This really is the area where most mistakes in the made to measure curtain business are made by far. I have been in this business for more than 20 years and I still get it wrong on occasion. Usually because I have been rushing or have been distracted after measuring and before writing down the sizes.
So please, please and please again. Take your time and don't become distracted. If you get this part wrong. Then everything else you do afterwards is just a complete waste of your time and money.
How to measure for curtains check list
Just by following these simple steps you will avoid the most common measuring mistakes people make.
- Pick your curtain style before you measure for curtains. So important if you want curtains that fit exactly right. They all measure up slightly different.
- Use a wide blade steel tape measure for easier number reading, plus less bending measuring wide windows. Especially if you are doing this on your own, which I recommend you don't.
- Get someone to help by holding the other end of the tape measure. Then write down the sizes on a pad. The width first and the length (drop) second. This the industry standard. Then swap over and repeat the measure and check the sizes again.
- Also consider obstructions to your curtains hanging freely. Such as Sofas, beds, drawer units, etc. Can you move them or adjust.
Watch the short video below and see what I recommend when measuring a window for curtains hanging from a curtain pole.
I have also listed some tips below the video to recap on the important points. I have added few other things that will help you with getting this right first time.
Measure For Curtains On A Pole Check List
Fit your curtain pole at the very least 4 inches over the top of your window. Assuming you have room to do so, it will look much better. I tend to fit my curtain poles at 5 or 6 inches over the top of the window.
Sometimes even 8 to 10 inches above the window recess. Usually in rooms with very high ceilings.
This allows the back of the curtain header to sit over the wall so is not seen from outside. It just looks that much better.
The overall width of the curtain pole (excluding the decorative end finials) should be the width of your window recess plus aminimum of 5 or 6 inches (12.5 to 15cm) past both sides.
This is the absolute minimum, for wider windows allow more space each side. This allows your curtain to pull back of your window letting the maximum light in the room.