How to Measure Your Window for Shades

Whether you buy shades off the shelf or order custom, knowing your window measurements is key.


Decide what kind of shades you want: floor-length bamboo? Narrow venetian?

Decide where the shades will go. Shades can be hung outside the window frame for a look that's more like curtains, or inside the frame for a clean, modern appearance.

Decide how much coverage you want. If you're hanging the shade inside the frame, your coverage will be inside the frame; if you go with an "outside" shade, you've got more leeway. Make sure to factor in how light hits the window.

Use a steel tape measure to measure your window.

For an inset shade, measure from top to bottom and left to right, and note the depth of the window frame (to make sure it will accommodate the shades you purchase).

For an outset shade, measure from the point you'll hang the shade to the point you want it to drop to, and from side to side, taking into account how far beyond the window frame you want it to extend, and remembering that you'll need at least two inches above the window for mounting brackets.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring Tapes


  • Shades come in a wide variety of standard window sizes, and many hardware stores will cut venetian-type blinds to order for a small fee.
  • When ordering custom shades, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for measurements; different products may require slightly different specifications.