You might save money by installing your own blinds. If you are outfitting your entire house with blinds, you definitely have a big project on your hands, but if you have the time and the know-how, go for it! If you’re only doing one room, then you have a manageable project — and a good way to see if the job is a good match to your skills.
If you’re thinking about putting up your own blinds, you must already have some ideas about what you want. Armed with these, and maybe some pictures, head to your local blinds store to discuss your options with a professional. Wood? Faux wood? Aluminum? Many consumers think they will save money by going to a big-box hardware store, but the truth is, you’re just adding in a middleman. The store has to make a profit, and the extra fee it tacks on comes out of your pocket. Deal with a blinds store, or, if you’re certain you know exactly what you want, with the manufacturer directly.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
After you’re sure of the product you want, it’s time to measure your windows. Many stores sell ready-made blinds, which are significantly cheaper than custom-made. However, the savings are not worth it to some people, who want their blinds to fit properly. The scenario is not unlike buying a pair of jeans: You can try on 100 kinds and find two or three that are acceptable, but for a truly perfect fit – no gaps, no sagging, no bunching up — custom is the only way to go. So measure your windows carefully — you want to make sure you get a good fit.
Once your perfectly sized blinds have arrived, it’s time to buckle on your tool belt and get to work. Although most blind installations are done in a similar fashion, read the manufacturer’s instructions first to check for any special directions or information. Barring anything out of the ordinary, your first step is installing the brackets. While it is technically not difficult to affix the brackets to the window frame, it is critically important that they be properly aligned and level with one another so that when installed, the blind is straight and even, otherwise it will not raise and lower properly.
Once you have the brackets properly installed, the blinds should snap into place easily. The next step is attaching the tilt wand and valances, if you have purchased any. Some blinds are made with the valances already attached, but others require the installer to attach them with clips.
Problems you can run into include difficultly getting the brackets level, difficultly getting them straight if you are affixing them to an angled frame and problems getting a safe, tight mount if you are attaching the brackets to plaster or wallboard. But don’t fear — most blinds stores will offer help if you run into trouble. Check ahead of time to make sure your blinds store offers installation support to its customers if you’re at all unsure of your ability to install your own blinds.