Should I Replace or Repair My Window Blind Cord?

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated February 1, 2022
The interior of a bedroom with a chair by the window
Andersen Ross/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Replacing your blind cords is a lengthy DIY task, but can help you salvage the set instead of replacing

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As you roll out of bed to greet the day, you pull on your blind cords, and off the whole thing pops, sending your blinds crashing back down to the windowsill. A broken blind cord can be a real headache, especially if it isn't cost-effective to simply replace your blinds entirely. Let's take a look at when it's best to repair your broken blind cord or remove and replace the whole system yourself.

What’s the Problem with Your Blind Cord?

Whether you want to repair or replace blind cords, it's important to know the style and exact issue. The term "blind cord" refers to the string that ties together a few different types of blinds. Everything from the traditional Venetian blinds—AKA horizontal blinds—to vertical and pleated blinds often include a cord that weaves through an upper mechanism, down through each individual blind, and out to the front so you can give it a tug. 

However, the way the cord attaches to each blind, headrail, and bottom rail differs, making each DIY cord replacement a unique undertaking.

The lift strings are the part of the cord that you use to lift the blind on the outside. Lift strings can:

  • Get tangled

  • Fray

  • Break

  • Become uneven (due to poor installation or fraying)

Identify the trouble spot by lowering your blinds down as much as possible. With the tension released, you are more likely to identify where the string stops in the system or where the tangle occurred. If you're lucky, it’s a simple tangle you can pull loose by hand.

However, here's the tricky part. Cords naturally fray over time, especially as they work their way through the complex pulley and locking mechanism day after day. Even if you detect that your cord is on its way out—but has yet to break—it likely needs replacing.

The question is: should you replace part of the cord, restring the whole system, or replace your blinds altogether? Let's take a look.

Reasons to Replace a Blind Cord

Close-up of venetian blinds with a white cord
RMAX/E+ via Getty Images

The most obvious reason to replace your blind cord is if it is missing entirely. This may occur if there was a major break in the cord and the weight of the blinds pulled it out of the system.

It may be smart to replace the entire cord if you detect signs of fraying. Keep an eye out for:

  • Tufts of frayed string around part of the cord

  • Cords that get caught in the same place in the upper mechanism when pulled

  • One side of the blind consistently falling or rising unevenly from the other

Blind experts recommend replacing all your cords at once if they’re beginning to break down. The process can prove tedious and lengthy, so you don't want to walk through the process more than once.

What You'll Need to Replace Blind Cord

Each blind cord requires a different set of specific steps to remove it from its clutch—the pulley mechanism up top—as well as string it through each blind. Depending on the size and complexity of the blinds, the whole process could take 1 to 2 hours per blind.

To complete the project, you will likely need:

  • A replacement cord (be sure to order the appropriate size from a window treatment company)

  • Pliers

  • Scissors

  • Tape measure

  • A binge-worthy show on Netflix to help you pass the time

Blind Cord Replacement Tips

Depending on the type of blinds, you'll need to:

  • Measure the appropriate length of cord

  • Pull the blinds up as far as possible

  • Remove the valance, headrail, and blinds from your window

  • Remove the old string from the mechanism

  • String the new cord through the mechanism, each blind slat, and back up to create the lift string.

For more detailed instructions, you'll need to look at your individual blind design and copy the exact pattern for the new cord. Keep as much of the original old cord in the system as long as you can before switching it out.

If the process becomes too complex, you can also bring your blinds to a local window treatment company for the fix. Heading into the store with the broken blind should cost between $20 and $50, while calling a blind repair team to come to you ranges from $50 and $100 plus the cost of the replacement cord.

Reasons to Repair a Blind Cord

A little boy opening blinds by pulling the chord
Imgorthand/E+ via Getty Images

If you have a clear break, don't fret—there is a hopeful option that doesn't require a full replacement. You can use a lighter to carefully join the ends of the old and new strings for a quick fix. Over time, however, this may not hold as long as you need your blinds, but it does keep you from having to replace the whole system right away.

In this case, you'll only need enough new cord to weave and restring the system after the break or major fraying spot.

Replace or Repair: The Final Verdict

If you feel confident in your DIY skills—or if you're ready to call the blind installation team—replacing a broken blind cord is your best bet. A simple repair may buy you some time, but these cords do break down from constant use.

For larger fixes or low-cost blinds, it may be time to opt for new window treatments altogether. But if you're feeling determined to take on the project yourself, restringing a set of blinds will earn you an advanced DIY badge of honor.

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