Curtain Installation Cost

A set of two panels of standard size curtains costs between $7-$1,000.

In this guide

Curtain size and rod installation
Curtain material
Curtain hardware
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install curtains?

Installing curtains adds ambiance to any room in the home and forms an integral component of most interior designers’ checklists. Installing a curtain can be a DIY project, but if you lack the required skills, there are professionals available, whom you may hire for the job. For standard size curtains, (measuring 15-50 inches), most homeowners spend between $7-$1,000 per curtain set of two panels, depending on the style, material, and brand. This guide takes a look at the average cost of installing curtains on eight, 27-inch standard windows in a one-story home.

Curtains can change the look and feel of any room in your home, make it lighter or darker, while enhancing your decor. Therefore, you should make a careful and informed choice for the type the curtains you install. Curtains can be categorized by fabric, color, window width, height, linings, and whether they are ready-made or custom-made, and all of these things can affect the final cost. It can be difficult to make a decision for the right type of curtains for your home, but there a few guidelines you can follow to help.

Curtain size and rod installation

The height and length of your curtain depends on the actual dimensions of the window and whether or not you’ll be using the curtains to make your windows appear wider or higher than they really are. Curtains are normally installed six inches above the window frame, but you can install them higher to create a more dramatic look. Curtain panel measurements extend from the top of the panel to the bottom hem, so be sure to take that extra measurement into consideration when ordering.

In addition to determining the total curtain length, knowing the position of the curtain above the window trim helps you to determine where and how to install the curtain rod. To get the width of your curtains, add 4-8 inches on either side of the window, and double the measurement for fullness. The extra inches around the perimeter of the window frame help to block any light, but do require the curtain rod to also extend beyond the window frame by the same dimensions to allow for partial opening of the curtain, while making the window look wider.

Curtain material

The final price of your curtains will also be affected by the material you choose to use. This table presents the most common curtain materials and their prices per window:

MaterialProsCons

Linen

($50-$200)

Eco-friendly

Washable

Available in many colors and weights

Strong

Anti-microbial

Highly durable

Colors may fade

Shrinks

Acrylic

($10-$50)

Sun resistant

Stain resistant

Not eco-friendly

Not-durable unless blended with natural fibers

Cotton

($7-$50)

Eco-friendly

Available in many colors, prints and weights

Washable

May shrink

Deteriorates after long use

Silk

($1,000)

Highly durable

Eco-friendly

Cool and sleek

Comes in different weights

Very expensive

Prone to sun damage

Some type of silk are not washable

Curtain hardware

Curtains need several accessories such as rods, clips, finials 1, holdbacks, and tiebacks for their installation, which are available at different prices that will increase the final cost of your curtain installation.

  • Rods come complete with all accessories like screws and brackets 2 for fixing, and are available for $20-$200 depending on the materials (wood, aluminum, steel, or plastic) and their sizes, which can vary with the curtain weight and window length. Most metal rods are 1-inch diameter hollow tubes, while wood and plastic rods can be thicker.
  • Curtain rods may not include finals, which are decorative rod-ends that can come together with the curtain panel as a set, with the rod, or as a separate hardware at around $10-$80 per pair depending on the material.
  • Hanging clips or rings, if your curtains require them, cost from $5-$600 per set of ten, depending on the material, style, and quality. However, the most common ones range from $5-$25 per set, with only the very high-end ones costing up to $600 per set.

Holdbacks and tiebacks for holding the curtain back from the window to match the decorative rods or curtains cost $7-$70 per pair when sold separately, but they may also be sold together with the rod or curtain.

Labor

Before installation, determine where to hang your curtains to determine the required measurements for the curtain panels for a perfect fit before purchase. Curtains can be installed inside or outside your window casing, depending on the location of the curtain and the look you want to achieve there.

Installed OnIdeal SituationProsCons
Outside

Patio decoration

Health hazards prevention

Improve the outdoor decor

Bacterial deterrent

Mosquito netting

Hardware must be weather-proof

Curtains are less durable

Inside casing

Interior decor

Lighting regulation

Privacy consideration

Improve interior decor

Help to conserve energy

Add to room comfort

Make room appear smaller

They host most in-house pollutants


To install window curtains, professionals charge around $10-$20 per window; for a project of eight windows, the cost will be around $80 - $160 in labor. The installation team comes with their own tools and can also do the measurements for you if you contact them in advance of purchase.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Custom curtains

Custom made curtains offer different benefits, such as the option to customize the dimensions of the curtain panels to your window size, as well as infinite design options in both material and style. These benefits make them more expensive than off-the-shelf curtains; they average between $250-$1,500 depending on the material, style, and size.

Layered curtains

Curtains can be layered in ultra-thin translucent curtain panels, also called sheers, to filter sunlight while providing minimal privacy, usually accompanied by thicker curtains that can be rolled out according to light needs. These curtains cost $10-$100 per panel and vary with the material type, size, and brand.

Valances

A curtain may include a valance (a short piece of cloth that covers the uppermost part of the window hiding the rods), which enhances the window decor and lets light in. Typically, valances cost around $10-$50, but can go up to $600 for superior quality brands. They are mostly hung on kitchen windows.

Cornices

Cornices, which are constructed wooden boxes above window trims, are sometimes added to a window on top of the rod to disguise it, adding to the aesthetics of the window treatment. Their prices range from $150 to $600.

Traverse rods

Traverse rods allow you to open and close curtain panels across window track systems using a draw cord, and cost around $20-$180.

Crank systems

Curtains on high windows can be fitted with crank-systems to open by a pulley cord, and are available for between $100-$300.

Additional considerations and costs

Ordering in bulk

If you are buying more than one curtain, some stores may give a discount on each set you purchase. Many stores adjust your discount according to the quantity you purchase, and you can easily end up with a 10%-30% savings on each curtain.

Hard to reach windows

Installing curtains on high windows significantly raises the cost, sometimes by as much as 100% due to the need for specialized equipment for operating and installing the curtains.

Energy efficiency

Curtains can reduce room heat loss or gain by acting as insulation, lowering energy consumption by air-conditioners and heaters by 10%-40%. For example, multi-layered curtains made of tightly woven silk or satin act as thermal insulators and prevent heat transfer between room and outside air; they are available for $20-$150 per panel.

Curtains in bathrooms and kitchens

  • Bathroom curtains need to be sturdier than others given the level of privacy needed. Therefore, lined curtains are the best option. They also need to be made of a fabric that is weather-resistant to stand the high humidity and heat changes.
  • For bathrooms and kitchen windows, floor-to-ceiling curtains should be avoided due to the wet floors and high traffic that may damage to hems, and which necessitates regular cleaning.
  • If possible, other types of window treatments, such as blinds, may be better options for kitchens and bathrooms.  
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Finials: It is a metal rod with a pointed or round tip that allows the lightning to be caught and safely diffused through conductor cables to ground rods buried in a safe place. All three components together make up a complete lightning protection system
2 Brackets: A support that projects outward from one surface to hold another surface to it, such as attaching a shelf to a wall or piece of furniture. Brackets can also be used to strengthen joins between two materials

Cost to install curtains varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Berlin, MD
-25%
Boston, MA
+40%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Carlisle, MA
+56%
Carrollton, TX
+14%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Clovis, CA
-6%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Frederick, MD
0%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Hampton, GA
-11%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Hingham, MA
+58%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Iselin, NJ
+39%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Katy, TX
+63%
Kennewick, WA
-17%
Lakewood, NJ
+3%
Little Elm, TX
+17%
Magnolia, TX
+14%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naperville, IL
+47%
New York, NY
+77%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Overland Park, KS
+15%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%
San Ysidro, CA
+8%
Santa Fe, NM
-26%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Toledo, OH
+9%
Tracy, CA
+4%

Labor cost in your zip code

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