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What do I need to know about getting ready for winter and how do I measure curtains?

(13 Posts)
shinyshoes Thu 04-Sep-08 13:06:00

My house was blardy freezing last year, Its a mid terrace with crappy council windows that are really draughty.

I want to get ready dfor winter.

I've heard that people put tin foil behind radiators? Is this effective and it might sound like a silly question but how do I do it?

Also, The boys have blinds in the bedroom, these are really thin, so I want to put some lined curtains in their room.

I have just measured and if some body would be so kind to tell me what measurements I need to be buying i'd nbe grateful.

Window 1 is a 52" drop (can't have any longer due to a built in shelf unit under the window) and a 50" width, this is without gather and the window goes right to the wall (don't know if this makes a difference)

Window 2 is a 56" drop (this will sit just under the window ledge don't want it much longer as I feel it could look wierd in comparison to the other curtain lenght, or , maybe not)

and it's a 40" width again this is without any gather.

I'm really confused.

What else do I need to know in preparing myself for winter, and what do you do?. Do you stockpile tinned food for instance?

Tips and advice much appreciated

VWLady Thu 04-Sep-08 13:37:41

Don't know if any of this will help. Food for thought though.
Regarding stockpiling tinned food (and if you are in the UK rather than the high Rockies) I don't stockpile any more than I do in the summer. Very few places in this country are snowed in overnight. Fresh food and veg are even more important during the winter. However, I will be making the slow cooker a permanent feature on the worktop and getting out the heavy casserole pans. I will be trying to make 2/3 family servings of freezable dishes (this doesn't work with summer salads!).
I have heard of the tin foil behind radiators thing. Think it could be quite effective on exterior walls so long as the shiny side is facing into the room. Keep large sheets of cardboard, slit it where the radiator fixings are on the wall, cover in the foil and slide behind. I think the theory is that it reflects heat back into the room rather than let it escape through walls.
Can't really help with the measurements, but consider going longer on these curtains, perhaps long enough to tuck behind any radiator under the window, so warm air can't drift behind them to escape through the window.
Check around the window frames for draughts and reseal if necessary. I had a terrible problem with draughts coming in under my windowsills (where the sill rests on the join) and solved this with a quick squirt of silicon sealer along the join.
If the windows don't need opening regularly, consider a tightfitting clear perspex layer just inside - sort of like an extra layer of 'fake' glazing.
Check doors and fit draught excluder or make-up your own using old fabric stuffed into old tights.
Think many of us will be watching our costs this winter, so hope you get more tips, I'll be watching.

lucysmam Thu 04-Sep-08 15:12:40

Use tin foil with the shiny side facing into the room rather than to the wall. It reflects the heat back into the room, rather than through into your neighbours.

Keep blankets on the ends of beds for really cold nights.

Get wiggly worm draught excluders made for doorways while you're making the curtains.

Longer curtains to tuck behind radiators are a good idea, kind of acts like a draught excluder.

Cover key holes with heavy duty tape if you don't use them. ie obviously not your front door or you won't be able to get in wink

Freezable foods are a good one. Don't really see the need for stockpiling too much though tbh, can't see us being snowed under too much.

Curtains on doors? We have one on the bottom of the stairs so the heat doesn't escape up there. Have one on front door too as it opens straight into living room, not posh enough to have a hallway sad

Make sure you all have dressing gown & slippers reachable when you wake to keep toasty unless you get dressed straight out of bed.

If you can, put heating on timer to come on half hour before you get up to warm house through a bit for you.

Can't think of anything else, if I do I'll pop back smile

DontlookatmeImshy Thu 04-Sep-08 15:46:50

Ready made curtains usually come in standard size.

54" drop is nearest to what you need. 72" is next so you'd either need to take alot up or let down the 54" a couple of inches (if they had a big enough hem)

Widths are usually 46",54",66".....
That width is per curtain and its usually recommended that you have approximately double the width of curtain in the window to allow for gather, so for a 40" or 50" window you would need 2 curtain 46" wide. The curtains on the 50" wouldn't be as gathered as the 40" window though unless you want lots of gather in which case you'd need 66" width for the 50" window.

shinyshoes Thu 04-Sep-08 21:15:37

Jeezaloo DontlookatmeImshy, you really know your stuff. [shocked]
I've written all that down and will go armed with the info ready to buy the curtains.

I will deffo try the tin foil thing and make sure we are all alright for slippers and dressinggowns wink

DontlookatmeImshy Sat 06-Sep-08 11:36:11

I used to work in a curtain shop many many years ago.

ok-i jave a question.
i want to have a curtain made to cover my draughty front door. will be huge as door is quite wide and obviously very long.

how do i go about getting this done? any ideas on how much it would cost?

i know in the old days you could get curtains that were kind of padded? is that really expensive to have done?


Drusilla Sat 06-Sep-08 12:11:12

Blackout linings for curtains also act like insulation - they make it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. You can buy them separately in places like Rosebys fairly cheaply. You just need those curtains hooks with an extra hook on hang the linings off. (Does that make sense?!)

gentle bump

whistles nonchalantly

missingtheaction Sat 06-Sep-08 19:39:27

any curtain maker can make you a curtain for the front door, but you do have to think about how you are going to draw the curtain far enough back to let people in and out easily. if you have a wide space each side of the door you are fine, otehrwise you will need something called a portiere pole which is hinged on the side the door hinges and will open and shut with the door.

you want your curtain interlined, and blackout lined, and with a stiff header that touches the ceiling, and about six inches longer than necessary so you can bunch it up on teh floor and it makes a nice seal. HOWEVER if you have to have a portiere pole you will need to watch the weight of the curtain as it may be too heavy for its hinge

you also need to decide if you want a pretty lining rather than bog standard

i have no idea how much it costs to make them because i make my own {smug emoticon} but blackout lining and interlining are available at merrick&day online. blackout lining is about £3 per metre, interlining is about £4 (if you go for the heaviest there is) and your curtain fabric will cost whatever you want to pay from £15 metre up. I think M&D do portiere rods too.

making curtains is amazingly easy, but you do need a bit of space


i have about a foot either side of the actual door so i thought the curtain would push back to there.

will go to curtain shop and get a quote i think!
lots to think about-thank you!

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