Sunday, January 2, 2011

DIY: Installing Holland blinds

Happy New Year everyone! We had a quiet one at home with some of my family around to try out the home theatre, and managed to catch a view of the city fireworks, sipping champagne from our balcony - nice!

So after overeating for the last few days, went out to do a bit of belated post-Xmas house shopping, and managed to luckily snare some nice Holland blockout blinds at Spotlight for 40% off. Normally at Spotlight you can only find one random blind in a nice colour, and it'll be in the one size you don't need. But we were able to find 10 blinds, in matching colours, to suit the three smaller bedrooms plus a few other rooms.

Tools needed: Ruler/tape measure, pencil, power drill, screwdriver, a helping pair of hands. Difficulty 2/10 only. I didn't take any step-by-step photos because things were over so quickly.

Anyway, in most Holland/roller blind ready-to-hang packages you'll get the blind itself, two attachments for either end - one with a chain attached, one without. A couple of brackets to mount the blind attachments onto the wall and some screws.

Position the blind so it's in the centre of the window, with equal gaps (if any) on either side. Hold the attachments on with your hands, and mark with a pencil where the screws should go for the brackets. Double check for level using your ruler/tape measure or a spirit level. Predrill the screw holes, screw in the mounts, then slot in the blind. Should take 10 minutes per window with double checking. And the attachment with the chain mechanism will be about 1cm wider than the other attachment, so the brackets should not be symmetrical if you want the blind to be positioned dead centre.

Anyway, this is Bed 3, using a 180cm wide blockout Holland blind, with a 210cm drop. The window drop is much less, only about 100cm, but the excess length just stays on the roll. This blind is mounted in the reveal - ie within the window frame itself.

You can also get double Holland blinds - with a blockout blind combined with a translucent blind, that allows light in but not vision for privacy. Because the upstairs bedrooms had to have translucent glass in them anyway to meet Rescode, we decided that all that was needed was blackout blinds. However we may look for double Holland blinds for the sitting room, as it has clear glass and faces the street.

In Bed 4, because we had to have custom sized windows for some reason, the blinds are slightly too large to fit in the reveal, so I decided to mount them outside the reveal.

You can have Holland blinds cut to size if you wanted your slightly large blinds to fit in the reveal, but not too fussed with it. I've heard conflicting stories as to which mounting method gives you the best blockout (light reducing) effect. Checking the three bedrooms we put the blinds in this afternoon, one faces east, one faces south, and one faces west, so it's hard to make a direct comparison. Tina thinks the outside reveal mount reduces light the most, but in all cases the blinds darken the room significantly, to make sleeping no problem.

Now, just to get some custom window coverings for the master. Final tips, standard off-the-shelf, ready-to-hang blinds are normally 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210cm wide - so if you're in the planning stage of house building and want to avoid custom sized window coverings later, check that your windows are standard sized :) Or use curtains, which can be drawn to any size. We were trying to avoid curtains in this house, but we may have to use them in the home theatre to get the most complete blockout effect there.



  1. Hi Tim and Tina
    What an amazing blog you have. We may soon build a similar Nolan in Maidstone and I have been reading your blogs non stop for the last few days since I found it. I learnt so much!
    One thing I want is laundry chute. Do you think M can accommodate our request? We are still waiting for the SC to reply. She's in Lyndhurst (Leeane). Many of the Burbanks have laundry chute but we don't like the plans very much. And Henley refused to even talk about it.
    How is the TV antenna sorted out? Connected to Starserve yet? And what is your list for the 3 month fix? I heard that you can only submit ONCE only and that's it. Bobby

  2. Happy New Year!

    We had our own classic blinds installed by the guys from Sydney Blinds and Screens. If I only have the time to DIY, I might try it myself, too.

  3. Bobby: We never asked about the laundry chute, you can always try? Worst they can say is no. TV and starserve still not connected but hopefully soon as we're waiting to hear about our 90 day inspection fix.

  4. Hi Tim and Tina,

    We are currently building with Metricon. Your blog is a so informative and interesting to read. I have been referring to your website for advice.

    Not too sure if it is too late to ask this question.

    We have overlooking windows in a few bedrooms, just like the ones in your bed3&4. I am considering to use roller blinds, but not sure which method best suits overlooking windows. Mount them outside the reveal or inside the reveal? I would like to know, if the blind is mounted inside the reveal, after the blind is fully pulled up, will the window opening space be limited and reduce the air flow? How do you compare the air ventilation in your bed 3 & 4?





  5. Hi Shu, we have some roller blinds mounted inside, some mounted outside. It doesn't make any noticable difference to air flow (when they're rolled up). Even though the overlooking windows we have only open a bit at the top, quite a lot of air can get in & out so no issues.


  6. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for all the information on your blog! Very helpful.

    We are currently thinking of buying a block (abt 15.2m for W) at Whitehorse area and building our dream home. As always, budget is the biggest concern so we probably won't able to build with M. Like the Camden floor plan of Carlisle and noted that the standard inclusion in the Essential series (prob equivalent as M's Allegra series?) does not provide much.

    So I am thinking of checking with you the Nolan that you signed up with M was under which series so that I can budget my cost better. If yours was already at the top of the range and we should add another $100k for upgrades, I think we better drop the idea of building our dream home. (sad but reality is always cruel....)

    Thanks again for sharing




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