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What Do Custom Curtains Cost for a Philadelphia Rowhome?


You probably keep hearing about how expensive custom curtains are that you are feeling discouraged about getting the exact look for your home that you desire. Well, guess what? You actually don’t have to sacrifice quality for cost.

At Emma Custom, we are dedicated to providing you quality services and products at reasonable prices. There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of new custom curtains: how much material is needed, the type of material and how many windows need to be covered.

Check out this cost comparison between the custom curtain costs charged by Emma Customs and another provider of custom drapes online for a Philadelphia Rowhome.

The Specs

Let’s first start with the measurements. Window size for Philadelphia rowhomes vary significantly, especially with all of the new construction happening right now. For our comparison, let’s say the average window width for a Philadelphia rowhome is 30” wide x 58” tall. In order for enough fullness on both sides, we will add 3 extra inches on either side, making the curtain width 36”. For a floor-length curtain, we will add 6” for above the window and 6” for below the window, changing the length to 70 inches.

So the final curtain measurement will be 36” wide x 70” tall.

Next, we need to factor in the type of curtain fabric and curtain heading used. For this example, we will use a standard 100% polyester curtain with a tailored pleat heading, dark grey color. We’ll add a lining to make sure our custom curtain price comparison is even with a select competitor.

Popular Custom Curtain Store

Based on these measurements, the total cost per window at a popular competitor’s store would be $447.29 per window.


So if you have four to six window to cover, the cost will range between $1,789.16 and $2,683.74. This is quite a bit of money for custom designed curtains, especially given the relatively small window size and number of windows.

Emma Custom Curtains

All things equal, the total cost per window at Emma Custom’s Curtains including the lining for this home would only be $175.32 per window.


So if you have four to six window to cover, the cost will range between $701.28 – $1,051.92. This seems like a much easier number to digest when shopping for custom drapes. Would you agree?

Note that for Emma Customs’ curtain, a lining was added to the final price whereas some other providers of custom drapes online include the lining in the cost of the fabric.

Also keep in mind that if you have any specialty windows like a bay window or sliding glass doors that you want to dress, the specs will be different. Just add an extra 3” on each side for width and 6” inches above and below to whatever the window measurements are.

Philly Rowhome Living

Did you know that rowhome living in Philadelphia is very unique compared to housing in other parts of the country? They have been around since the founding of the city by William Penn and were designed to be an economical choice for city dwellers of all budgets. Because they could be built on narrow lots and were more affordable than bigger homes, they became an example of egalitarian housing.

The rowhouse design was perfect for a city that was quickly becoming an important industrial center where available land was already at a premium, and by the end of the nineteenth century, Philadelphia was referred to as the “City of Homes” for its neighborhoods filled with rowhomes.

As other cities like New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., started to face housing demands and rising land prices, they also turned to the rowhouse as a solution.

Because of Philadelphia’s unique combination of streets, alleys and courts though, rowhomes in Philadelphia remained more homogenous than those in other cities. Therefore by the 19th century, “Philadelphia row” became a distinct term used to describe the landscape of the city.

From an architectural and construction point of view, rowhomes are a lot more cost-effective and efficient to make because they can built from the same few plans allowing for resources and crews to be consolidated. And if a whole street is built at the same time, all the plumbing and gas work for the whole street could be done at the same time saving money.

There are actually just 4 basic types of rowhomes in Philadelphia. Architectural historian William J. Murtagh in 1957 listed them as the bandbox house (also known as a trinity house), the London house, the city house and the town house.

  • The bandbox or trinity house is the smallest of the rowhome plans and was originally built for the working class of the city or for the servants who worked at neighboring large properties. These homes only have one room on each of its three floors.
  • The London house is a larger design that allows for more rooms on each floor and more privacy with the addition of a side hall off the front room. This design became popular in the nineteenth century.
  • The city house is a larger, more detailed version of the bandbox house. It has a front room like the bandbox, but there are also room on the first floor for a kitchen and laundry room. The back rooms however are narrower than the front room and there is usually a side yard.
  • The town house is a larger, more detailed version of the London house and is the biggest of all four rowhome plans. The first floor is divided into a front and back section with front of the house having two rooms with a hall leading to stairs to the upper floors. There is also typically another set of stairs in the back of the house as well.

According to a Healthy Rowhouse Project, about 70% of all the housing units in Philadelphia are rowhomes making it easier for low-income residents to become homeowners.

Of course, the downside to living so closely together is that one home’s problems can easily spread to their neighbors. While city planners, made fire safety provisions so as to prevent the rapid spread of a fire, flooded basements, rat or bug infestations, structural failures and even an explosion could cause havoc on both sides.

Learn more about popular home designs in different parts of the U.S. and these designs affect curtain costs with our new series on custom curtain comparison. Also learn more about custom curtains near me and custom drapes near me.

At Emma Custom, we are dedicated to helping choose quality curtains that will give you the look you desire but without breaking the bank. Our experts are ready to help you fulfill your vision for your home when it comes to custom curtains and draperies and custom curtain costs, while always keeping your budget in mind.

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