Blinds Project

We’ll spare you the details of selecting blinds, as this is a personal choice. Definitely shop around and look for sales and coupons. We planned to install the blinds ourselves, which we felt was a manageable project. We saved hundreds of dollars by not having the shades professionally installed, and it turned out that it was not that hard!

We had a total of eleven shades that we wanted to hang. The first couple of blinds were a challenge, but once I got the hang of things, everything went pretty smoothly. I have a few hints that I hope will help for anyone taking on this type of project.

  • Pace yourselves! Don’t try to do all of the shades in a day or weekend. While we wanted it done quickly, that is just not the way to go. We decided we would put up no more then three or four shades per weekend. For us, that meant three weekends for the project, but that was OK.
  • Measure carefully before purchasing. While this may be obvious, a wrong measurement, or even sloppy note taking can mean another round trip to your local hardware warehouse store. From experience, this is frustrating. Double check and make sure to get it right the first time.
  • Use your own screws. This may sound odd, but I found it to be very helpful. I tried to use the supplied hanging devices, but for my home the screws would not work. I needed to install in dry wall, and if you read the instructions that come with the blinds, you’ll need your own screws and dry wall mounts.  I used #8 metal screws and mounts (link to store here). This size worked for my walls and all the different blinds. At times I needed to cut the plastic wall mounts by a third, but this was OK. One great benefit was that I used the same drill size for all of my holes (3/7) which made the jobs go faster. The last few went very well, which I am sure came from experience of the first few blinds.
  • Cheat on the marking. While we measured carefully to make sure we had the right size blinds for each location, we did not use a measuring tape once while hanging. Instead, I put the blind mounts on the blinds and held them up while my wife marked the ends. I then just held the mounts in place and marked the hole positions. I drilled the holes, inserted the plastic dry wall mounts and screwed in the mounts.  A couple of windows required a side by side installation. I hammered in a couple of small nails half way and strung a piece of sting. It was easy to determine the center point, and the string helped my keep everything in line.
  • Start your holes right. This may sound simple, but sometimes it is tricky. For dry wall, I could push the tip of the drill bit in for a quick start. However, I had to hang a few of the blinds in tile in the bathrooms. I was pretty nervous, but a handy man friend said not to worry. He said all I need to do was take a small nail and hammer it in just a bit to mark the hole. It worked great and made for perfect holes.
  • Keep the blinds as close to the window as possible. This just makes the blinds look much nicer when you are done. They also fit in the window ceil better and out of the way.
  • Remove access stings! This is a safety issue, and certainly important to us with children. While I am not worried about my teenagers getting caught in the blinds, I do worry about the little one and her friends. It doesn’t take that long to shorten the pull stings and is well worth the time. I also removed the excess slats at the bottom of each blind, which removed weight and pull on the mountings.

So, the blinds were done and now we just wanted to see the results.