Shades, Shutters, and Valences—Oh, My! Here’s Your Guide to How Much Custom Window Treatments Cost

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated May 9, 2022
A man installs window blinds
Photo: JodiJacobson/iStock/Getty Images

Highlights

  • It costs an average of $800 to install custom window treatments, with a typical range of $50 to $3,500.

  • There are three common types of custom window treatments: blinds and shutters; shades; and valances, drapes, and curtains.

  • You can save $140 to $400 on labor by installing them yourself.

  • Blinds and shutters are the least expensive type of custom window treatments.

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Window treatments can really add a "wow" factor to your home's interior, transforming an ordinary window into an aesthetically pleasing feature. Expect to pay $800 on average for a custom window treatment, although you may pay as little as $50 or as much as $3,500 if you're doing multiple windows.

Minimum CostNational Average CostMaximum Cost
$50$800$3,500

How Much Do Custom Window Treatments Cost by Type?

There are many different types of window treatments, so it’s not easy breaking them down by cost. For simplicity’s sake, this guide places them into three categories.

Window Treatment TypeCost
Blinds and Shutters$600 – $2,700
Shades$900 – $2,600
Valances, Drapes, and Curtains$1,800 – $3,000

Blinds and Shutters

Blinds and shutters have differences in the way they're installed, but both use slats that can be open and closed to control the amount of light let into the room. Blinds tend to cost less than shutters because shutters are installed into the window frame itself to make them more sturdy. You may pay as little as $600 for mini blinds, and as much as $2,700 for what are known as "plantation shutters."

Shades

Shades come in many varieties. There are Roman shades, roller shades, solar shades, cellular shades, and even motorized shades. These may cost you anywhere from about $900 (Roman shades) and $2,600 (motorized shades).

Valances, Drapes, and Curtains

Valances, drapes, and curtains are often the most extravagant form of window treatment available, and as a result, they tend to cost more. Valances only cover the top half of the window and are not quite as expensive as full drapes and curtains, which could run as much as $3,000.

Custom Window Treatment Cost Breakdown

So where does your money go when you get a custom window treatment? Mostly, it goes to the cost of the treatment itself and the labor to install it. However, there are other factors you should consider.

Materials

The materials vary depending on what kind of window treatment you want, and the price can have a wide range. For example, premade curtain panels cost anywhere from $20 to $300 per set.

Labor

You will pay anywhere from $35 to $100 per hour to install a window treatment, and it takes about a half hour to do so. If you want eight windows done, expect that it will take workers four hours to do so.

Size

The size of the window can have a big impact on price, with the price swinging by as much as 50% in either direction if it is significantly larger or smaller than an average-sized window.

Cost to Install a Custom Window Treatment Yourself

A woman installs curtains
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It costs $35 to $100 per hour to install a window treatment, so on a typical project where you're installing eight window treatments over four hours, you could save anywhere from $140 to $400 by doing this job yourself.

Installing window treatments requires some technical prowess and a great deal of care and consideration. After all, you want them to look good. If you're not confident you can do the job right or don't have much experience doing this type of work, it's best to leave it to a professional blind installation company near you.

3 Ways You Can Save Money on a Custom Window Treatment

Besides doing the work yourself, here are three simple ways to save money on this project.

1. Choose Blinds

Blinds are the least expensive option in most cases. You may be able to have some custom mini blinds installed for around $600. Shades are another low-cost option if you find that curtains and drapes will be a bit too much.

2. Do Fewer Windows

An easy way to dramatically lower the cost of this project is to simply dress fewer windows. Or, you could save the most expensive treatment for one or two windows that are the centerpiece of a room, and use a less expensive treatment on the others.

3. Go With Valances

This only applies if you're considering curtains and drapes, as valances usually cost more than blinds and shades. Valances add an elegant touch to any room, and because they only cover the top half of the window, they don't cost as much to install. So if drapes and curtains are blowing up your budget, valances might be a way to lower costs.

Custom Window Treatment Questions and Answers

What is in style for window treatments?

An increasingly popular form of window treatments is layering tones. So instead of using multiple colors, you would overlay multiple tones of the same color. This approach will really add a touch of elegance to your window treatments.

Energy-efficient window treatments are a very big trend these days. Manufacturers offer shades that better block out the sunlight, lowering energy costs and therefore your electric bill.

When should you not use shutters?

Certain window types are just not suited for shutters. These include bay windows, picture windows, and dormer windows. Keep shutters on standard windows for maximum benefit.

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