“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Sometimes when we issue our quotes, we can see the client’s face turn white at the final cost. Bespoke window coverings are expensive, and we’ll guide you through the reasons behind the cost.
OFF-THE-RACK VS CUSTOM
Think of your window treatments as a gown (a wedding dress is a great comparison). When you buy one off-the-rack in store, it will look lovely and function sufficiently, but it is mass-produced rather than made for your exact specifications or measurements. A custom or couture gown will cost significantly more, but will be the the finest garment you’ve ever worn. The fit will be exact you your body measurements. It will also function perfectly with impeccable craftsmanship.
Most reputable window covering dealers have the majority of their products made locally rather than offshore. This means the first thing to consider is the Australian economy. Our workforce demands living wages and employment benefits, which add to production costs. Australian production has always been more expensive than offshore. We produce locally for a number of reasons including a high-quality finish, greater control over the construction process and shorter lead times.
While our fabrics can be as inexpensive as $30 per metre (though some can be upwards of $130 per metre), you will need many metres of fabric to create a complete curtain. Many people think that if a window is 2 metres wide, then it requires only 2 metres fabric. UNTRUE! A 2-metre wide window may require anything between 6 and 10 metres fabric to account for pleating, fullness, hems, headings, pattern repeat, etc. There are mathematical formulas at play here to ensure your curtains look their best. Add on the same amount of lining, and the prices start to creep up.
You also need to consider any hardware that might be required, such as tracks or rods. Once again, you may opt for a cheap ready-made product found in “big box” retailers. But if you select a custom product, it will fit your window perfectly, and have the correct number of brackets to support it (many
Professional window covering installers are a rare breed and worth their weight in gold! The old adage: “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is certainly true here. We are happy to pay our installers whatever they ask so we know the job will be completed professionally and accurately. A professional installer will also ensure your blinds are compliant with child safety laws. By employing professionals, you’re also safeguarding yourself against ‘mishaps’, such as fallen tracks and blinds.
What sort of warranty do your ready-made curtains have? 3 years if you’re lucky? And that will only cover the product, not the installation, and will involve a lot of fine print. Quality custom-made window treatments will offer higher warranties to cover the product & installation.
So, yes, maybe curtains are expensive. However they are one of the major investments in your home and when completed properly, will last for many years. Alternately, curtains done “on the cheap” have the potential to always look cheap and will certainly not last as long. Ask the MTC team about how you can stretch your budget to purchase the best custom treatments.