Inside Mounts vs Outside Mounts for Blinds and Shades

When purchasing new window treatments, there can be a lot of decisions to make. Do you prefer blinds or shades? Wood or vinyl? Roman shades or roller shades? Blackout or sheer?

Out of all those major choices, one decision that many homeowners forget to consider is whether they want to mount their new window treatments inside their window frames or outside their window frames. Although it may seem like a minor decision, the installation method you choose can have a major impact on the appearance of your windows and your level of satisfaction with your new window treatments.

At Blindster, we know that choosing between inside mounts vs outside mounts can be a difficult decision for many homeowners—especially if they are accustomed to seeing their window treatments installed in a certain manner in the past. But, it’s important to review all the pros and cons before making a final decision, as certain homes, rooms, and windows may favor inside mounts, while others may favor outside mounts.

Before you begin measuring your windows for an inside or outside mount, check out Blindster’s list of pros and cons for each installation method:

Inside Mounts

Inside mount refers to blinds and shades that are installed within the confines of a window frame. That means the headrail is attached flush with the top of the window frame and the window treatment is fully contained inside the four corners of the frame itself.

Pros:

  • Inside mounts provide a sleek, built-in appearance.

If you prefer for your window treatment to look as unobtrusive as possible, inside mount installation may be your best option. Blinds and shades that are installed this way have a low-profile appearance and often have less visual impact on the room and its décor due to being recessed into the window frame.

 

  • Inside mounts make it easy to get precise measurements.

One of the most important parts of buying new window treatments is getting your measurements correct. The measurement process for inside mount installations is easy—you simply measure the width and height of your window frame to get the correct dimensions. Ordering inside mount blinds and shades can give you peace of mind knowing that your shades are likely to fit your windows perfectly.

 

  • Inside mounts maintain the functionality of deep window sills.

If your window frames have deep window sills, installing your blinds or shades inside your window frames can maintain the functionality of the sills, allowing you to use them as shelves or displays for books, plants, and other decorative items—even when the blinds are closed and fully extended.

 

Cons:

 

  • Inside mounts block some light and view when fully opened.

The headrail at the top of your window frame will always obscure a small amount of your view of the outdoors, and the effect can be exacerbated when the window treatments are fully opened due to the stacking of materials that occurs. Window treatments that use thick fabrics or materials may block out several inches of your window, even when the blinds or shades are fully raised.

 

  • Inside mounts require deep window frames.

Not all windows are capable of supporting inside mounts. Blinds and shades require a minimum depth for inside mounts, and some windows have shallow window frames that aren’t suitable for inside mounts. It’s vital that you have at least the minimum required space, plus a bit extra on either side of the headrail, to get proper function out of your new window treatments when they are installed inside your window frames.

 

Outside Mounts

 

Outside mounted window treatments are, as the name suggests, installed anywhere outside of the window frame. Whether they overlap the window frame by just a few centimeters or several inches, outside mounted blinds and shades create a distinct appearance in homes and can radically transform the appearance of windows.

 

Pros:

 

  • Outside mounts are extremely versatile and can be installed on almost any window.

Do your windows have shallow frames? Do they have an irregular shape that makes it difficult to inside mount traditional window coverings? Do your windows have protruding handles or cranks? If you answered yes to any of these questions, outside mounted window treatments may be ideal for your home. Because they don’t fit inside your window frames, outside mounted blinds and shades afford you with versatility that inside installations can’t match.

 

  • Outside mounts can cover unattractive window trim.

Window trim is often hit or miss. It either greatly enhances the beauty and appeal of your windows, or it’s something you would rather not look at every day. If your window trim falls in the latter category, outside mounted window coverings can cover it up completely. Best of all, if the unattractive trim or frame is at the top of your windows, you won’t have to see it even when your blinds or shades are fully opened due to being able to mount the shade well above the window itself.

 

  • Outside mounts can make your windows look much bigger.

Inside mounts fit your windows like a glove and always reveal their true size, but outside mounts can easily create the illusion of massive windows. If your home’s windows are on the smaller side but you love the look of big windows, outside mounted blinds and shades that are kept in a closed or semi-closed position can create the appearance of oversized windows.

 

Cons:

 

  • Outside mounts can be more difficult to measure and to get the right fit.

Inside mounts are easy to measure due to clearly defined boundaries of where your window treatments will go. But with outside mounts, there are no boundaries—just blank wall space. It’s important to know the exact size of the window treatments you want before ordering outside mounted blinds or shades in order to avoid ending up with coverings that are too small or too large.

 

  • Outside mounts can be more difficult to install depending on the mounting surface.

Installing inside mounts is a relatively straightforward and uniform process—especially when it comes to attaching the headrail to the top of the window frame. Installing outside mounts can range from easy to tricky depending on the surface where you will mount the headrail. Before deciding on using outside mounts for your window coverings, check to make sure that you won’t have any issues adhering the headrail.

2 replies
  1. Pam Lassila
    Pam Lassila says:

    I like how versatile outside mounts are. They could go on just about any window which is super cool. And I think we all know houses that have not the best looking window trim. Outside mounts can help cover that! They are less common than indoor blinds so some people might think they’re weird but there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Reply
  2. Derek Dewitt
    Derek Dewitt says:

    My wife and I are wanting to get new blinds once we remodel our living room, but we’ve never considered using outdoor ones before. I like that you mention how outside window treatments are ideal if you have an irregular shape that makes it difficult to mount traditional window coverings. We have a slanted window that we’ve struggled to cover up before, so we might need to check this out. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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