Window blinds offer light control and privacy in the home. They can reduce heating and cooling costs and can also be a pleasing design statement. If you are considering installing blinds and you have vinyl windows, you can certainly install them without damaging the vinyl window frames.
The ever-popular Venetian blinds -- those with wide wooden slats -- have been present in North America since colonial times. In the 20th century, blinds with steel slats became popular because of their economy and ease of cleaning. Recent decades have seen the introduction of vinyl blinds and steel blinds with narrower profiles.
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There are many places to install blinds. When installed inside the window opening, the brackets can be attached to the top of the opening, the sides or directly on the trim that keeps the sash in place. Installations outside the opening are usually screwed into the window trim or anchored into plaster or drywall.
If you have vinyl windows, you won't be able to screw the brackets directly into the vinyl channel that holds the window. The vinyl is not strong enough to hold the weight of the blinds. Fix the brackets to the top or sides of the inside opening or install them outside the opening. When installing them inside the opening, make sure the bottom of the blinds doesn't bang into the vinyl finger-hold at the bottom of the window.
Wooden blinds are the heaviest and require a fast hold into solid wood trim or hidden studs to keep them from falling. Thin profile steel and vinyl blinds are lightweight and can be anchored into drywall or plaster with strong molly bolts. If you have old wooden blinds that are dilapidated, you can take them to a professional who specializes in repairing blinds; he can restring them and replace broken parts to make them functional again.