frame, they cover all openings and hence better suited to block out light.
How to Measure for Outside Mount
Measurement need not be as stringent as in the case of inside mounts.
• Measure the width of the window casing where the blind will be hung.
• Make provision for addition of 3 inches that is 1.5” on either side for overlap. This is to ensure better privacy and light control.
• Take measurement of the height. The blinds will extend from the position of the head rail to base of the sill and in the absence of a sill measure the point where the blind will reach below the windows.
• For better light control add an extra 1-1.5”.
• When window shading is mounted outside the window frame, air tends to seep around the edges, resulting in heat gain in summer, and heat loss in winter. So, other than drapes that can be secured to the walls, and pool on to the floor, outside mounts would not provide significant insulation.
• It might not always be convenient to have overhangs with outside mounts, so there could be some disparity in the uniformity they could provide.
Whether you want your blinds to be outside or inside mount is an important decision that must be taken before you place the order for your customized window blinds. The type of mount will have an important bearing on the measurements. Once you have decided the mount you cannot change it once the blinds have been delivered because this will completely ruin the look and functionality of your blinds.