Homeownership is an exercise in managing many small responsibilities. Window treatments are one of those small responsibilities. Window coverings are primary accents that make homes comfortable. The multitude of expenses that arise when managing a household is a reason for some to make sure that they are getting the best value for every home improvement investment they make.
Until home warranty plans cover window treatments, budget conscious homeowners will have to find other ways to get more value out of their dollar. Replacing blinds is a project that homeowners can complete on their own to save money.
Reducing Blind Replacement Costs
The key to saving money when redressing your windows lies in finding reasonably priced window coverings. Property owners may find it surprising that well priced deals are available at most well-known retailers. With a little investigation, a homeowner can fix their view of the outside world without breaking the bank.
Get Your Measurements
Before you begin your bargain hunt, you will need to know the measurements of your windows. Stop by the nearest hardware store and buy a heavy-duty measuring tape for ten to 15 dollars.
When you measure for blinds, you will need a tape measure long enough to measure from the top of your window to the bottom of your window and to the floor. This way you will know what lengths of blinds, and curtains, will hang appropriately in your window. The measuring tape also has to have enough extra length to reach from the measuring point to your hand.
If the top of your window is ten feet high, you will need at least five to six more feet for it to make it back down to your hand. Make sure you buy a measuring tape that is at least 15 to 30 feet long. There is a trick to measuring windows without help.
Put the end of the measuring tape against the wall and hold it in place with your toe. Then, let the tape out pushing up towards the top of the window. The stiffness of the measuring tape will hold it in place. To measure from the bottom of the window, subtract the distance from the bottom of the window to the floor
Measure each window individually and write their heights and widths. When recording the horizontal width, measure at the top, middle and bottom and use the smallest width. Also, write an estimate of the area you have to work with for installing the blinds inside the mount and outside the mount.
The mounts are where the blinds actually screw into the window frame. Mounting the blinds inside the window frame provides more privacy, while mounting the blinds outside of the window frame will admit more light. If you are lucky you can reuse the old mounts.
With this information, you are ready to hunt for new blinds. There several options for you to choose from when looking for blinds. You can install vertical or horizontal blinds, and you can choose wood, cloth or vinyl. All of these options are available in a variety of colors.
When shopping for blinds, you will also need to plan out your budget. Remember to count all of your windows and divide that number by your budget. Each blind may not look expensive individually, but the blinds you fall in love with, times your windows plus any tools or hardware you need to complete the project, can dwarf your blind replacement budget if you are not careful.
If you are going to have someone help you, which is a good idea if you are not very familiar with tools, remember to add the cost of treating your helper to lunch, and a small stipend, to your budget. They may turn down the stipend, but they will appreciate the gesture. And they will not turn down lunch or refreshments.
Now for the Installation
If you are reusing the old hardware, most blinds have small plates that slide towards the inside of the blinds. Gently slide the plates out, insert the new blinds and gently replace the small plates to secure the new blinds. Be careful not to break the small plates used to secure the blinds. These plates vary in fit, and you may have to replace the bracket if you break or lose it.
If you need to install new brackets on the window sill, remove the old hardware completely. For aesthetic purposes, you can fill in the old holes with wood filler or painters putty and paint over it with touch up paint. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the new blinds. More than likely, it is simply a matter of determining where you are going to place the brackets, screwing the brackets down and hanging then securing the blinds.
You now have beautiful new blinds installed. You feel positive about your home’s appearance and the world looks like a better place. Installing blinds on a budget is a matter of frugal planning and investing sweat equity. Following these simple steps will save money in labor costs and give you the information you need to custom fit your windows in style when the mood suits you.