Overhanging curtains can add an elegant, finished look to any window while also providing privacy and light control. But like any home improvement project, installing overhang curtains comes with costs. This article breaks down the expenses step-by-step so you can budget appropriately.
What are overhang curtains?
Overhang curtains are window treatments that extend past the window frame on one or more sides. Also called window scarves or valances, overhang curtains typically layer over another set of curtains. The layering effect frames out the window for a polished, upscale aesthetic.
Overhang curtain panels attach to the wall, ceiling, or top corners of the window frame. This gives them a cascading look as they hang down over the other curtains or window itself. Homeowners often choose overhangs to make windows appear larger or taller. The horizontal lines draw the eye outward, expanding the feel of the space.
Factors impacting cost
Several factors influence how much you’ll spend on overhang curtains for your home:
- Window measurements: Larger windows require more curtain material and longer rods/tracks. Measure precisely for accurate fabric estimates.
- Number of windows: Treating multiple windows multiplies the time and materials required.
- Overhang length: Longer curtain cascades cost more since they use more fabric. Prices per yard often decrease with higher yardage orders though.
- Fabric selection: Delicate fabrics like silk organza or intricately patterned jacquards can command upwards of $30+ per yard. Standard cottons and polyester blends start around $12 per yard.
- Lining: Lining adds body and fullness while blocking light/insulating. But it increases materials costs 25% or more.
- Hardware: Curtain rods, finials and brackets made from wood or metal cost more than budget plastic versions. Motorized tracks for remote opening/closing are also premium.
- Embellishments: Details like embroidery, smocking pleats or layered fabrics mean higher price tags. Simple overhangs tend to cost less.
- Professional installation: Hiring an expert to properly hang your curtains adds $200 or more per window. But it guarantees proper positioning and function.
Key Takeaway: For basic cotton overhangs installed by the homeowner, expect to budget around $150-300 per standard single window depending on size. Costs go up sharply for wider/taller windows, specialty fabrics or motorized curtain tracks. Professional installation also increases the total price by over 25% typically.
Cost to purchase overhang curtains
Purchasing off-the-shelf overhang curtains represents the simplest and most budget-friendly option. Mass retailers like Target and Walmart sell ready-made overhangs for standard window sizes at affordable prices. For example:
- 42 x 63” overhang panel set: $18-30
- 42 x 84” thermal overhang pair: $30-50
- 50 x 95” blackout overhang set of 2: $60-$150
Ordering custom overhang panels directly from manufacturers like Select Blinds and Custom Curtains and Drapes gives you more size flexibility. You’ll also find a wider range of fabrics and colors to match your home’s style. For reference, personalized overhangs start around $25 per panel, plus 10-20 cents per inch for panels over 63 inches. Expect delivery fees too for custom pieces.
Purchased overhangs work best for simple DIY upgrades using existing hardware. The per-panel prices above assume basic cotton or poly-cotton fabrics without embellishments or linings. More detailed overhangs made from specialty textiles like faux silks or delicate sheers can cost $50-100+ per individual panel.
You’ll also need to account for curtain rods or tracks since most ready-mades don’t include hanging hardware. Complete install-ready curtain rod sets start around $25+ for budget metals and plastics. For big picture budgeting:
- Small window (2 panels): $50 – $150
- Medium window (4 panels): $100 – $350
- Large window (6 panels): $200 – $500+
Of course, costs scale higher for premium hardware, embroidered or designer fabrics and professionally tailored construction. But this range gives reasonable idea of price expectations.
Cost to sew DIY overhang curtains
Sewing your own overhang curtains takes more effort but allows fuller customization for unique windows or décor needs. For the closest cost comparisons, pricing out materials for a set of 2 overhang panels for a standard double window breaks down as:
- Fabric: $25 to $60+ per yard ($50 – $150+ total)*
- Lining fabric: $3 to $15 per yard ($15 – $60 total)*
- Thread, hooks, weights: $5 – $15
- Curtain rod/track: $25 to $60+
*Pricing varies widely based on fabric type, pattern complexity, fiber content and dimensional yardage needed
Factoring in labor costs or outsourcing sewing work can add $50-100+ more depending on detail level. So while significant savings over custom-made overhangs are possible, free time for sewing is a major consideration. Sourcing higher-end fabrics at designer discount retailers helps maximize both cost efficiency and decorative appeal.
As long as you have intermediate sewing skills, creating DIY overhangs makes an economical option for personalized window treatments. With the right combination of affordable fabric purchased at volume discounts and reused or repurposed rod hardware, prices comparable to mass-produced panels are achievable. Just ensure you have an accurate window measurement for planning adequate yardage.
Cost to install professionally
Delegating overhang curtain installation to window treatment specialists streamlines upgrading your windows for convenience. Hiring experts handles measuring each unique window, selecting suitable curtain hardware, proper hanging and even dressing the panels for you.
For basic cotton or linen-blend overhangs, professional supply and installation costs approximately:
- Single panel up to 80 inches wide: $75 – $200
- Double panel up to 136 inches wide: $150 -$350
- Floor to ceiling panel: $200 – $500+
Complex curtain arrangements with multiple layers, specialty hardware or premium embellishments can cost $500 to well over $1000 or more per window. Location also impacts pricing; contractors in high-cost metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or New York City command steeper rates.
When quoting prices for clients, designers factor in:- Time required for installing and testing tracks/operating systems- Difficulty accessing windows like multi-story bays or uniquely angled spaces- Special tools or equipment needed to reach specific windows- Site variables like wall material for securely anchoring brackets- Travel fees for destinations over 50 miles away
The convenience premium of professional overhang installation ranges from 25% to over 100% more than DIY efforts in equivalent baseline materials. Yet the certainty of correctly fitted, functional and attractive window dressings often outweighs the higher prices for many homeowners.
DIY tips for lowering costs
If paying retail rates stretches beyond your home improvement budget, implementing a few targeted DIY measures helps control expenses without sacrificing style. Consider these cost-saving steps:
Fabricate your own rods Use 1.5-2” diameter wooden dowels with stopper knobs screwed into each end for simple no-frills overhang rods. Or modernize the look by cutting 1” copper pipes capped with furniture floor protectors. Both cost under $10 in materials. Add tension rods temporarily to test positioning and proportions before permanently installing your homemade rods.
Repurpose bed sheets and tablecloths Raiding linens you already own cuts down on fabric costs significantly. Vintage sheets in particular offer charming patterns and generous yardage well-suited for overhang curtain use. Tea-stain, dye or decorate them to coordinate colors. For especially wide windows, securely stitch tablecloths end-to-end for ample custom panel width.
Stretch brackets farther apart Standard spacing for curtain rod brackets is 6-12 inches apart. But for lightweight overhang panels without a lining, doubling up to 24” saves on materials. Just ensure screws anchor firmly into wall studs or use hollow drywall anchors to prevent pulling free over time.
Checking thrift stores and secondhand markets regularly turns up quality curtains, hardware and usable fabric sold at deep discounts. Building connections with dry cleaners and fabric retailers can also yield discontinued luxury remnants usable for overhangs on the cheap. The key for budget overhang projects is creatively sourcing supplies rather than buying everything brand new.
Installing beautiful overhang curtains instantly elevates any room’s décor with graceful style. Keeping costs reasonable for this transformative upgrade simply requires strategic planning and resourceful execution. Prioritizing smart shortcuts maximizes savings without over-complicating the process or sacrifice. For best results, clearly map out your window dimensions, style preferences and budget at the very start. This allows efficiently focusing effort where it really counts. With some clever creativity blended with tried-and-true best practices, gorgeous new overhang curtains keep money in your wallet where it belongs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much fabric do I need for overhang curtains?
A: Estimate 2 to 2 1/2 times the window’s width. This allows for fullness and adequate overhang length. Add 15-30% more for padding/lining. Order extra yardage if pattern matching across panels.
Q: Should overhang curtains touch the floor?
A: Not necessarily. An appropriate puddle length ranges from barely skimming the sill to up to 18 inches pooling at floor level. Base the length on your personal preference and room style.
Q: How far past the window frame should overhangs extend?
A: An ideal overhang projection falls anywhere from 4 to 16 inches beyond the window trim. Scale the proportion to the window and room size for best balance.
Q: Is it cheaper to make or buy overhang curtains?
A: If sewing your own, purchasing fabric is generally cheaper than pre-made panels. But factoring in labor costs may outweigh potential savings over custom-sized factory panels. Consider your skill level and available time.
Q: What’s the difference between a valance and overhang curtains?
A: Valances specifically describe short curtain pieces layered over the window itself. Overhang curtains are always mounted above the window frame and are typically longer. But the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Q: Should I line overhang curtains?
A: Lining boosts insulation, light blocking and shape retention. But it increases cost. Sheer or lightweight overhangs on decorative windows may not need lining. Evaluate priorities between budget, privacy and building efficiency.
Q: Is installing overhang curtains difficult?
A: Basic overhangs are relatively easy for intermediate DIYers to self-install. Ensure you have the right tools, select lightweight hardware and anchor properly in studs or with anchors. Seek professional help for complex tracks or built-in pole pockets.
Q: How do I cut curtain panels evenly?
A: Mark cuts with tailor’s chalk then use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter on a large cutting mat. Use a yardstick and carpenter’s square as guides for straight lines across wide fabrics. Take great care not to distort pile or stretch bias grains when handling.
Q: Should I dry clean or machine wash overhang curtains?
A: Check the manufacturer’s tag for guidance. Most light cottons, linens and synthetics can be gently machine washed and line dried. Avoid heat drying. Have delicates like silk organza professionally dry cleaned to protect fragile fibers and structure.
Q: Why are my overhangs wrinkling unevenly?
A: Wrinkling issues typically stem from incorrect curtain weights or rods too small for the panels. The poles must be sized precisely to support the fabric weight smoothly. Add more weights as needed to keep bottom hems hanging straight.
Q: How often should I rotate the direction my overhang curtains face?
A: At minimum, reverse the face direction once per season to equalize light damage. More frequently is better to offset fading. Also swap outer and inner panel positions periodically since sunlight hits the outer layer most.
Q: What’s the best way to clean dusty overhang curtains?
A: Vacuum gently using a soft brush attachment and the drapes lowered. Avoid disturbing delicate embellishments. For deeper cleaning, bring panels outdoors and shake out then spot treat stains carefully. Air dry completely before rehanging.
Q: Why are my cat or dog constantly pawing at the overhang curtains?
A: The billowing motion and swishing sounds attract curious pets wanting to play. Distract with alternative toys and use non-toxic bitter anti-chew sprays if batting persists. Block access if needed until they lose interest in the curtains.
Q: How can I darken a room with overhang curtains during the day?
A: Opt for dual full blackout curtains on a separate track below opaque thermal or fully lined overhangs. This allows maximum flexibility for room darkening control while maintaining your desired overhang style as the top layer.
Q: Is it safe to iron overhang curtains?
A: Avoid ironing which risks scorching delicate fabrics. Instead gently steam using the lowest setting on your iron focused on wrinkled areas. Let panels fully cool and dry before attempting to smooth or adjust them to prevent permanent creases taking shape.
Q: What height should curtain rods be placed above windows?
A: Standard height is around 6-12” above the window frame. But higher positioning like 16-20” elongates the look of short windows. Raise rods accordingly for windows flanked by tall pieces like bookshelves that you want curtains to extend past.
Q: Can I use tension rods for temporary overhang curtains?
A: Adjustable spring rods work very well for test positioning curtains before permanently installing hardware. Just ensure weight and width stay within tension capacity to prevent possible collapse which can damage panels.
Q: Is it possible to mount curtains overhang-style from ceiling without a rod?
A: Yes, using curtain hooks attached directly to the ceiling eliminates the pole altogether. The visual effect mimics a canopy. But take care to securely anchor ceiling hooks into structure framing for safety and stability.
Q: What kind of header is best for overhang curtains?
A: Rod pockets offer versatility to easily switch curtains out seasonally. Clip rings or grommets enable smoother draw operation on tracks. Standard back tabs also suffice for basic stationary hanging. Match header style to your existing hardware.
Q: How difficult is it to sew DIY blackout linings for overhang curtains?
A: Blackout fabric layers easily into basic no-frills rectangular panels. Calculate double your window measurements, sandwich fabric wrong sides together and stitch leaving a top edge gap for hanging rods. Use clips to attach.