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Window Dressings

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Window dressings (curtains and blinds) are not normally included in a building contract. But beautiful flowing curtains or crisp white shutters can really help a room reach its full potential. 


This is an area that can be quite expensive. But there are also clever inexpensive solutions available as well.

To help you choose your window dressings first acertain how much direct light your windows will receive.

  • East and West facing windows will get direct sunlight
  • Southern facing windows will not get any direct sunlight
  • Northern facing windows will get winter sunlight only
  • Are the curtains or blinds for privacy only or do they need to help prevent heat transfer as well

The greatest temperature losses in modern homes are through the ceiling and the windows. As ceiling insulation is mandatory in all new homes this leaves the window glazing as the largest source of heat transfer. This happens one of two ways-

  • Heat and sunlight penetrating the window in summer and allowing heat transfer
  • Warmed air being cooled by the glass in winter.

If you invest in quality window dressings you can dramatically reduce the running costs of your air conditioning in both summer and winter.
Pelmets are also a great idea as they stop air circulating behind the window dressings and trap the heated air behind the curtains creating an additional barrier for heat transfer.

Window Sizes

Window measurements are noted on the house plans, Refer to your floor plans and the elevations. On the plan a window could be listed as 18-5 this means that the brickie must allow an opening of 18 brick courses high by 5 bricks wide. If you then look at the elevation of the house the window will have two heights listed next to it. At the bottom of the window e.g. 07c (seven brick courses above floor height) and at the top of the window e.g. 25c (25 brick courses above floor level). From these measurements the window frames are manufactured and the brickie then builds them in as instructed from the brick set-out on the plans.

Get a brick coursing chart from your brick supplier. Find the right chart for your house bricks (standard brick, maxi /fastwall etc) and work out the brick opening sizes in millimetres. You will then need to subtract a minimum of 20mm (10mm each side) to allow for the plasterwork. This gives you a good guide to the internal dimensions of your window.


Ready Made Window Dressings

Ready made curtains can normally be hung to suit your window opening. I.e. the curtain rod can be attached at the right height for the finished curtains and the rod itself can be cut down to suit if it is too long. If you are hoping to buy ready made blinds and want them fitted inside the window recess the most common blind sizes and their matching window sizes are as below. Blinds are measured Width x Drop(mm) i.e.90x210mm If you are happy to ‘face fit’ the blinds you need only ensure the blind is bigger than the window itself. You can always use a combination of blinds to cover a large window. It looks best if the joins in the blinds align with the window frame or mullions (vertical supports)

A Guide to standard width of blinds (Please check with your local supplier)

  • 60cm
  • 75cm
  • 90cm
  • 105cm
  • 120cm
  • 150cm
  • 180cm

Standard Drops (check you local supplier)

  • 137cm
  • 210cm

Customised Made Curtains and Blinds

  • These are always available for manufacture to fit any size windows
  • They are the perfect choice for difficult windows
  • There is an almost endless choice of fabrics and materials
  • Nornally more expensive than off the shelf
  • You can create a completely unique look

Helpful Hints

Aluminium venetians can be trimmed by hand with a special tool you can purchase with your blinds

North, east and westerly facing windows will all get direct sunlight on them unless shaded by a verandah, pergola or trees etc.

If you are concerned about interior floors and furnishings being faded by the sun but don’t want your curtains/blinds drawn all the time check out Window Tinting

Related Topics

Window Tinting and Security Film