Installing basic vinyl horizontal window blinds.

Window Treatments:

Installing Basic Horizontal
Window Blinds

In This Article:

Plastic brackets are screwed to the window trim, a middle support bracket is mounted, and the blind is set in place.

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Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: About 30 Minutes

By , Editor

Start:

This window needed new horizontal blinds.

There were some cheap blinds here previously, but I pulled too hard on the strings to raise the blinds, and the plastic channel at the top broke and the whole thing came crashing down.

I prefer to stay away from the very cheapest blinds... however I will buy the second-cheapest blinds.

Window with no blinds or curtains.

 

Vinyl window blinds from Home Depot "Perfect Home" #400 033. I bought this horizontal blind at Home Depot for $8.

 

The blinds are supported by a pair of these plastic brackets. Plastic end bracket for mounting horizontal blinds.

 

Marking end locations of horizontal window blinds. I held the blinds up to the top window casing, made sure it was centered side-to-side, and marked the ends with a pencil.

 

Positioning The Mounting Brackets:

To illustrate this procedure, I used these photos from after the blinds were installed.

The instructions say to mount the end brackets about 1/4 inch from the end of the top rail, as shown in the photo.

This allows for a small amount of side-to-side play between the top rail and the brackets.

Position of end bracket relative to end of horizontal window blind top rail.

 

Location of end mounting bracket for venetian blinds. With this 1/4" offset, it just happened that the lower hole (red arrow) aligned with the pencil mark I made earlier (indicated by the red vertical lines).

Also, I positioned the end brackets vertically so they aligned with the top edge of the casing. The curved contour of the window trim made it tricky to install the brackets perfectly vertical... by being placed at the top edge the brackets had a slight tilt forward, but they worked fine.

Depending on the shape of the casing, it might be necessary to place a small thin shim under the end brackets to make them plumb (straight up-and-down).

 

I held the plastic bracket against the window casing and marked the holes, then I drilled holes for the mounting screws.

I used a 3/32" drill bit.

Pre-drilling holes for window blind mounting bracket.

 

Installing support bracket for window blinds. I drove in two #6 pan-head screws (supplied) to secure the brackets to the wood trim.

 

Then I set the blinds in the brackets. Setting window blinds into end support brackets.

 

Window blinds sitting in brackets. Like this.

But I'm not done yet.

 

Many wider blinds (this one was 39" wide) have an extra support bracket in the middle of the top rail.

On these plastic blinds, there was a slot in the underside of the top rail.

Notch in window blind body for middle support bracket.

 

Middle support bracket for wide window blinds with long top rail. The bottom lip on this metal bracket goes into that slot.

 

After I marked the location, I removed the blinds and mounted the middle bracket to the window trim. Attaching window blind middle support bracket to window casing.

 

Marking The Location Of The Middle Bracket:

If the bracket is not positioned accurately, it could be difficult or impossible to get the blinds to fit into the middle bracket and the end brackets.

My first step was to slide the top rail back-and-forth within the end brackets, which told me how much free play there was. Then I positioned the top rail in the middle of this range of side-to-side play. Next, I placed the middle bracket on the top rail of the blinds. The middle bracket had some free play, so I moved the bracket side-to-side, then positioned the bracket in the middle of this range. I marked the sides with a pencil, then I lifted up on the bracket to ensure the top rail was not sagging, and I marked the top of the middle bracket.

 

Installing plastic cover in end bracket of window blinds. Then I set the blinds in place again.

I inserted these plastic covers into slots in the end brackets.

THIS IS IMPORTANT! Without these little covers, the blinds can fall out of the brackets.

 

I slipped the tilter wand onto the hook on the tilter shaft. This device is rotated to tilt the blinds open or closed. Installing tilting wand on window blinds.

 

Nearly completed window blind installation. At this point the blinds are complete enough to use, but there are a couple of finishing touches left.

 

This little plastic clip is used to hold a vinyl slat that covers the top rail. Plastic clip for mounting cover strip at top of window blinds.

 

Placing plastic clip on top rail of window blind. I slipped the clip over the top rail, with the "C"-shape facing out.

 

Then I squeezed the vinyl slat to fit it into the grooves in the plastic clips. Installing vinyl slat into plastic clips at top of window blinds.

 

Hold-down brackets to secure lower end of window blinds when installed on doors.

Hold-Down Brackets:

These small clear plastic angle brackets are used to fasten the bottom of the blinds to something.

These hold-down brackets are commonly used to secure blinds that are installed over doors with windows (such as French doors). Without these brackets, the blinds swing wildly when the door is opened or closed quickly.

 

The brackets would be screwed to the surface, and the prong snaps into a hole in the end of the bottom rail. Hold-down clip placed in bottom rail of window blinds.

 

Completed installation of horizontal window blinds. The completed horizontal blinds.

Many people also install some type of curtain over the window to dress it up. I'll get to that project someday...

 

 

Beware Of This Hazard:

Over the last couple of decades several young children have died from strangulation while playing around the cords of window blinds. This has especially been a problem with cords that form a loop at the bottom.

The problem happens when a child sticks his neck through the looped cord and spins around in circles, tightening the cord until he can't breath.

If there is even a chance that small children could ever be visiting your home, I urge you to keep all window blind cords (and curtain cords) up and out of reach of small children.

Of course, if you have small children, you need to be aware of these hazards and always keep cords out of their reach.

Warning tag about risk of strangulation of small children when playing around cords of window blinds or curtains.

 

Knot used to secure plastic handle on cords for window blinds. Afterward, I cut the cords shorter by about 2 feet, because when the blinds were raised the cords reached all the way to the floor. I slipped the small plastic handle over the string and re-tied the knot.

Note how the ends are tied to prevent the knot from pulling through the plastic handle. A simple knot won't work... I just folded the string back and then tied a simple knot with both strands, just like the knots on the original ends of the strings.

 

More Info:

Tools Used:
  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Drill Bit, 3/32"
  • Phillips Screwdriver Bit
  • Pencil
Materials Used:
  • Vinyl Horizontal Blinds, "Perfect Home" number 400-033 (Home Depot)
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Written June 8, 2010