Good-looking window treatments help make a home look finished and they are often included in the sale of a property. But you don’t always have to leave them behind.
Q: I don’t want to spend too much on window treatments, because I’ll leave them behind when I sell. What are some affordable but attractive options?
A: Good-looking window treatments help make a home look finished and they are often included in the sale of a property. But you don’t always have to leave them behind, says Adrian Lupu, a real-estate agent at Nest Seekers International in New York.
“That’s something that has to be discussed while you’re negotiating the deal,” he says. “It’s a delicate issue, and it’s about the practicality of it — can you use them in the new place?”
If you like the style of your old window coverings and they can be adjusted to work with the windows of your next home, you could save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars by taking them with you.
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Still, if the buyer is intent on keeping them, it may not be worth the trouble. “If you think you’re going to get more money for the home by leaving them behind,” Lupu says, “you should do that.”
With that in mind, there are many options that can be installed at minimal expense, says Gil Breef, owner of Shades by Design, a window-coverings company with offices in New York and Florida that frequently helps stage homes.
“Curtains are usually the most common choice,” Breef says, although they’re “not a cheap product when they’re custom made with nice fabrics.”
You can significantly cut down on costs by buying pre-made curtain panels, he says, and having a tailor adjust the size to suit your windows.
He also suggested hanging them from a track rather than a rod. “You can buy a standard-size track for about $30,” he says, and it will provide a minimal, professional look, whereas good-looking rods can cost far more.
And if the curtains are solely for decorative effect, they don’t need to be wide enough to cover the whole window, Breef says, which means you can save on fabric.
“Ten-inch panels on either side of a window will give the same effect as curtains that can cover the whole window,” he says. Just make sure they’re parked to the sides at all times.
For a clean and modern look, roller shades are another cost-effective option, and they come in varying degrees of opacity, from blackout material for bedrooms to translucent material that can help mask undesirable views. Some shade cloths are more expensive than others, so choose according to your budget.
And if you want a more traditional look, consider wood blinds mounted inside the window frame, which are “probably the least expensive option,” Breef says. “They look high-end, but you can get them at a very reasonable price.”