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Measuring Your Window Treatments

A Guide for Measurements of Window Coverings


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

One of the best ways to chase perfection is to take correct measurements and make accurate plans, especially when you are installing window treatments. I am consulted by my customers as much for installation of window coverings as for corrections of wrongly installed ones. What prevents your window dressing from getting that perfect finish? Besides many other insignificant factors, fumbling and making mistakes while taking measurements can spoil the perfect visual appearance of your window treatment.

Window treatment stores provide excellent guidance regarding ‘how to measure’ for their window coverings either on their websites which are updated on a regular basis. Measurements vary from one window dressings to another depending on their design and style. Artisan drapery, cellular shades, blinds or shutters will have different protocols for accurate measurements. Take the time to understand the step-by-step method before making your final purchase. If you are not sure of your skills, try with simple single window at a time or get an handy man to get correct window measurements since making corrections to already installed window treatments is tough.




Measuring for Cellular Shades or Blinds

Cellular blinds and shades can be installed as Inside Mount or Outside Mounts, depending on customer needs. Since inside mount blinds are installed within the window casing, minimum depth requirements vary by product. You will have to take measurements of the exact inside width of window casing from one inside edge to the other in three different places to find and record the narrowest measurement. For the accurate height, measure the exact height in three different places from top edge of opening to top of the sill and record the longest reading you find. For inside mounts, send the measurements accurately without making any deductions, since it will be done by the factory for a perfect fit.


Besides the height and width, you should measure the window diagonally in two places. If the diagonal dimensions are not equal, you may have to opt for an outside mount application for optimal function and visual appeal.


Outside mount cellular shades are installed over the window casing, covering an area larger than the window itself. Take measurements of the exact width you expect to be covered by your shades, which should conveniently overlap the window opening by minimum of 1 ½ inch on each side (3inch total overlap) to ensure light control and privacy. Next, measure the exact height you wish to cover, without missing the overlap. Measurements should be taken from the top edge of moulding to bottom edge, or to the top of sill if there is one. Remember, there will be no factory-made deductions for outside mount.





Measuring Guide for Artisan Drapery

Considering your drapery style and the type of drapery hardware you will use, take measurements accordingly consulting Drapery Styles and Hardware Summary chart for pairing options. According to the measuring guidelines, it is recommended that you use a steel tape for taking measurements. Measure to the nearest 1⁄8 inch (0.4 cm) since further adjustments will be made automatically at the factory to achieve the perfect fullness of your drapery panels. As, not all windows are perfectly square, you may have to take measurements at the top of the window. If you are ordering top treatments for multiple windows, make sure that you measure each window individually.


Make sure that you measure twice and document the smaller dimension. Also, length options vary by styles; hence you may have to check out the individual style specification pages for accuracy.


Before taking measurements, determine whether you prefer inside mount or outside mount for your artisan drapery. An inside mount cornice has a depth of 3 inch (7.7 cm). You should measure the depth of window casing to determine if it will accommodate an inside mount. Inside mount will be approximately 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) less than the ordered width. On the other hand, the outside mount face width on the Curved Cornice boards will be approximately 21⁄2 inch (6.4 cm) wider than the ordered width. Also, outside mount face width on the other fabric wrapped cornice styles will be 11⁄2 inch (3.9 cm) wider than the ordered width.


Width on a scarf is one full width of fabric which is standard and does not have to be noted at time of order. Considering the length you have to measure the size you want the scarf to drop down to the left and right sides, and add 18 inch (45.8 cm) to 30 inch (76.2 cm) if you plan to loop the scarf around the curtain rod or drop it in the centre. If you desire to puddle it on the floor then make sure you add 6 inch (15.3 cm) to 10 inch (25.4 cm) per side. Add the measurements to get an approximate scarf length for order.


Rod type and placement also play a huge role in the final width and length of the draperies installed. Do not overlook them when taking your measurements.





Measuring Standard Shutters

Inside mount shutters can be installed only on square windows; hence the first step for you is to confirm that your window is square. Take diagonal measurements. If the difference between the two diagonals is greater than ¼ inch, that opting for an outside mount shutter is recommended for you.
Measure the width of window at three points and the height at three points. Use the smallest width and height measurements for placing your order. For L-Frame and Deco Frame, measure frame-to-frame width at three points and frame-to-frame height at three points. Use the largest width and height measurements.


For shutters being installed in the same room and/or side by side, place the order at the same height to ensure rail width, divider rail location, louver count and hinge quantity will match.



Taking measurements for window treatments is a simple, quick and easy process. All you have to do is follow the instructions provided by the dealers diligently to save money and add a great aesthetic appeal to your windows.





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