How to Measure Blinds: Step by Step

How to Measure Blinds: Step by Step

Now that you have your blinds, it is time to mount them to the wall. When hanging window blinds in your home you have to start by measuring the space you need the blinds to cover. Precision is key, as you don’t want your blinds too wide or too narrow. An accurate measurement will ensure great-looking window coverings. When measuring for blinds it is important to remember a few key things.

-A steel measuring tape is much more accurate than cloth.

-Always measure to the nearest 1/8-inch.

-Always put your width measurement first followed by the height.

Inside Mount vs Outside Mount

Before taking any measurements, you first have to determine how you will hang the blinds. There are two different options. The inside mount or the outside mount.

Inside Mounted blinds are installed inside the window casing. This means they are narrower than the window frame. This type of mount is commonly used in conjunction with draperies, which mount to the outside of the window. Inside mounts offer a clean, streamlined look, but don’t provide as much light control as outside mounts.

Outside Mounted blinds overlap the window frame and hang from the upper headrail. They are a popular choice when the blinds are going to be the only window covering. This style also tends to make the window appear larger than it is. 

Measuring for Inside Mounted Blinds

When you’re measuring for inside mounted blinds, accuracy is extremely important. In order to get the accurate measurement please follow the four simple steps below.

Step 1: Measure from inside edge to inside edge at the bottom, middle, and top of the window. Record the narrowest measurement. This is because not all windows are built perfectly, and the measurement of each can vary slightly.

Step 2: Measure from the inner edge of the upper frame to the top of the bottom sill (or however far down you would like your blinds to go) at the left, middle, and right side. Write down the longest length of these three measurements.

Step 3: Deduct 1/4” from the width measurement to prevent your blinds from scratching the sides of the window frame.

Step 4: Deduct 1/4” from the height measurement if you don’t want your blinds to rest on the sill.

Pro Tip:

– Double-check the mounting requirements of your chosen blinds to ensure your window has enough depth to accommodate an inside mount.

Measuring for Outside Mounted Blinds

Outside mounted blinds are much easier to measure. When you’re measuring them allow enough space to accommodate the mount.

Step 1: Measure the width of the window including the molding and frame,

Step 2: Measure the height of the window including the molding and frame.

Pro Tip:

– Add at least 3” to the width measurement as this allows it to overlap 1.5” on each side. This will protect you from the light getting through the sides of the blinds.

– Add at least 3” to the height measurement. You always want to go a little longer than you need, as blind height is easy to adjust.

– For vertical blinds add 4” to the width and 3” to the height. This will compensate for these types of blinds for when they are fully opened.

Guide to Choosing Blinds and Shades

Guide to Choosing Blinds and Shades

(What you need to know before shopping for window treatments)

When shopping for window treatments there are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Things you need to consider are how much privacy it will give you, how much insulation you need, and what functionality you expect the window treatment to have. We have gathered our best advice to help you through the process.

How to Decide Between Blinds and Shades

Both blinds and shades can provide privacy and add a lot of character to a room. The main difference is the material. Blinds are considered a hard window treatment as they are made from wood or metal. While shades have a softer feel and are fabric-based. However, beyond those basics, there are other things you should consider.

Light and Privacy:

Shades are better for diffusing light or darkening a room altogether. When closed, most cellular shades create a soft, warm glow without sacrificing any privacy. Vinyl roller shades can darken or completely blackout a room, which is useful in rooms such as bedrooms or home theaters.


How often do you see yourself cleaning your window treatments? Blinds don’t need professional cleaning, but they can attract dust. The dust can easily be handled by running a wet rag along them from time to time. While shades don’t attract dust the way blinds do, they still need to be cleaned. The easiest way to clean most shades is by simply running a vacuum brush attachment over them, but any stains need to be left to the professionals.


Many types of shades offer excellent insulation by either blocking the sun’s rays to keep your home cooler or preventing warm air from escaping during colder weather. Hunter Douglas cellular shades are generally considered to be the most energy-efficient window treatments in that regard, thanks to their signature honeycomb pockets of air that create separation between the room and the window. Hunter Douglas Roman shades, especially with an insulating liner, and solar shades are also good choices for insulating window treatments. Blinds allow more airflow than shades, making them poor insulators, particularly against heat loss. Shades are a better choice over blinds if insulation is your main concern.

Costs :

Blinds are often considered a more budget-friendly option, but high-end custom blinds can be more expensive than simple roller shades. Though basic aluminum blinds are generally less expensive than basic shades, there truly is something to fit anyone’s budget.

If you still need more help on your decision Cool Shades AZ can assist you.  We can answer any questions you may have, make suggestions on the best window treatments for your style, and make sure it fits your budget. If you’re looking for custom blinds or shades, reach out to Cool Shades AZ today!

Types of Exterior Shutters: How to Choose the Right Ones

At Cool Shades AZ, we understand the right exterior shutter adds character and dimension to a home. Shutters come in many styles, but which shutter style is right for your property depends on your home’s architecture and your personal preference. To get started we are going to go over the types of shutters and materials you have to choose from.

Exterior Shutter Styles: The Basics

There are five types of exterior shutters: louvered, raised panel, board & batten,  Bahama & Bermuda, and flat panel. We are going to dive into a description of each of these.

Panel Shutters:

Panel Shutters are a very traditional and classic look for a home, that remains popular to this day. The panel design may be raised, flat, or recessed. Panel shutters provide great insulation so are more popular in house styles with colder climates as they used to be functionally used to cover windows. Today, insulated windows have removed the need for these shutters to be functional, however, they remain popular in these areas.

Louver Shutters:

Louver shutters are common in American architecture. They have noticeably angled slats that can be fixed or operable. These shutters are a popular choice for homes in a warmer climate like Phoenix as they can provide nice airflow and if operable can keep out the heat and sun.

Board & Batten Shutters:

Board & Batten Shutters most likely originated in the countryside.  The design is simple, just a row of planks aligned lengthwise and connector planks running horizontally at the top and bottom. Due to their simplicity, these work well on brick siding or farmhouse-style homes.

Bahama & Bermuda Shutters:

Hence the name, Bahama and Bermuda shutters are louvered shutters that are applied to the top of the window instead of on the sides. These are mainly seen in tropical areas to protect the windows from storms and debris.

Flat Panel

You may also hear these called shaker shutters, but you can identify this type of shutter by its flat, solid panels. Fundamentally, these shutters are great for blocking out bad weather and sunlight. These shutters have a very neutral design which allows them to work well with any home, but are popularly found on country-cottage and modern homes.

Exterior Shutter Styles: The Material

Now that you have selected the shutter style that is best suited for your home you now have to decide the best material to create the shutter. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages so you need to consider the durability, price, and appearance of the different material options.


Vinyl shutters are a great choice if you are looking for something inexpensive and low maintenance. Since they are made from PVC they are resistant to fading, rotting, or cracking. To make them look more elegant you can also opt for a wood grain finish to give the shutter more texture.


Wood shutters are a classic and add an elegant look to your home. However, these shutters do require some maintenance. Since wood ages over time, you will need to seal them annually so that they stay durable.

Composite Wood

For someone who wants the look of wood, but with less maintenance, composite wood shutters may be right for you. Composite wood is made out of a material that looks like real wood, yet doesn’t need the annual maintenance that regular wood requires. Also, composite wood is a more affordable option that can be created in a variety of styles.

To help you pick out the perfect shutter for your home please email us at Cool Shades AZ and we can put you in touch with someone to work with you to decide the perfect shutter for your home!

Your Ultimate Guide to Window Treatments

Your Ultimate Guide to Window Treatments

Window treatments are any type of material used to cover a window completely or partially. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and price points. Different types of window treatments service different purposes. To start, they are a simple way to bring personality and style into your decor. Even though stylish, they are also an important and necessary part of a home. This is because they work functionally to filter sunlight, provide privacy, and regulate the temperature in your residence. When choosing the right window treatment for your home you have three options: blinds, shutters, or shades.


Blinds are considered a hard window treatment, as they are made up of a series of hard, interconnected slats rather than a soft fabric. These slats can be manually angled to allow in different amounts of light, even when the blinds are fully closed. There are many types of blinds and we are going to highlight a few below.

Alta Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

A timeless decor choice, Alta’s wood blinds create a warm, welcoming feeling in a room. These types of blinds are built to last. Alta’s real wood blinds come in a variety of stains and finishes, so you can make them match any room. Like all blinds, they work well for bedrooms, living rooms, etc.

Alta also has faux wood blinds which have the benefit of wood blinds, but at a budget-friendly price. These blinds are scratch-resistant, low maintenance, and are easier to clean than real wood blinds. They are ideal for rooms with high humidity as they don’t crack, peel, or warp. Faux blinds come in a variety of colors, and unlike wood blinds can bend without breaking. However, their heavier weight can make them harder to hang than real wood blinds.

Alta Vertical Blinds

Alta’s vertical blinds are a stylish and practical window treatment choice for sliding glass doors and large windows throughout your home. Vertical window blinds offer you complete control over how much natural light you allow in your home. This budget-friendly option is available in many styles and colors, but is most commonly made out of a vinyl material.


Window shades are soft window coverings. Instead of slats, they are composed of one continuous panel of fabric. There are many types of window shades depending on your home’s style. Since they are made of fabric, there is a wide range of colors and designs to choose from.

Alta’s Roller Shades

Alta’s roller shades move up and down with a pull. When lowered they decorate your window with a beautiful fabric that adds a lot of character to a room. Roller shades provide you with full control of how much light you let through your windows. Blackout shades completely stoplight at the window, making them ideal for bedrooms or entertainment rooms. Thinner shade fabric will remove the direct sunlight, but still allow some light to enter. As a bonus, roller shades are the easiest window treatment to clean.

Alta’s Woven Wood Shades

Alta’s woven wood shades bring a relaxed and inviting look into any room. These shades are made of twines, hemp, rattan, ropes, and reeds. Also called bamboo shades, woven wood adds texture and earthiness to any space.


Shutters are a classic window treatment option that are available in many styles and materials. A shutter is made of horizontal louvers or slats in a frame. The larger the louver, the more light and less privacy the shutter provides.

Now that you understand what window treatments are it is time to select what the best window treatment option is for you. At Cool Shades AZ we specialize in helping our customers choose the right customized window treatment for their home.