Has lack of knowledge ever kept you from buying and installing blinds and shades yourself? At Blinds.com, we believe that anyone can learn their way around a window in no time at all. Follow the Back to Blinds School guide below, master each subject and move from a blinds beginner to a blinds expert!

English: Blinds Vocabulary

A list of words you're likely to come across when shopping for window treatments.

The Basics

Mathematics: Measuring for Blinds

Worried about making the wrong measurements? In addition to our SureFit™ Guarantee, which covers you in the unlikely event that you make a measuring mistake, we also have measuring instructions for every type of window treatment.

But if you're unsure about what type of product you want to buy just yet, here are the basics of measuring for your windows.

Tips Before You Start

Use a steel tape measure for best accuracy.
Round each measurement to the nearest 1/8".
Always record width (left to right) first, and then height (top to bottom).
The Science of Choosing Blinds

If you're not sure what type of blind or shade would work best in your home, a few considerations might help you narrow down your choices. There are a number of distinguishing factors that make each type of blind unique.


Did you know that window treatments can help insulate your windows and save you money on your electricity and heating bills? As much as 20% of your home's energy could be lost through your windows, which means they're extremely important in keeping your monthly bills down. The following window treatments can have the greatest impact on your bills:

Cellular Shades The unique, stylish honeycomb design of cellular shades provides a great boost to your window's insulation. The air pockets, or cells, trap air to make sure your energy stays right where it belongs—in your home!
Solar Shades Solar shades help decrease the solar gain in your home, protect your furniture and belongings and lower your electricity bills—and all with a beautiful array of textures, colors and styles to choose from.
Shutters In addition to adding long-term value to your home, shutters have an added benefit—they trap air and block light, giving you insulation and privacy all at once.
Home Economics: Designing Your Rooms

Of course, all the science and practicality in the world can't compare to the unmatched look of a window treatment that complements your room in every way. If choosing window blinds and shades is a matter of summoning your inner designer, here are some tips to follow.

Play Matchmaker with Your Windows: Ordering Samples

Not sure if the blind and shade you want matches the rest of your room? You can mix, match and compare styles with FREE samples from Blinds.com! Choose from packs of our most popular colors, or simply add the products you want.

You can get up to 10 samples shipped to you at no cost whatsoever. Play designer with different styles, colors and textures, all to give your home that look you've been waiting for.

Shop Class: Installing Window Blinds and Shades

Installing your own window blinds doesn't require a master craftsman or even a handyman. All you need are a few tools, some basic knowledge, your window treatment and a few minutes of time—and in some cases, not even all of those things.

Basic Installation Tips

The tools you'll need to install most of our products:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
Basic Installation Steps

Installing the mounting brackets - To start your installation, you will have to install the mounting brackets into your window frame (for inside mount) or above and around the window (for outside mount). This involves just a few screws, and maybe some pre-drilling depending on your window casing. For a wider window, you'll need center support brackets, which will hold up the middle of the blind. A level and measuring tape will be your best friends here, to make sure that the mounting brackets are in a straight line.

Installing the blind or shade on the brackets - Next, you'll place the blind or shade into the brackets, which typically involves simply snapping the product in place. Depending on the type of window treatment and lift mechanism (cordless, continuous cord loop, top-down/bottom-up), this process will be slightly different.

Installing the valance - Most valances attach to the product with simple valance clips, so this step is just a matter of clicking two pieces of hardware together and lining them up.

Installing the optional parts - Some blinds come with hold-downs (to keep them attached to walls or doors), some with tension devices to keep a cord against a wall, etc. The last step of installation is attaching these to your wall, as indicated by your product's instructions.

And that's it! Since every window's different, there will of course be some variations depending on the product and your unique situation. Blinds and shades typically only take 10-15 minutes to install apiece. However, if you run into any difficulties, we always have installation professionals on hand to answer any questions. And if you're still concerned about installing your own window treatments, we provide professional installation services as well!

Want an Easier Installation? Try InstaFit™

Still want to do it yourself, but don't want to use tools? InstaFit™ is our newest, exclusive product—it installs with no hassle, no tools and in no time at all. Because of its patent-pending design, InstaFit™ can be snapped into your window frame in just seconds, just like hanging a shower rod. You get all the benefits of a beautiful, custom, cordless honeycomb shade without any of the time associated with installing a regular blind or shade—all at a great low price.

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