There is no better way to spruce up a room than to install new window treatments. They can help make a room lighter, darker, cozier, more traditional, or more modern. The cost of new window treatments runs about $231 including installation, but with plenty of types of blinds, curtains, and drapes available, the cost actually ranges between $93 and $403 on average. Below are several cost considerations to think about.
Installing Window Covers - Cost Factors
There is a number of factors that contribute to the final cost of window treatment installation, not the least of which are the volume, size, and location of the windows in question. Make sure to review each of these factors to better understand what you can expect when it comes to the final price.
Clearly the number of windows that need treatments installed affects the price of installation. However, like most home improvement jobs, there are some cost savings associated with increased volume because the workers and their tools are already on site. Therefore, while the installation of a single custom window covering costs on average $60-$70, the price to install two is less than double that, around $80. The price for three or more is similarly discounted, ranging from about $100 for three to about $120 for five window treatment installations.
The style of window treatments you want to install also affects their price immensely. While simple curtains and drapes only require a straight-angled rod, custom blinds, shutters, and shades are all more complex because they must fit exactly within or around a window. Here are some specific considerations to keep in mind with each of these popular window treatment styles.
Curtains and Drapes - A simple rod and curtain is an easy installation on your own and a low-cost way to add volume, interest, and dramatic design to any window. Add-on features such as layered curtains and valances, a transverse rod, or a crank-system for opening and closing all affect the installation’s final price, which ranges from $70-$200. Furthermore, the curtains and drapes themselves can add or subtract substantially from final costs, with basic cotton or polyester panels costing as little as $7-$10 or hand-spun silk types going for $1,000 or more.
Low-Cost Blinds and Shades - Most home improvement and hardware stores offer basic aluminum blinds and roller shades cut-to-order so they can fit your windows exactly. These basic treatments are quite inexpensive, costing anywhere from $7-$25 apiece, and they are usually self-installed.
Custom Blinds and Shades - Custom-designed blinds and shades have the same clean, fitted look as their low-cost counterparts with the added benefit of professional installation and features such as energy efficiency, cordless operation, and even automatic movement. The cost of these units varies greatly according to the features homeowners select and the size of their window(s), but it starts at about $150-$200 per window with options that can add $1,000or more to the final cost. Installation of these custom blinds generally costs between $80-$250, depending on their features.
Shutters - Similar to custom blinds, shutters must be sized according to the window and are almost always professionally installed. Their price ranges according to the materials used and details present, including carvings and color. Basic models cost as little as $20-$100 per shutter, with made-to-order selections being more expensive and costing between $250 and $700 on average. Installation of interior shutters is more complex than other window treatments, however, because it often requires adding an additional frame to a window or mounting the shutter all the way around the current frame. The average cost for installation ranges from around $150-$400.
The location of the windows you want to cover also affects the installation cost because hard-to-reach windows require specialized equipment and enhanced safety measures to get to. In addition, ordering custom window coverings may also increase installation costs; installers may need to come out more than once to measure, generally charging between $50-$100 for these consultation services.
Adding window treatments can either lead to major changes in the look and feel of a room or merely offer nondescript functional features. It is important to consider these effects as well as your home's overall style because different coverings offer very specific benefits and drawbacks in that regard.
Blinds & Shades
Blinds and shades are some of the most versatile and common window treatments in modern homes. With several styles and features to choose from, including horizontal or vertical orientation, different materials, and customization, it is easy to add variety and function to every room of your home without adding too much fuss. Read more in our full blinds & shades guide.
Curtains & Drapes
Offering more volume than blinds and shades, curtains, or their more understated partner, drapes, are nevertheless a bold design statement. Design possibilities range from simple gauzy cotton coverings for privacy to heavy light-filtering covers and from featuring popular children's characters to enhance room decor and themes to incorporating elaborate handmade and sewn pieces made of high-quality fabrics like silk and wool. As a result, prices vary a great deal from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars per panel. In addition, adding valances, tiered structures, and tiebacks can all impact the final results and ultimate design impact of this type of window covering.
For a very specific Colonial or beachy look, interior shutters are a popular choice. Significant because they are easy to see from both inside and outside the home whether open or closed, choosing to add shutters is one of the boldest window covering design decisions homeowners can make. Shutters made of real wood compared to vinyl cost more, as do custom-cut and handmade options, all of which add additional luxury and value to these permanent window covering options.
In addition to the coverings themselves, adding accessories to each window can further enhance the look and design of the finished product. These additions are mostly associated with curtain and drape installation, but some of them can enhance blinds and shades as well. Such popular accessory options include:
Curtain rings and clips
Holdbacks and tiebacks
Each of these additions adds to the cost of your window covering installation project, some more significantly than others. For example, a curtain rod can cost a few dollars if it is a simple aluminum model or several hundred if it is made of a fine metal or is designer quality.
Finding the right window coverings for your home is relatively easy; many shopping outlets, from home improvement warehouses to designer home decor boutiques to online retailers, carry them. The most popular places to look are discount department stores and home goods shops, such as Pier One and Bed Bath and Beyond, which also carry large selections of curtain rods and accessories.
To this end, where you shop can have a large bearing on the final cost of your window covering project. Whereas Home Depot offers low-cost blinds for $7-$20, designer blinds from Smith and Noble or Hunter Douglas may cost up to $1,000 each. Similarly, curtains from a department store like Macy's, Kohl's, or Target may cost $10-$40 per panel. Designer curtains from Neiman Marcus or Pottery Barn, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $75-$750 each.
Although not as important as the windows themselves, window treatments can also enhance a home's energy efficiency by filtering out light and heat as well as providing an extra layer of insulation to keep hot and cold air in your home during the winter and summer months. These types of specially formulated energy-efficient blinds and curtains provide different features and levels of protection. As such, they cost anywhere from $40-$250 each.