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!