Measuring for Window Curtain Rods

Posted by Nate on 16th Mar 2015

Measuring for Window Curtain Rods

Brandi Sheer Curtain

A good home decorator will always live by this rule: “measure twice, buy once.” If the entire world followed this one simple rule-the world would be in complete harmony. Imagine: no unsightly holes in your wall, no second purchases, no huffing, no puffing.

Save yourself the trouble of beating your head against the wall and having to send back those curtains that you guessed were just right, but were just a bit too long. All of these problems could be prevented by simply measuring your window accurately; twice. So bear with me as I explain the best approaches for measuring your window for curtain rods and grab a notebook and a pencil, because you’re going to want to remember some of these numbers.

Let’s Start with Rods

Curtain rods usually come in two varieties: In-Frame and Out-of-Frame. That being said, decide what you’re looking for. Do you want to have your rod exposed; maybe with some of those

fancy finials? Then take a look at some out-of-frame curtain rods. If you want your rod hidden, try checking out some spring tension rods, but these will only hold so much weight, so make sure to be selective.


If you plan on having an In-Frame curtain rod, be sure to measure your desired length for your curtains before purchasing your treatment! In-Frame rods have much less wiggle room for your preference of length than Out-of-Frame. The other option you might want to consider is purchasing a Return Rod. These are the u-shaped rods that bend back into your wall.
The most important factor for height, however, is how long your curtains are going to be and-this is important-how low you want them to drape. 

For Out-Frame rods, you will want to start measuring from about 2-4 inches right off the bat. You can go higher than this to make your window look taller, but we would recommend only going as high as 8 inches off the window before it starts to look out of place.


In-Frame rods are pretty straight forward when it comes to measuring the window before purchasing. Just measure the inside of the window from one inner wall to the other. Easy, right? Just be sure that the larger size on the description is about 6 inches larger than the width of the window.

Now, if you’re looking for a little bit more decoration and decided that you want an exposed rod then the measuring gets a little tricky. The tip here is to measure 5-6 inches outside of your window frame. This should give you a measurement that’s about 10-12 inches<i> longer</i> than your window’s actual size which will look much more even and refined. The wider the rod you choose, the more grand and wide your window will appear.

Still pretty simple. Just be sure to measure twice and if you’re buying the same rod for multiple windows, be sure to measure each window. You don’t want to order three rods based on one measurement.

So that’s about all you need to know about measuring rods for now! There’s plenty more to learn about installing drapes and we’ll be sure to fill you in next week when we talk about the different styles of curtains.

Be sure to comment with any input you may have or e-mail us at!