When you reach a certain level of adulthood, it’s time to incorporate curtains into your interior design.
Not only do curtains help establish a gorgeous look, but they can also provide multiple other benefits.
Unfortunately, curtains may cost more than you anticipated.
Here are 10 reasons curtains are so expensive.
Why Are Curtains So Expensive? (Top 14 Reasons)
1. Labor-Intensive Construction
One of the main reasons curtains cost so much is that someone needs to take the time to make them, usually by hand.
They will sit at an old-fashioned sewing machine and make the curtains by hand, putting their focus into every tiny detail.
Some large retail chains sell adequate curtains made at a major manufacturing plant.
These curtains come with a lower price tag, but many people prefer curtains made by hand by a true artisan.
There’s something special about these handmade curtains and the love and skill put into them that make the higher price tag arguably well worth it.
Of course, you will need to pay for the time and effort that goes into the creation of handmade curtains.
Some people attempt to make curtains themselves to save money only to discover just how difficult the task is, especially if you prefer curtains from materials that are notoriously difficult to work with, such as silk.
One of the main reasons to leave curtain creation to the professionals is to ensure that you have a safe product.
While seemingly innocuous, curtains can become dangerous in the wrong hands, such as the hands of children or pets.
They can also become a fire hazard, depending on the type of material.
During the manufacturing process, experts ensure that the curtains only leave the floor and go off to the store or customer’s store after they go through rigorous safety and quality controls to ensure they don’t end up creating a problem.
The skill and quality control adds significantly to the price tag.
The curtain material makes up almost the entirety of the product, so the fabric choice is the most important decision you will make as a consumer.
You have a large number of different curtain materials you can choose from, all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.
You need to take these things into consideration, but most people go with the material that fits their personal style over anything else.
We will cover a couple of the more popular curtain fabric options on the market.
Silk is one of the most expensive options at $30 to $40 per yard, and it can show wear and tear rather easily.
It also won’t keep out the sun and heat in the summer or keep the windows from letting heat escape in the winter.
However, this lightweight fabric is also one of the most desirable options since it feels like a dream when you touch it, and it looks great (and expensive).
Velvet is thick and heavy, making it especially energy efficient.
It also costs more for installation and hardware due to the additional weight.
Everyone will love to comment and touch your curtains though, thanks to the soft feel.
Polyester and cotton are two of the more popular options.
They both provide high breathability and moderate pricing.
However, they may not have the same luxurious feel of either silk or velvet.
Lace is soft, pretty, and feminine, which goes well with family-oriented and classic design styles.
While it may offer a small amount of additional privacy, it has limited possibilities when it comes to reducing sunlight, heat, or noise.
It can also come with a hefty price tag.
Curtains are large items.
They require a lot of additional space for storage, which adds to the overhead costs of the retailer or artisan.
Their large size also makes them difficult to work with, meaning it can take creators longer to make them than expected, even with help.
It can also be difficult to transport them and install them due to the size.
Of course, curtain size depends on the size of the windows in your home and whether you want the curtains to come down to the floor or stop at the bottom of the window.
Luckily, the choice is yours!
Standard curtains come in three main lengths: 84”, 96”, and 108”.
Larger curtains will cost more than smaller curtains.
Most people prefer the longer options unless they have low ceilings.
The most common width is 45”.
Most curtains come in two panels for each side of your window.
However, you can also find curtains that come in one panel.
Two-panel curtains cost more than one-panel curtains.
If you want something outside of these typical sizes, you’re probably going to need to find someone to make you custom curtains or alter other curtains.
8. Energy Efficiency
Many curtains on the market are made with the purpose of increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
Every home creates a carbon footprint that contributes to the high pollution levels we have been experiencing ever since the industrial revolution.
We can’t give up cars, air conditioners, and water heaters, but we can do our part to eliminate the amount of pollution we produce.
Thick curtains designed to increase energy efficiency keep the sun from getting into your home, increasing the temperature of your house.
This can be beneficial in the winter.
However, thick curtains can keep the sun out in the summer, reducing heat gain by up to 33%, which means your air conditioner won’t need to work as hard.
When your air conditioner doesn’t work as hard, it will not use as much electricity, keeping your utility bills down to add to the benefits.
Of course, there are numerous options when it comes to energy efficient window attachments.
If you want to try something other than curtains, you can look into blinds, roll-up shades, and films.
You may also want to look into getting energy efficient windows that reduce the amount of heat that can enter or escape through the class while also providing as tight of a seal as possible.
9. Design And Customization
You may be surprised just how transformative curtains can be.
Curtains can contribute to a cohesive interior design for almost any room of your house.
You can find curtains in just about any color and pattern you can imagine.
This pop of color can make a drab room slightly less drab.
It also helps fill out minimally designed rooms so that they ascend to the next level of design, making your home look more appealing (and valuable).
Some people opt for something simpler and more neutral, such as a solid color.
Other people want something bright and loud but simple, such as bright orange or pink.
Other people choose to get something elaborate and wild that pops and gets all visitors talking when they see it.
You should remember to think long-term when picking out your curtains in case you decide to change your furniture or move in the near future.
Pick something that can work in multiple different ways.
You also want to pick a style that matches your personal interior design aesthetic so that you don’t clash.
You can likely find a number of pleasing designs and colors online and at different retailers in your area.
However, sometimes you want something very specific or specialized, and that requires a customized design.
Not all curtains work in all rooms.
You need the perfect size and design.
People who have specific tastes or abnormal windows will need to customize special curtains for themselves.
Whenever you get something custom-made, it will automatically increase in price thanks to the additional labor required.
If you are buying custom curtains, it’s important to do your research before you get your curtains made since you won’t be able to take them back once they are made.
If you can’t decide how long you want the curtains, always err on the side of too long so that you can cut or hem them if you change your mind and want them shorter.
Curtains can turn into a rather significant investment very quickly, so it’s important to get curtains that will last through the years.
The more durable curtains tend to cost more since they will hold up over the years and UV rays hitting them.
Here are the average lifespans of some of the different types of curtains:
- Sheer = 3 years
- Glass fiber = 3 years
- Lined = 5 years
The durability depends on both the material and construction of the curtains.
In order to prolong the lifespan of the curtains, you can perform basic maintenance.
Wash them (per the instructions) regularly.
In most cases, you can put the curtains into your regular clothes washer, but some materials may benefit from steam cleaning or dry cleaning instead.
However, you don’t ever want to put curtains into the dryer.
Also, you need to keep them out of the way of people and animals that may step on them.
You can do this by securing them during the night when you don’t need them or creating a floor plan that discourages people from stepping in that area.
11. Hardware And Installation
You’re paying for a lot more than just the material of the curtains.
You also need to pay for the hardware that comes with the curtains.
Heavy curtains will require more heavy-duty hardware than other options.
Unfortunately, most curtains come from the manufacturer with low quality hardware that doesn’t provide you with the peace of mind that your curtains will hang properly.
Always ensure you verify the quality of the hardware you will receive with your curtains.
First, you need to determine if you already have a curtain rod or if you need to purchase a new one.
Old rods may have rust or other signs of deterioration, such as getting loose.
They may also be outdated, and you need an attractive rod since everyone will be able to see it.
Once you have the rod up, you need to hang the curtain with rings.
Look for curtain rings that are simple for you to use, especially if you plan to hang the drapes yourself.
If you don’t want to risk damaging your home and your new curtains (not to mention yourself), you may choose to get professional installation, and that will cost a substantial amount of money.
The national average cost for curtain rod installation is $200.
However, a professional will ensure the rod hangs evenly and in the right location.
They will also do the work, so you don’t have to.
Plus, you know it won’t fall.
12. Satisfaction Guaranteed
Many manufacturers want you as a consumer to feel comfortable with your purchase, especially considering it’s a relatively large investment.
For that reason, many manufacturers offer a satisfaction guarantee.
This satisfaction guarantee means that if the curtains don’t perform as expected, you can get your money back (pending no damage to the product).
Most curtains come with a warranty as well.
The warranty covers any damage to the curtains within the parameters of the agreement.
Some warranties cover the curtain for a lifetime while others only cover the curtains for a specified number of years.
Even if you don’t have a warranty on the curtains, you can still talk to the retailer about the return policy just in case the curtains don’t work out exactly as you expected.
13. International Transport
After curtains are made, they need to travel to the appropriate place, whether that is to a retail store or a customer’s home.
The United States leads the world in curtain exports, but unfortunately, many curtains aren’t made close to home but in faraway countries that require expensive shipping.
Behind the United States are the following countries (in order):
- United Kingdom
If you fall in love with a particular artisan’s work, they may not be located in your neighborhood, so you will need to pay for the curtains to be shipped to you from wherever that person works.
Naturally, the greater the distance, the more expensive the shipping.
Of course, when people from other countries bring things into the United States to be sold, they need to pay a tariff.
They then usually add the cost of the tariff to the price they charge the customer.
Tariffs depend on the country bringing the product into the United States.
The government determines tariff rates based on the current relationship with the country, the distance away from us, and the products they sell the most.
In rare cases, the United States will put an embargo on certain items, prohibiting items from a certain country from entering the country at all.
The tariff also depends on the type of product coming into the country.
Riskier items and items that we have an abundance of will probably result in higher tariffs than items we desperately need.
Benjamin Franklin famously said that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes.
This still applies today, including when it comes to curtains for your home.
You will need to pay state and local taxes, depending on your area.
These taxes go toward the local infrastructure and social services.
Some states encourage both new residents and tourists by not incorporating a sales tax.
States with no sales tax include:
- New Hampshire
While most people realize that they have to pay a sales tax, they don’t realize how much that will add to the final bill.
Louisiana has a 9.55% sales tax.
If you buy curtains for $1,000 in Louisiana, you will pay an extra $95 just in taxes (and probably still run over a pothole on your way home).
Ultimately, curtains are worth the extra money for how much they add to your home in terms of efficiency and beauty.
Curtains last a long time, so you need to pick curtains with a style that will hold up over the years while also adhering to your own personal style.
If you decide you need to get a customized design by an artisan overseas, you will pay a little more for it.
However, you will feel the love that goes into every single stitch.
Don’t forget to incorporate additional costs into the budget.
Some of those costs include shipping, taxes, extra hardware, and additional installation.