Renovating Curtains

by Marie McLaughlan
(Edinburgh, UK)

What sort of curtains are best for a rental property?

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Oct 05, 2015
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May 26, 2014
Keep curtains simple and sturdy!
by: Elizabeth Elwell-Cook

When choosing curtains for your rental property investment, you want to keep it simple and tough.

I've seen so many properties where the landlord went to to effort to put in aluminium venetian or vertical blinds, only to have them destroyed by careless tenants, leaning things on them, or lord knows what!

I've also seen landlords replace them with the same thing when tenants vacated the premises, only to have it happen all over again.

The end result of either choice looks ugly from both sides of the window, so it's best not to go there in the first place!

Blinds and curtains are important in a rental property, because they provide privacy, energy efficiency, and a greater sense of comfort. They can also discourage unwanted visitors from breaking in when the property is vacant - because they can't see whether or not there is someone inside to stop them!

If you feel the need to use Venetian blinds at all, I recommend the sturdier timber or imitation timber style. They're not just stronger. They look good, too! Depending on where your property is placed in the market (high, middle or low-end) might affect your decision to go to the expense. At the top end of the market, it may even be better to go for Plantation shutters, as long as it suits the style of the home and doesn't make you overcapitalise on the property.

Once you have blinds, place at least a curtain rod on the wall above the windows, giving your tenants the option to add their own curtains if they wish.

Rods should always be at least 15cm above the window frame, though placing them up near the ceiling will add a sense of height, especially in homes with lower 8ft ceilings.

Be aware of the length of ready-made curtains, when placing rods though: generally they're only 2.5m long.

If you're creating a particular look and want to buy the curtains yourself, use a neutral-coloured, heavy cotton or synthetic. Blockout coating on the back will help to insulate the home in winter, keep out the light in the morning, and the heat in summer, but unbacked fabrics will do a lot of this, too.

Lighter neutral colours are easier for tenants to work in with, and increase the feeling of space in the room. Unbacked natural fibres are easy to take down and wash with products like Napisan if they are grubby when tenants leave.

It's fairly easy to find curtain sets for under $50 in places like IKEA, Spotlight, Lincraft and so-on.

Good Luck!

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