How To Install Window Blinds - Commercial Blind Installation

As we continually strive to add useful how to information to our site, I thought I would describe our vinyl blind installation process. I got into the window covering business 33 years ago and installed apartment complexes at the rate of 1 to 4 a month in my youth. I have done as many as 300 blinds in one day by myself - no help - with a modification of the process I have outlined below. This particular how-to originated by thinking about a center support question and why I put the screw to the right in the slot in the headrail. I have had some additional thoughts on using the center support screw. The reason I state that one should put the screw through the right hand side (extreme) of the center slot in the headrail, is because when raising and lowering the blind, a person pulls hard to the left to unlock and lower the blind, this pulls the blind off center to the left. It will then remain to the left, off centered, permanently. In operating tne blind, a person doesn't make an extreme enough motion to the right to ever re-center the blind. By putting the center support screw to the extreme right in the slot, it keeps the blind from sliding to the left.

When screwing the center support screw in, the installer shouldn't screw it in so that the blinds headrail is all the way tight up against the top of the window or it will be "sagged" upwards. The headrail hangs about 1/4" below the top of the window. You can notice the headrail clearance at the bracket area. That being the case one should leave the middle of the headrail down the approx. 1/4". You can easily vary the clearance as needed based on how straight the window is finished the across the top. I don't measure, but just eyeball it.

When installing 200 to 300 blinds in a day with one helper, we average installing one blind every 1minute and 15 seconds. We start timing from the minute we pull up on the job to completion. This is for new construction and all the windows the same size. It includes two-story. Three-story adds time. We pre-open all the blinds and parts before we get to the job. We bulk pack the blinds 10 to a box. We have the brackets and slides separate, valance clips separate, wands separate, valance's separate. We typically use one of the individual blind boxes (cut down to about 3/4 length) for the wands and valances, each in it's own box, with the boxes being duct taped together. On large jobs we have made a loop handle out of duct tape to make carrying the two boxes easier. We have custom made some extra large aprons specifically for blind installation. The size helps so one doesn't have to keep walking back to work truck. We try to only go to each window one time. The large apron for the second installer accomodate brackets, slides and screws (we don't use the screws that come with the blinds, they are junk). For the brackets we use a 1 5/8" screw with agressive threads, bugle head and most important a # 2 with nibs drive. The nibs (wings) keep the screw on the bit even if you turn your drill with the screw on it, upside down. With a new bit it's hard to shake a screw off. The apron for the other, first person holds valance clips.

When pulling up on the job site one person drives (second person) while the other person (first person) sets out the appropriate amount of blinds at the front of every building, not putting them in the apartments. We do this to the entire complex at this time. We then go back and pull up in front of the first building - plug in our chargers with additional batteries and get all our gear on. Installer one - first person - starts off. The first person has an apron with valance clips and two individual blind boxes taped together, one with valances and the other with wands. This first person will go to the boxes that have been set out at the front of the building and take the appropriate amount of blinds into each apartment, putting them into the windows. He only goes into each room - ONE time. This first person puts the valance clips on the blinds, takes the string out of the headrail (the paper attached to the string needs to be taken out at the time the blinds are originally bulk packed) and puts the wand on. The blind is left in the window, standing up at an angle, keeping the tilt mechanism and the wand hanging from it at the top. This first person also leaves two valances in the window, opposite the blind and also at an angle. Keeping the blinds and valances leaning in the window makes them easier to grab. The first person should not leave the blind laying on the floor in front of the window. It wears the second person out bending down to pick the blind up and the second person does more physical work than the first anyway. The second person is typically the lead person as they see most of the blinds last, for inspection and do a more technical part. The first person should also have an additional blind with them in case when setting the blinds out they notice one damaged. It keeps them from having to go back out to the work truck. The first person job is such that they should be able to finish their part completely when the second person is about half or slightly more completed. The first person completes the entire complex with their portion of work before going back to the second person and helping them out by putting the valances on and the screwing the center support screw in.

The second person has the apron with brackets, slides and screws - 2 types of screws. Also a small handful of valance clips in case the first person misses one or one comes upon a defective clip. The second person has a cordless impact driver drill. This person installs the brackets, grabs the blind and puts it up as well as locking it in with the slides (front of the bracket). The drill bit was changed out to a 1/4" hex drive to put the center support screw. The valances were then installed. Each blind was lowered and checked to make sure the tilt works and then the blind was raised back up completely. While moving on to the next room the installer changes out the drill bit as they are walking. The type of drill we used had the quick connect type bit head.

As stated above the first person should be able to complete their portion when the second is a little more than half done. When the first person's job is completed they get another drill and come back and take over the center support screw part as well as putting the valances on. Prior to starting this the first person should check with the second person in case there are any blinds with problems that need to be taken care of. Once the second person starts their portion they should not stop to walk back to the work truck for blinds with problems as the first person will be able to come back and take care it. The only reasons the second person should be going back to the truck would be for additional brackets, slides and screws as well as fresh batteries. If you have to go back for another battery, load your apron back up with parts at that time. If you are running low on one part and need to refill, refill everything. Once the first person finishes their portion and starts working with the second person they will be in the same apartment based upon work portion/flow. The blind per minute/hour installed speeds up dramatically at this point.

By opening the blinds and bulk packing everything before going to the job site, it eliminates most all the trash at the job site and lets one notice any problems with the blinds. Repairs are more easily made before going to the job. Before becoming a distributor, when I was still installing, I would have a junior high or high school kid open the blinds and bulk pack them. At that time I paid by the blind - 25 cents each. They got lightning fast at doing it. The little package containing the installation parts we're also opened at this time. We threw everything away except the brackets, slides and valance clips. Another detail is that when doing an inside mount sheet rock installation the front of the bracket should be installed approximately 1/4 inch back from the face of the window. This helps in getting the bracket back enough to allow the screw to find some wood, for a secure install. Use the back holes in the brackets as the front holes will only hit sheet rock with this spacing. This spacing would make the valance close to being flush with the face of the window for a finished look. We have also installed blinds all the way back in the window, however; this install method can have the blind back so far that when lowering the window, the window lock lever if left in the open position will catch the blind and damage/ruin it.