4 Tips to Properly Hang Curtains

This week we are featuring a guest blog post from Tali Wee of Zillow. Zillow.com is a home and real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, home buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, landlords and property managers find and share vital information about homes, real estate, mortgages, and home improvement. We are transforming the way consumers make home-related decisions and connect with professionals.

4 Tips to Properly Hang Curtainscurtains1
By Tali Wee of Zillow.com

One of the exciting aspects of becoming a homeowner is redecorating the home to reflect one’s personal style. After searching for a home and seeing a variety of styles during the buying process, new homeowners may be inspired to change the interior designs of their new homes.

One fairly inexpensive upgrade for a home’s interior design is new curtains. They enhance the entire mood of a room without the need to hire a professional. To get it right the first time, follow these four tips to properly hang curtains.

1. Consider Window Treatment Variations

Before impulsively purchasing a set of beautiful curtain panels at the local home store, visualize the perfect window treatment for the style of window and theme of the room. Curtains come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, so it’s best to begin with a design plan. Consider first if the curtains should be mounted on the interior of the window casing or on the wall outside the window, as the decision dictates the type of hardware and curtains to buy.

Curtains installed inside the window casings require exact measurements to fit squarely in the space. If exterior mounts are preferred, select how far outside the window frame the curtains should be installed. The wider the window treatment, the farther the curtains can be pulled back, letting more light into the room. Select a fitting height for the curtain rods; installing the rods high above the window tends to draw the eye up and elongate the room. Next, select an appropriate length for the curtains. Typically, wall-mounted curtains should drape to the floor or stop half of an inch above the floor. More dramatic effects are established with long curtains that pool on the floor below the window.

2. Make Educated Purchases

Next, it’s imperative to record exact measurements for the desired window treatments before purchasing. Measure the window’s width and height in three locations: top, center and bottom. The numbers should be consistent in all three places. For in-casing mounts, record the narrowest of the three widths and the longest of the three heights. For wall mounted window treatments, record the widest measurement and add the amount of wall space on either side of the window. The height should include the amount of space above the window frame where the rod will hang and the distance to base of the ideal curtain.

If purchasing custom shades, follow the specific measurement instructions described on the order form. The manufacturer adjusts the width and length of the curtain to fit the recorded measurements.

Buy hardware that suits the style of curtain panels selected. Heavy curtains should have hardy rods. Long and sheer panels can accompany sleeker, simpler hardware. For fabric curtains, purchase panels twice the width of the window to create a gathered effect. Three times the width is recommended for sheer panels.

3. Prepare & Install

Installing curtains requires a few household tools. Start the project by collecting a measuring tape, level, screwdriver, drill, quarter-inch drill bit, hammer and pencil. The window treatment hardware should come with screws and drywall anchors. Otherwise purchase the brackets, rod and finials for the ends of the rod, screws and anchors separately. Lastly, have the curtain panels pressed and ready to hang. If the window treatments are being installed up high, be sure to have a ladder or step stool available.

Measure and mark the bracket placement symmetrically on either side of the window, and use the level to ensure a balanced final curtain rod. Double check the height of the rod and the length of the curtain panels to confirm they will hang precisely where desired; adjust height if necessary. To install, drill pilot holes over the pencil marks, hammer in the drywall anchors, place the brackets over the anchors and screw into place. Feed the curtain panels onto the rod, fasten the finial on the end and lift the rod into the bracket. Consider asking a friend to help lift the rod as the weight of the hardware and curtains can be heavy and awkward.

4. Anchor Correctly for Security

Installing drywall anchors for each screw is critical for the security of the window treatment. If pets or small children were to pull on low-hanging curtains, unanchored brackets may dislodge from the wall and fall down on top of them. However, if the screws are installed directly into wall studs, then anchors are not necessary. To properly install a drywall anchor, begin by using a quarter-inch drill bit to create a pilot hole. Next, place the tip of the anchor in the pilot hole and gently hammer it into the wall. If a drill is unavailable, create the pilot hole by hammering a nail into the wall and then removing it with the back of the hammer. Adding the anchor is easy and prevents the drywall from cracking or tearing under the weight of the curtains. Proceed by placing the bracket over the anchors and drilling the screws directly into the anchors.

New curtains are a simple design upgrade and can create a bold effect. Homeowners should be clear about the desired look for new curtains, purchase the necessary materials, as well as accurately measure and safely anchor the hardware before hanging the panels.

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