Vertical Blinds Be Gone!
April 2, 2016 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I want to install curtains but I have never done it and there are difficulties. Advice? Resources?

HELP!!! I'm sick of the stupid vertical blinds in our place and want to change to regular curtains. Difficulty: It's a very long window (106"/269 cm) ceiling is concrete, there is metal framing for the sliding doors, there are wall ends (not sure how to describe... see photos).

Basically I want to some how attach a curtain rod/device so that it's solid... from there I think I can handle the curtains. I would prefer to have a rod so that the curtains go over it with a loop of fabric, but I'm open to anything at this point. The curtains need to be easy to take down for washing.

Please give advice, resources, what ever... I can not stand to go another year with these damn vertical blinds!
posted by sadtomato to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This can easily be done with closet rod supports, copper piping cut to fit, and you probably need some kind of middle support to make sure the rod does not sage in the middle. But you might not. 106 inches is sort of hand wavily possibly in the range where you won't need a middle support. I did this before for two sections of wall space and one needed a support and one did not.

You can then buy flat king sheets, get a tailor to put in a rod pocket. Voila! Cheap, washable curtains.

IIRC, I did this for under $200 for three walls, a window and a door opening some years ago.
posted by Michele in California at 2:47 PM on April 2, 2016

There are a lot of ways to approach this but the absolute easiest is to attach flush-mounted curtain rod cups to what you are calling the wall ends. Then you get a rod cut to the space between them. Easy up, easy down. Your curtain length is also no big deal; a 108" drop is standard. So is a 120". Either way you just get them hemmed.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:48 PM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, first you need to get the blinds out.

Next, you need to find something solid that you can drill a few holes into. Brick and concrete are ideal; for those you'll need plastic wall plugs and suitable screws, along with the fitting kit that comes with your chosen curtain rail. You want the pole 3-4 inches above the window recess if you can, or whatever fits the space.

Tools are an electric drill with a suitable masonry bit for the plugs, a screwdriver, a pencil, a tape measure, and ideally a spirit level, although you can just assume the window is level if you like.

Curtain rods tend to be sold with all the fixings, although often the screws are a bit shorter than I'd prefer. The biggest mistake you can make is not getting the plastic plugs snugly fitted into the drilled holes; get that right and your curtain pole will stay up without a problem.

Generally you just remove a couple of small screws to detach the pole from the brackets; the loops (called 'tab tops') just slide onto the pole. The last loop at each end goes on the other side of the bracket so that it won't pull across.
posted by pipeski at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2016

Oh, I was assuming you meant that 106 inches was the width, thus the length of the curtain rod, not the height of the window. Perhaps you could clarify?
posted by Michele in California at 2:51 PM on April 2, 2016

DarlingBri is right about the cups, assuming there's no wall above the window recess. I can't tell from the photos.
posted by pipeski at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2016

106" is the window width. I'm not worried about the length as it does not seem taller than standard and I can hem them if need be.
posted by sadtomato at 3:56 PM on April 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

In that case, you can do the cup brackets on the ends and do a mid-line ceiling bracket like this. Or do both ends and the middle that way; they can get very swanky and look very elegant.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:13 PM on April 2, 2016

We diy'd curtain rods with galvanized pipe and it looks and works great. Here's one tutorial (Although if it's on a Home Depot blog, perhaps the look is going out of style!) I still like it. Also, as Michele suggests you can make budget curtains out of sheets. I use the pocket on the sheet for the rod. If the curtains aren't quite long enough or don't have a pocket, you can buy clips to hang on the rod. Lots of tutorials at young house love.
posted by areaperson at 5:29 PM on April 2, 2016

Depending on your tolerance for chunkier looking curtain rods, you could also put up a tension shower-curtain rod and call it good.
posted by Ostara at 12:03 AM on April 3, 2016

The KVARTAL system from IKEA is perfect for long window spans (I've got it on a ~12ft span). It even allows you to mount two layers if you want netting behind your curtain.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:23 AM on April 3, 2016

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