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The Difference between Inside and Outside Mounts of Window Treatments.

What suits your windows the best?

Window treatments or coverings can be bewildering at times. How different window accessories work and which one is suitable are the important questions to be answered. The other day, I met my new neighbors in the street, and as they seemed warm and amicable, I invited them home for tea. I walked them around the house since they needed some ideas for their new décor, especially the windows. One of the girls asked me what would be a preferable option for window treatments – Inside Mount or Outside Mount- what suits best? I slipped into deep contemplation, and two minutes later all I could say was: “I don’t have much of an idea!” Frankly, I had no clue, and that dumb look on my face was very apparent. When they asked what premise I used for my windows, again, all I could say was “Ummm, actually my friend helped me set up this entire apartment, I don’t really know much about the technicalities”.

I decided to do some quick research to find out what exactly the terms meant. On doing a quick read, I got to know of certain essential characteristics of the mounts. While both options block light and reduce energy costs, an insight into the features of each would make the choice easier.

The Inside Mount.

As the name suggests, shades/blinds hung within or inside of window frames give your windows the cleanest look. It is because they fit inside the window frame, and can be mounted as deep or as shallow as one likes. Inside mount blinds/shades are installed with the brackets attached to the inside of the window frame, and depending upon the bracket they can be placed anywhere on the top, or the corner of the inside of a window frame. In both cases, accurately measuring your windows becomes imperative. However, with inside mounts, the room for error is miniscule. A few of the advantages of inside mounts are –

· Getting the inside mount is a sure way to get a chic and refined look to highlight the trim around your windows.

· The best insulating properties for shading can be achieved by hanging them as close to the windows as possible.

· For a window with a deep sill, an inside mount allows you to use the sill as a shelf to place your plants, books, or for any decorative element.

Limitations –

· The inside mounts generally leave miniscule 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.

The Outside Mount.

· The outside mounted blinds and shades while hanging outside the window frame cover the entire window and give the flexibility of choosing almost any window covering because the window frame does not matter.

· Outside mounts provide a uniform look to your windows, so you can consider the idea when you deal with uneven, uniquely shaped windows or when the window frame isn’t deep enough. The brackets are mounted outside the window frame such that your shades/blinds extend past the frame.

· When shading is mounted outside a window frame, it creates the impression of larger window spaces

· You can easily cover up any window trim you’d like to hide. The obstacles like handles or cranks in casing can be tackled with ease by the outside mount.

· The outside mount, being installed higher than the window frame when raised entirely they stack up above the frame without obstructing your view.

· When lowered, the shades mounted outside block the light a lot better, as they cover the entire window with an excellent margin. However, while mounting them on the frame itself, the measurements need to be precise.


· 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.

The choice of whether your shades/blinds hang inside or outside a window frame is just one among many ways to customize your needs, but nonetheless an important one. Well, as for me, I walked up to my neighbors the following day with ample information to satiate their questions regarding mounts, window treatments et al.!

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