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How much does it cost to have curtains installed?

Installing curtains can greatly improve the look and feel of a room. However, costs can quickly add up depending on the size of the windows, material and style of curtains, and if professional installation is needed. This guide breaks down key factors that impact the total cost of installing curtains so you can budget appropriately.

How much does it cost to have curtains installed?

Key factors impacting the cost of installed curtains

Several primary considerations play into the overall expense:

Window measurements – The number and dimensions of all windows requiring curtains impacts material yardage needed. Larger and wider windows may need more expensive treatment.

Curtain materials – Cotton, linen, velvet, silk, and other fabrics come in varying prices per yard. In general, natural fabrics cost more than synthetics. Any lining, embellishments, or thermal qualities will increase costs too.

Curtain style – Styles requiring more material like extra long, formal, or layered curtains will drive up costs over basic styles. Special features like grommets, patterns, and pleats add expense as well.

Professional installation – Hiring an expert to properly measure, tailor, and hand curtains costs on average $50 per window plus material costs. However, it guarantees a perfect custom fit.

Typical total cost range for installed curtains

Here is an overview of typical cost ranges for installed curtains depending on above factors:

  • Basic – $3 – $10 per linear foot for inexpensive synthetic curtains purchased and put up yourself
  • Mid-range – $15 – $30 per linear foot for medium-grade curtains professionally tailored and installed
  • High-end – $50+ per linear foot for designer curtains made of silk or velvet installed by experts

To calculate a total budget, multiply your total linear footage of window treatments by a price in the range above that aligns with your curtain preferences. Add 10-20% if purchasing curtains pre-made.

Professional installation vs DIY curtain costs

You can save 25-50% off your total curtain costs by measuring, purchasing, and installing them yourself. However, professional installation guarantees the following benefits:

  • Precise tailoring for an optimal fit
  • Correct hanging height and draping for visual appeal
  • Even spacing and perfect alignment across multiple windows
  • Selection of appropriate hanging rods and hardware
  • Expert cleaning and pressing
  • Less hassle and frustration with installation

For most simple curtain styles in standard-sized windows, you can follow online DIY guides to save money without sacrificing quality. Yet for complex window layouts, specialty features like automation and motorization, or expensive custom window treatments, hiring professionals pays off in the long run.

Additional window treatment costs to account for

Beyond just the curtains themselves, also factor the following supplemental purchases likely required into your curtains budget:

  • Curtain rods and finials – Between $20 – $100 depending on length and material
  • Hidden tabs or clips for no-rod looks – Around $20 per window
  • Curtain liner – $5 to $15 per linear foot
  • Sheers – About $3 to $8 per linear foot
  • Tiebacks – Between $15 to $30 per pair
  • Hardware for traversing or motorized rods – Anywhere from $50 to $500+ per window
  • Swags, jabots, scarves and valances – Ranging from $15 to $75 per window depending on material, style and embellishments

Accounting for these additional items is essential for accurately budgeting your total costs. Measure carefully before shopping to know exactly how much yardage, hardware, and accessories to purchase.

5 tips for keeping curtain costs down

If your curtain installation budget is tight, the following tips can help control expenses:

  1. Take extremely detailed measurements including the type of rod needed before buying anything
  2. Select affordable fabrics like cotton poplin and eyelet lace to save per yard
  3. Install yourself following online tutorials if your windows are standard
  4. Skip fancy headers and embellishments which quickly ratchet up pricing
  5. Compare shop for best deals online and buy only the exact yardage needed

Prioritizing value does not mean sacrificing style. With some savvy planning, budget-friendly curtains can still elevate your room’s decor.

Key Takeaways

  • Total costs for installed curtains depend heavily on window measurements, materials, styles, and whether you DIY or hire a professional
  • Typical price ranges are $3 – $10 per linear foot for basic curtains you install yourself up to $50+ per linear foot for designer styles professionally outfitted
  • Supplemental purchases for hardware, sheers, tiebacks and other accessories can tack on an additional $20 – $500+ per window
  • Following measurements best practices, buying affordable fabrics, installing yourself, eliminating fancy elements, and shopping sales are 5 ways to lower costs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the average prices to have curtains installed per window?
    For professionally tailored and installed curtains including the rod, expect to budget $150 – $300 for a standard single window, $450 – $750 for a wide living room window or sliding glass door, and $750+ for a tall multi-section window like in a dining room or master bedroom.

  2. Is it worth paying more for expensive curtain materials like silk?
    While silk curtains can run over $100 per fabric yard, they offer unparalleled aesthetics and a luxury look and feel that cheaper synthetic and cotton fabrics cannot match. If going high-end for a formal space or primary bedroom, splurging on silk is worth considering.

  3. How much does it cost to automate curtains?
    Adding automation via remote-controlled traverse rods or motorized systems starts at around $300 – $500 per window. Smart home-integrated motorized curtains with app and voice control can cost $1,000 or more per window.

  4. What are the least expensive curtains?
    Basic polyester or cotton poplin curtains purchased on sale at discount retailers like Target and Walmart can cost as little as $3 – $8 per panel. Choosing these inexpensive ready-made options and installing yourself provides major budget savings.

  5. How much do I charge customers to install curtains?
    If you want to offer professional curtain installation and cost out your services, plan to charge $50 – $150 per window depending on size and complexity. Factor in allowances for custom design fees, material costs, hardware, administrative tasks, and travel fees as well.

  6. Should you go custom or pre-made curtains?
    We generally recommend custom curtains for any window larger than 36 inches to achieve the right fit. However pre-made curtains from top brands like Pottery Barn can work well for standard window sizes, saving you 20-40% in tailoring costs.

  7. How do I cut curtain costs for my rental property?
    Some of the most affordable and easiest curtain options for rental properties include tension rod sets, reversible basic panels from IKEA, and vinyl roll-up blinds you can cut to size. These budget options skip custom sizing and hardware installations.

  8. Where can I purchase designer-style curtains at discounted prices?
    Homegoods, Tuesday Morning, and discount fabric retailers like all offer high-end style curtains, swags, valances and expert guidance at steep discounted prices compared to specialty showrooms and workrooms.

  9. Should I hire a seamstress or interior designer for my custom curtains?
    If wanting custom floor-to-ceiling theatrical drapes, stacked combinations requiring perfect alignments, or coordinating your curtains with complex room decor, hiring a seasoned interior designer or seamstress is smart. For standard window treatments, do it yourself.

  10. What tasks should I leave to the experts for installation?
    We recommend always having professionals take care of final pressing, perfect hemming, hanging curtain rods properly, calculating stacking overlaps for drawn treatments, and properly spacing multiple curtains across windows wider than 5 feet for flawless symmetry.

  11. How much fabric do I need for each curtain panel?
    A good rule of thumb when purchasing curtain fabric yardage is to multiply your fabric width’s usable space in inches by 2.5. This accounts for standard hem allowances, heading sizes, and slight pattern imperfections. Communicate specific dimensions to workrooms as well.

  12. What curtain styles cost the most money?
    Some of the most expensive curtains styles include motorized remote control systems, floor-to-ceiling multi-section treatments reaching 12+ feet, custom layered combinations requiring precision alignments, sound- and light-blocking theater curtains, and any style made from premium fabrics like Belgian linen and silk.

  13. Should I install blackout curtains in my bedroom for sleep?
    Blackout curtains that fully block external light not only improve sleep quality but also energy efficiency by insulating windows. If you struggle with sleep disturbances or light sensitivity, the $25 – $100 investment in proper blackout panels or blinds per window pays dividends.

  14. How much headroom do I need to accommodate curtains?
    Leave between 3 and 6 inches between the top of your window frame and ceiling to accommodate standard curtain hardware installations. Crown moldings or decorative ledges may also impact available headroom. Sheer flat curtains need only an inch or two of clearance.

  15. How close should curtains be to floor?
    For optimal fit and appeal, your curtains panels should just slightly brush the floor, leaving space to sway and move. An ideal clearance off the floor is within 1/2 inch to 1 inch rather than excessively bunching and gathering.

  16. Do I need to factor in dry cleaning costs for curtains?
    Regular professional dry cleaning, which can cost $15 to $30 per panel, helps curtains maintain their visual appeal and lifespan. Clean curtains also promote healthier indoor air quality. Budget this into your plans for investment pieces unless washable.

  17. Should I install curtains wider than my window?
    For the most attractive visual proportions, select curtain widths adding 18-24 inches of fabric beyond the window casing width on standard windows up to 40 inches wide. This provides enough stacking space when open. Size wider for larger windows.

  18. How much does it cost to shorten curtains?
    Shortening curtains costs approximately $10 to $15 per curtain panel if taking them to a professional seamstress or workroom. Some specialty alterations like redoing pleats may cost more. Simple DIY hem adjustments are faster and cheaper.

  19. Do I need to factor in ironing costs for curtains?
    Assume an average cost of $4 per curtain panel each time you dry clean to have your curtains pressed. Skipping the ironing allows curtains to wrinkle and appear dingy over time, impacting the aesthetic. Built-in steaming options on high end washers help self-press.

  20. Where do I find deals on curtain rods?
    Check big box home stores for budget curtain rod sets under $25 in standard sizes and finishes. Watch for periodic sales on higher end specialty curtain rods at Bed Bath & Beyond, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel either in stores or online with coupon codes.


Installing new window curtains offers an affordable yet transformative way to elevate your home’s style and comfort. But failing to properly budget installation costs based on accurate window measurements, materials selected, complexity of styles, and specialty hardware needs can lead to painful budget overruns. Leverage the typical pricing estimates and expert tips provided above to make informed choices around custom design factors – and pull together the perfect curtains for your space within your targeted budget range.

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