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Window Sizes Guide for Homeowners

window sizes

These days windows can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it increasingly difficult for homeowners to fit their windows with appropriate window treatments. While there are still plenty of common window sizes used in homes, design details may mean the curtains you want are still not standard.

Well, take a brief look at the common window sizes as well as how to measure if yours are not so common. You will have everything you need to know about window sizes and be prepared to order your custom curtains or draperies by the end.

Common Window Sizes

Most homes are built with windows that come in common sizes due to the costs associated with custom windows. In order to determine if your windows are standard sizes, you should understand the difference between the measurements of the actual window and how they are listed by manufacturers and retailers.

Manufacturer Sizes Versus True Sizes

In many industries, it is common practice to use description for products that may not be the same as the actual product. Window manufacturers generally use whole numbers to identify window sizes, the actual window usually measurements are different. One example, a window that is identified as a 42 x 36 will actually measure 41.5 inches by 35.5 inches. The added half-inch refers to the rough opening in which the window is installed.

Standard Window Sizes

Standard window widths are 36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 inches wide; with standard heights of 24, 36, 48 and 60 inches.

How to Measure for Curtains

We always suggest that you take measurements of your window(s) instead of assuming they are a standard window size. This will help to ensure that your custom curtains will be made to fit your exact window. Don’t worry, taking these measurements is not too involved, and we are always here to help if you need us.

Taking The Window Measurements

Take a moment to dig into the memory banks for a quick math refresher and break out that calculator, time to measure your window. Just kidding, you will not have to do any mathematical calculations, well almost none.

Start by measuring the width of your window. This includes the frame, not just the glass. Using a tape measure, measure from the outside edge of the window frame to the opposite frame edge. This will give you the window width measurement.

Next measure the length of your window. This can be done in two different ways depending on the type of curtains you want to have. First, measure the actual window from top to bottom, including the frame, as with the width. You can also take the measurement from the top of the window to the floor. This measurement will give you a more accurate number for longer curtains, including floor-length or pooled drapes.

Decide On Curtain Style For Window

Next, it’s time to decide on the style that you want for your custom curtains there’s a couple of different options don’t worry they’re still not that complicated.

Above Window Frame

A common design element today is to take the curtains above the window. Depending on the style of your room, this could be just above the window frame or within a couple of inches of the ceiling. If you choose to go with either option, you should consider where the rod will be installed and measure from there down to the floor or where you would like the curtains to end.

Wider Than Window Frame

Another popular design feature is to take curtains beyond the sides of a window frame. This will make a window appear larger than it actually is and may even make a room appear bigger. Just like above you must determine where your rod will be located, meaning how far out on each side of the window you want your curtains to be and add that to your window width measurement. Custom curtains are generally 2.5 times the measured width. If your measurement is 40 inches, then your custom curtains will measure 100 inches in width.

Length Options

You can obviously decide on whatever length you really want your curtains to be there are no hard fast rules. However, the most common is floor-length and pooled. Here are how to make length adjustments for each of these styles.

Floor Length

Floor-length curtains do not usually touch the floor. In general, floor-length curtains should be ½-inch off the floor to prevent excess wear and dirt from the bottom edge of the curtain.

Pooled Curtains

Pooled curtains or draperies are often used to add an air of drama to a room. While the amount of pool can vary depending on your unique style, they generally add 1 to 3 inches of material to the overall length.

Types of Window Treatments

There are several types of window treatments, and probably more than we could even imagine. Generally, they will fall into the following categories.


Shades refer to window treatments that block part or all of the light and visibility of a window. Shades can come in all sizes and materials; including plastic-like mini blinds, wood, and even fabric, such as the popular Roman shade. The options are really endless, but what they all have in common is they block light and visibility.


Shutters are a similar type of window treatment that includes hinged door type panels that once closed block visibility and light from coming in through the window. In most cases, shutters can be opened, allowing the light to come in through the window.


Draperies are usually accenting window treatments. They are made of thicker, often darker fabrics and are used compliment to sheers and curtains. Draperies are the type of window treatments that are often used in the pooling style technique mentioned above.


Curtains are window treatments that can come in all shapes and styles. They can be shorter window-length or longer length. Windows can have multiple curtains or a single curtain panel. The options are really endless.


Sheers are a more translucent window treatment that allows light to come in without sacrificing privacy. Sheers are often paired with curtain panels or draperies for added style and color options.


A window valance is a shorter curtain design that draws the attention to the top section of a window. Valances are often used to complement a full-length curtain or sheer without the dramatic presentation of drapes.


Understand your window sizes does not have to be complicated, and in many cases, they actual size of the window may have little to do with the end sizes of your custom curtains. We hope this information has helped you and remember we are here to assist you in any way we can. Contact us today!

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