Roller Blinds – A Buying Guide

Roller blinds are a great addition to any home. They’re durable, long-lasting, eye catching, and practical. You can use roller blinds to block out light, to keep in heat, or just for decoration.

Roller blinds are usually made out of a fabric which has been specially treated to make it slightly stiff. Modern blinds are operated by a spring mechanism, but some older designs use beaded cords to open and close them.

There are several different kinds of blinds:

  • Blackout roller blinds are popular in bedrooms. They are made out of a tightly-woven fabric that blocks out all light, enabling you to get a good night’s sleep without fear of light pollution.
  • Venetian blinds have horizontal slats which can be raised and lowered to control the amount of light let into the room. These are popular in offices.
  • Roman blinds have soft pleats in them that allow them to be raised and lowered easily. The pleats are kept in place with dowel rods which are sewn into the fabric.
  • Vertical blinds are similar to venetian blinds, except they have vertical slats. These must be custom made to fit your size of window.

When you go to purchase roller blinds, it’s a good idea to have your window’s measurements written down.  First of all, decide whether you plan to have your blinds fitted inside the recess, or outside the recess. If you are going for a fitting inside the recess, then the recess of your window should be at least three inches deep, otherwise the window will not be able to accommodate the mechanism used to operate the roller blinds. Also, make sure that the windowsill is uncluttered, and that the blinds will be able to open and close freely. Measure the full width of the window, and the full height.

If you are opting for a fit outside of the recess – which you will have to do if your window recess is only a couple of inches deep, then you will need to decide how much of the roller blinds you want to overlap the walls. The recommended overlap is 45mm (one and three-quarter inches). If you have any doubts about your measurements, it’s a good idea to get an expert to measure your windows for you. The small initial outlay will save you a lot of hassle and disappointment compared to ordering blinds that are the wrong size for your windows.

Some designs of roller blinds must be measured and produced specially for the buyer’s windows. Others are sold as being ‘one-size-fits-all’ and can be cut down to size by the buyer. If you opt for roller blinds that must be cut down to size, then you should measure carefully before you cut – and remember to deduct the width of the winding mechanism from your fit, otherwise you will end up with a blind that is too long! Most fabrics can be cut with a pair of good, sharp scissors, but the roller mechanism will need cut with a small saw.

This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Creatively Different Blinds. James writes on many topics including roller blinds and other aspects of interior design.
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