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How to Hang Curtain Rods

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Hanging curtains is a rite of passage for the new homeowner or leaseholder. Before the knickknacks can be placed or the good china unpacked, the windows must be covered, and they must be covered in such a way that the local busybodies are impressed with the quality of the new neighbours.  Many people, having witnessed the grim results of botched curtain hanging, are afraid to take on the task themselves. Hanging window coverings is not difficult, however, and with the right tools and a few pointers, you can hang your own curtain poles as handily as an experienced carpenter.

The key to hanging curtains is careful measurement. Although a curtain rod should, ideally, be level, many homes are not geometrically perfect. The eye will compare the lines of the drapes and the pole to the lines of the window as well as those of the surrounding wall, ceiling and floor. As a result, perfectly level poles may actually appear to be crooked. It is often better to use the lines of the window as a guide. The exception is the window that is not parallel to the lines surrounding it. In that case, it is best to use oversized, opaque drapes that will match the surrounding lines and trick the eye by covering most of the window.

You will need a screwdriver that matches the screws that came with the hardware for your

curtain poles. The hardware should be set at an equal distance from the upper corners of the window. You may also need an additional piece of hardware above the centre point of the window. First, measure six centimetres above each corner of the window and mark the spot. Next, align a straight edge such as a metre stick with the two marks. Draw a light pencil line across the top of the window, extending out about a hand’s-breadth past the corner of the window. Now mark a point on the line at the centre of the window, if necessary, and at three centimetres outside each corner of the window along the line.

Align the bottom screw hole in the hardware with the mark on the line and screw the bottom screw through the hardware and into the wall. Do not screw it all the way in. Now, using a washer tied to the end of a string as a plumb bob, straighten the hardware and mark where the other screws will go. Insert the screws one at a time. Do not overtighten them. Finally, tighten the first screw. Repeat this procedure with the other pieces of hardware.

Once the hardware is in place, erase any visible pencil lines. Feed the pole through the rod pocket or loops of the curtain, taking care that the finished side faces toward the room. Hang the curtains by attaching the pole to the hardware. If the pole is very long or the cloth is very heavy, you may require help with this part of the task.

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