Installing Vertical Blinds

My cat destroyed my vinyl blinds by bending them and I lost privacy at home because of that. I decided to install vertical blinds instead of vinyl ones in order to prevent the recurrence. These are my travails of the day in getting it done:

1. Removed the Vinyl blinds

Initially I thought the blinds were fixed with construction material, but when I examined it, it was pluggable. So, it was relatively easy to remove the current blinds.

2. Took the Vinyl blinds to Lowe’s for accurate measurement.

The associate at Lowe’s told me I needed to get the blinds cut to match the dimensions and I needed to wait for a specialist on that. The specialist was busy getting carpets cut for someone so it was a rather long wait. I even expanded the whole vinyl blinds so that he could take the height measurement. He told me he only needed to cut the holder (called “head rail”). He used some kind of metal cutting machine to cut the head rail to match my old blinds’ head rail.

After that I brought home the materials. It cost me 20 dollars for the head rail and 40 dollars for the blinds. The blinds were chocolate brown color (walnut). There are cheaper ones at 15-20 dollars – white ones

3. Installed  the head rail

Initially I thought since I got the head rail cut, I would be done with this in five minutes, but the old head rail holder (vinyl one) was smaller than the new head rail. Fixing this problem took 2-3 hours. I needed to start from scratch.

a. Installing the head rail holders

The vinyl holder was attached on the side of the windows (perpendicular to the roof, attached to the side wall) , but according to the instruction booklet, this head rail’s holders are supposed to be put on the ceiling. I drilled the ceiling and screwed in the holding blips. These blips need to be mechanically clamped on to the head rail. But the blips themselves were very tight. Whenever I tried clamping them to the head rail, the ceiling roofs came off.

There are holders for the blips too, but those were supposedly for outdoor use and they ran perpendicular to the vinyl holders orientation, according to the booklet.

I took a chance and put in the blip holders below the vinyl ones and since I didn’t have wall at that location to drill, I had to put those parallel to the vinyl ones. Drilling was also painful because the wall doesn’t have much wood in it. But it was done in about a half hour.

b. Clamping the blips to the head rail

The blips are now being held by a nut and a bolt, and I needed to put the bolt facing up and nut on the other side. This left some part of the bolt (screw) above the nut. Clamping was painful because of this. I had to wear leather gloves and managed it. Also, when I removed the nut, the bolt was falling down, so I needed to put some cotton padding so that the bolt  won’t fall down.

c. Attaching the head rail to the holder

I lost one of the nuts while trying to attach the head rail to the holder. Luckily the product came with three holders, nuts and clamps and everything so I had a spare one. I used that to attach the head rail to the holder.

4. Attaching the blinds

The blinds themselves were 84 in tall and luckily they were close to double the size of the window. I figured out a way to cut them in half perfectly by using the feet – fold the blind in half, put one foot on the ends and drag other foot on the folded side and it broke perfectly. Other thing I had issue with was – there were only 13 blinds and they only covered half of the window. I was able to use the wasted halves to cover the other half of the window. I just needed to cut some holes at the top. Initially I tried to match the original holding hole but that caused me to lose those blinds because it needed to be too thin for the blinds clamp. I later on figured out that I can use the scissors to cut that from the side. That seemed to work.


About vijayvepa

I'm a software consultant for Software Specialists Inc. currently working at Philips Respironics, Pittsburgh

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