Bay windows can be a bit more of a challenge for bamboo shades or roman shades. I decided to focus on both of these shades because they are great treatments for bay windows and they both are measured and install the same way. There are a few tricks that make measuring and installing a snap for anyone that can read a tape measure and use a drill.
There are many different types of bay windows but in this article we will focus on what I call an enclosed bay window. The enclosed bay window is the most difficult because everything is tight, windows are close together, less room for error. But don’t worry, by the end of this article you will have the knowledge and confidence to take on this project like a pro.
A little about bamboo shades ( also referred to as woven woods ) and roman shades. Most are manufactured using a 3/4 X 1-3/4 piece of wood made of pine for the headrail. The wood is cut to the width of your window opening. The material, bamboo or roman shade fabric is attached to the wood board usually by staples. This is important to know when it comes to measuring and installing. Note most of these shades are made with a wood board but some use metal. We will focus on wood.
How To Measure
You will need 6 business cards, some tape and a metal tape measure. The two pictures below give you a good idea on what to do. The first picture is an overall shot and shows you how to lay things out. The second picture is a close up so you can tell what’s going on. I use a diagram as opposed to an actual bay because I couldn’t get everything in the picture as well.
Step 1. Remove anything sitting on the sill of your bay. Then lay out the business cards on the sill in the fashion show in the picture. It is important that the cards are turned in the direction shown. Note that the far left and right cards don’t go over the line or past your bay opening. You don’t want your treatment sticking out past your opening if possible.
Step 2. Once you have the business cards where you want them, tape them down so they don’t move.
Step 3. Using your metal tape measure, measure form corner to corner as indicated in the second (close up) picture by the red lines. You will get 3 measurements. One for the left side, one for the center and one for the right side. Measure down to the nearest 1/8 of an inch. So 23-3/16 becomes 23-1/8 and 41-7/16 becomes 41-3/8.
Step 4. Measure the height from sill to the ceiling of bay. Measure for the left shade, center shade and right shade. Again measure to the nearest 1/8 inch.
Step 5. These are the measurements you will use to place your order. When you place your order these will be considered inside measurements. By calling it out as a inside mount the company you order from will make them a little narrower. This is important to know. Some who are not aware of this will take there own deduction to ensure they fit, not knowing the manufacturer will take their own deduction as well. What you end up with is a shade that is too narrow. Also by indicating that this is an inside mount, you will insure you receive the proper hardware for installation.
Step 6. One thing that is most overlooked when measuring and placing an order is cord position. In many cases you can indicate what side you want the cord to be on. Typically on a bay window the left shade cord will be on the left, the middle on either the left or right and the right shade cord on the right. This makes everything look more balanced. In the pictures above, if you look close you will notice there is 2 cords per shade. One on each side. This is because these are top down bottom up.
How To Install
The installation for these is surprising easy. People are amazed at how fast they are to install but the right tools make all the difference. What you will need is a drill, a 1/4 nut driver and some long (1-1/2 or longer) hex head screws. if you don’t know what a 1/4 nut driver is or 1/4 hex head screws, don’t worry. The nut driver is a $2.00 part available at your local hardware store. It goes into your drill like your putting in a drill bit. The head of the screw will fit into the nut driver and make it so easy to screw the screws in.
Step 7. Open everything up and locate any hardware that came with it. If there is no hardware no worry, if there is hardware throw it away. We won’t be using any brackets for this installation. Only keep the screws if they are long enough and the heads fit into your 1/4 hex head driver.
Step 8. The first shade to install is the center shade. Get your drill with your nut driver attached and drive a screw into the wood headrail about 4 inches from each side. Don’t go all the way through the headrail, “just enough to get the screws started“. You can do this with the shade on your sill or table to make it easier.
Step 9. Hold the bamboo or roman shade up where it will be installed against the ceiling of the bay. Make sure it’s centered where you want it. Then finish driving those screws in, through the wood and into the ceiling of your bay. If you used the brackets they sent, you will have a gap along the top due to the thickness of the bracket. This creates a unsightly look.
Step 10. Repeat for the left and right shades.
Now you know how to measure and install for either bamboo shades or roman shades. Follow the steps above and it will look as good as any professional installer can do. Not only will it look great but will have you save money. You will save on the measuring fee and the cost of installation. You will also get your treatments much quicker since your not waiting or relying on someone else.
About The Author
Robert is a window treatment installer who blogs about all things window treatments at bobtheblindguy.com.
If you are looking for information on window treatments and ways to install them yourself, Bob The Blind Guy is the source to look at. Get the first-hand information from a professional with years of experience in the business. Visit him today at bobtheblindguy.com.