How to Install Blackout Roller Blinds

A man installing blinds in a window.
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Drill and bits

Installing blackout roller blinds in your house offers the best of both worlds. Not only are these blinds great at blocking out light, but they are a lot easier to roll up than traditional blinds. While setting up blackout roller blinds is fairly straightforward, there are a few critical steps you need to follow for a successful installation.

Step 1 - Measure the Window Space

Measure the span of the window to determine what size roller blinds you will need to purchase. Roller blinds can be placed inside the window or outside the frame, whichever you prefer. Measure the horizontal distance between the outer points and mark them with a pencil. If you cannot find the right sized roller blinds, you can always purchase a larger size and cut it down for a better fit. Most blinds are made from aluminum or cardboard and can be cut using a simple hacksaw.

Step 2 - Determine Proper Placement

Before installing the brackets, you need to determine the placement of the tension chain. This will largely depend on the space, though most people opt for the chain to hang on the right side of the blind. If the right side does not offer enough access, however, you can switch the chain to the other side. The chain will need enough room to be placed securely against the wall outside of the frame.

Step 3 - Determine Roller Direction

The blind can roll up and down in two different directions: either over or under the roller. The blind is usually placed under the roller, but you can make it roll over if you need to avoid objects inside the frame. This is particularly useful if you have decorative objects or plants that rest on the window sill and you do not want to accidentally knock them over every time you roll up the blinds.

Step 4 - Install Mounting Brackets

The roller blind is held in place with two brackets. One bracket is the male and the other is the female. The tension chain will be on the same side as the male bracket. Install the brackets by measuring a quarter of an inch from the top of the frame. This will allow extra clearance for when the blind is fully rolled up. After the measurements are done, mark the screw holes with a pencil. It's always a good idea to drill a pilot hole first and double-check that you are not drilling into any pipes or electrical wire in the wall. Once everything is in place, secure the brackets with the screws.

Step 5 - Hang the Roller

If the blind is the perfect size, you can simply hang it on the brackets and finish the project. Just make sure that you are hanging the roller blind in the right direction and that the tension chain lines up with the male bracket. Secure the chain with a screw to avoid any choking hazards with small children. If you get to this step and find that the roller blind is a little too long for the window, then you will need to cut it down to size.

Step 6 - Cut the Blinds

For the optimal level of blackout, you want the blind to fully cover the window. Start by taking the blind off the roll and measuring the horizontal width of the window. Use that measurement to cut the fabric and the blind roll. The fabric can be cut with a good pair of scissors while the roll should be cut with a hacksaw. Using a straight edge can ensure a nice-looking edge on the fabric. Once everything is the right size, simply reinstall the blind on the roll and attach it to the mounting brackets. Ensure the blind matches up perfectly on the roll or you will not get the right amount of tension.