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How much does it cost to put curtains in a house?

Curtains can greatly enhance the look and feel of a room by adding color, texture, and style. However, the cost to install curtains can vary widely depending on the type, fabric, size and number of windows you need to cover. This article will break down the different factors that impact the total costs so you can budget accordingly.

How much does it cost to put curtains in a house?

Materials and Labor

The main costs for installing curtains are:

  • Curtain materials – The fabric and style choices make the biggest impact on cost. Prices range from $2 per panel for inexpensive polyester up to $75+ per panel for high-end, custom options.
  • Hardware – Curtain rods, tracks and specialty hardware can range from $15 for simple options up to $150 for customized pieces. Valances add another $25-$100 per window.
  • Labor – Hiring an interior designer costs $50-$200 per hour. Installation professionals charge $40-$75 per hour. DIY has no labor fees.

On average, expect to spend $150-300 per window for mid-range curtains with professional installation. Large picture windows, specialty shapes or high-end details could cost $500+ per treatment.

Size and Type of Windows

The size, shape and style of your windows significantly impacts overall project costs. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Standard – A 25″ x 36″ rectangular window will need 2 panels at $30-$150 per panel plus hardware.
  • Large – Picture, bay or greenhouse windows require more fabric. A 5′ wide window could need 4 panels ($120-$600) plus rods ($30+).
  • Specialty Shapes – Angled, round or arched windows have limited hardware options that tend to cost more.
  • Sliding Doors/Walls of Windows – To properly cover large expanses of glass requires tracking hardware ($150+) and 4+ panels.

In general, you can use $200 per standard window as an average benchmark. Price per window goes up sharply for specialty shapes or large picture windows.

Type of Curtains

Choosing the style and fabric is the most variable cost factor when installing curtains.

Curtain Styles

  • Rod Pocket – Inexpensive panels mounted on rods ($30+ per panel)
  • Back Tab – Layered look with visible tabs in back ($45+ per panel)
  • Pencil Pleat – Tailored style with pleats ($55+ per panel)
  • Grommet Top – Casual style on rings or grommets ($65+ per panel)
  • Ripple fold – Accordion-style pleats ($70+ per panel)

More personalized options like motorized, thermal blackout and custom embroidery have the highest per panel costs.

Fabric Choices

  • Polyester & Synthetic Blends – Inexpensive, easy care ($15-$30 per panel)
  • Cotton & Cotton Blends – Attractive natural fabrics ($25-$50 per panel)
  • Silk, Velvet & Sheers – Luxurious look with premium pricing ($55+ per panel)
  • Thermal Lined – Energy efficient insulating layers ($40-$75 per panel)
  • Blackout – Light blocking fabric ($30-$60 per panel)

The fabric yardage, quality and special features all contribute to the per panel pricing. In general, more detailing means higher prices.

Additional Cost Considerations

A few additional things that can increase your total curtains costs for a whole house include:

  • Sheers – Layering with lightweight sheers will require 2x the number of panels
  • Lining – Lined curtains add warmth and improve light blocking ($15+ per panel extra)
  • Tiebacks – Decorative or functional tiebacks range $20-$50 per window
  • Valances – Top treatments help finish the look ($25+ per window)
  • Curtain Alterations – Expect to pay $10-$25 per panel for basic alterations like hems
  • Rush Orders – Expedited 1 week turnaround has a 25% upcharge
  • Shipping – Budget $10-$25 for delivery from online sites

If you have 10+ windows, costs for these little add-ons can quickly run into the thousands. Carefully decide which extras are most important for your home.

DIY vs Professional Installation

One easy way to save money on your curtain project is to DIY! Using basic rods and inexpensive curtain panels, you can cover most standard windows for under $100 each. However, professional installation ensures it is done right and includes:

  • Proper hanging height based on ceiling and window size
  • Secure install of all hardware into studs
  • Perfectly placed panels, tiebacks and top treatments
  • Access to specialty hardware, motorization and custom styles

If you need specialty shapes, blackout, thermal or delicates fabrics, it is wise to hire a professional for installation. They have the expertise to handle expensive curtains properly. Many interior designers will provide curtain installation services along with suggesting stylish options to perfectly tie a room together.

Key Takeaways

  • Expect to spend $150-300 per window for mid-range curtain panels and hardware
  • Window size, shape and number significantly impacts overall costs
  • Style and fabric choices are the biggest pricing factors ranging $20-$150+ per panel
  • Consider add-ons like sheers, linings, valances and tiebacks
  • DIY installation saves money but makes sense only for basic windows and rods
  • Professionals ensure proper hanging, access to specialty options and durability

Learn exactly what shape, size and number of windows you have. Measure carefully to calculate total yardage and panels needed. This helps you create an accurate budget whether ordering online or buying in stores. Set realistic expectations for costs based on your window specifics and style preferences. With some smart planning, you can customize an beautiful, affordable window treatment solution for your home.


Installing curtains in your home can have a dramatic impact on the aesthetics and comfort of any room. Costs vary widely based on the number of windows, types of curtains and hardware and who handles the installation. Carefully evaluate your needs, budget and style goals before taking on a whole house window treatment project. With adequate planning, you can have beautiful customized curtains that enhance your space within a reasonable budget range.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much do basic curtains cost per window?
    For basic rod pocket curtain panels and simple hardware, expect to spend around $100-200 per average sized window.
  1. What is the most cost effective curtain style?
    Rod pocket curtains are the most budget friendly at $20+ per panel. Opt for polyester blends over natural fabrics to save money.
  1. How much do designer curtains cost?
    In high-end homes, designer curtains with details like embroidery, prints and linings can run $400-600 per window or more.
  1. Are blackout curtains more expensive?
    Yes, blackout fabric is thicker and structured so costs $30-60 per panel compared to $15-30 for regular curtains.
  1. Can I install curtains myself?
    Yes, with basic handyman skills you can install standard curtain rods and panels over regular windows easily. Measure carefully and anchor rods securely.
  1. When should I hire a professional?
    If you have specialty shapes, large windows or expensive delicate fabrics, hire an installer to ensure it is done properly. Professionals also have access to hard-to-find hardware.
  1. How much does professional installation cost?
    Expect to pay $40-75 per hour for labor plus any material costs. Most jobs take 1-3 hours depending on window specifics.
  1. Should I layer curtains?
    Adding lightweight sheers behind main curtains instantly upgrades any window starting at $30 per panel. Ensure rods extend a few inches past window width.
  1. How much extra will lined curtains cost?
    Plan on an upcharge of $15-25 per panel for thermal or room darkening linings. Outdoor linings add more for waterproofing features.
  1. Can curtains be altered if too long?
    Yes, leave at least an extra 4 inches length when ordering curtains to allow for alterations. Hemming curtains runs around $15 per panel.
  1. Should all bedroom curtains match?
    Matching bedroom curtains creates harmony and style flow. Mix textures and patterns over colors for added interest. Keep lengths the same throughout.
  1. What length curtains do I need?
    For most rooms, puddle length curtains that lightly pool onto floor look best. Size panels 2-3 inches longer than window height.
  1. How wide do curtains need to be?
    Panels should be 1.5 to 2.5x the width of window frame for optimal coverage when drawn open and closed.
  1. How much fabric do I need per window?
    Measure across the rod’s length and down to the floor, then add 8-12” per side. Use a calculator to determine total yardage needed.
  1. Where can I buy discounted curtains?
    Watch for sales at big box stores like Target and Walmart or shop discount home goods sites like Overstock and Wayfair. Thrift stores have great bargain finds too!
  1. Should I make my own curtains?
    If you can sew well, making your own allows full customization for a fraction of store bought pricing. Some specialty styles like ripple fold are hard to DIY though.
  1. Do I need a specialty pole for grommet top curtains?
    Grommets need a pole with protrusions to hold them securely in place. Make sure the pole diameter matches grommet inner size.
  1. How much do tiebacks cost?
    Pretty tiebacks run $20-50 per pair. Choose ones wide enough to match panel width or order custom sizes.
  1. How much extra do thermal curtains cost?
    Plan on spending $50-100 more per window for insulating blackout-lined curtains over regular panels to save on energy bills.
  1. Where are the best places to buy curtains online?
    Top online curtain stores include Wayfair, Overstock, Amazon, Pottery Barn and specialty shops like Country Curtains or Smith Noble. Check reviews first.

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