There’s a wide range of simple to fit blinds available in all of the big DIY stores including roller blinds and venetian blinds. The process for fitting will vary a little depending on the make but the general principles are the same.
The blind can either be fitted within the window reveal or on the wall above the window. Generally, fitting them at the head of the window itself will look neater but can be a little more awkward – particularly if the window isn’t particularly square and true. In this article we will be fitting a roller blind in this way.
1. Measure the width of the window opening and select a blind which is at least this width. Unless you’re very lucky, the blind will need to be cut to size. If the exact width is not available, choose the next size up from the width you need. If you’re fitting a roller blind or venetian blind to the wall above the window (outside the recess) you will need to add at least 50mm to ensure that the window opening is completely covered.
2. Unpack the contents of the roller blind kit and check that all the components are there.
3. Inspect the brackets supplied. These are usually made so that they can be fixed either to the head of the reveal or, to the top of the window frame itself. For wooden windows, the latter is the easiest option.
For uPVC windows, you will need to fit the brackets to the head of the reveal.
4. Hold the first bracket in position and mark the screw holes. The bracket should be set in from the edge of the window reveal slightly to allow for some clearance as the blind is wound up and down. Fitting them too tightly will cause them to bind.
5. Drill a pilot hole in the wooden frame for the screw fixings – or, for softwood frames, simply use a bradawl to start the holes. If mounting into the ceiling of the reveal, you will need to drill and plug the holes. For more help on fixing to walls, see our Solid Wall Fixings and Hollow Wall Fixings articles.
6. Hold the bracket in position again and secure with the screws provided.
7. Now hold the second bracket in position at the other end and use a batten and spirit level to ensure that the two brackets will be horizontal to one another. This is well worth getting right as a blind which is not level will run out of true.
8. Mark the screw holes for the bracket as before.
9. Fasten the second bracket to the wooden frame. If you are plugging and screwing the brackets to the ceiling of the reveal, you may need longer screws than the ones provided in the kit.
10. Once the two brackets are secured, you will need to cut down the roller and the fabric to size. There will normally be detailed instructions in the pack explaining how to calculate the size. Basically, you need to measure the distance between the two end plates, deduct for the end fittings and use the result to measure and mark the fabric width.
11. Fully unroll the blind and lay it on a clean flat surface. Mark the required width at intervals down it.
12. Join the marks using a pencil and straight edge.
13. Now, using a sharp pair of scissors, trim the canvas to the line. Cut just inside the guide mark so that the pencil line is removed.
14. If the blind includes a weighted bar housed in a seam at the bottom of the fabric, this will need to be cut to length also.
15. Remove the bar from its sleeve, mark and cut with a small hacksaw.
16. You will now need to trim the roller itself. Again following the manufacturer’s instructions, calculate the required width and mark the roller. This will normally be a few mm wider than the fabric.
17. To ensure a straight cut on a round tube, wrap a strip of masking tape around it at the pencil mark making sure that the ends meet.
18. Cut the roller to length with a junior hacksaw and file off any burrs.
19. Roll the blind back up fully.
20. Insert the end mounting plates, ensuring that they are firmly fixed in position. If one of the mountings includes a pull cord mechanism, ensure that this is at the right end to suit your requirements.
21. Hold the roller blind up to the brackets above the window and insert one of the end pins into the slot in the bracket.
22. Repeat the process at the other end. You may need to gently lever the bracket outwards slightly to get it to slot into position.
23. Test the operation of the blind using the roller cord to roll it fully down and back up again.