How many times have you needed a second pair of hands for a task involving tools? When it comes to hanging window treatments, especially long, double-window rods, you might think it impossible without help. You’ve got the two long rods that fit together, and sometimes an extender that fits inside the two end rods. That’s a lot of pole to deal with!
This post contains a lot of detail, and I apologize. If you don’t have the time or the need to read the details about rod installation at this point, just PIN or print it for future reference. When you need to hang a rod in the future (even with a little help), you might be glad for the reference.
I recently hung our bedroom window treatments without help – again. (HH was out of town, and I had a bee in my bonnet to get it done.) You’ll notice my detailed pictures are of a different room. I took some of the pictures long ago and pulled them out of the archives!
This is the process I use for hanging all my rods, either for panels or valances. Valances are much easier due to the light weight and no floor length-test needed! (Click the valance picture to see that tutorial.)
Here’s how I do it.
Step 1: Attach left or right rod bracket at desired wall measurement. Measure from the floor and out from the window, mark wall at bracket holes, and mount bracket with one screw. (After all brackets are in place with one screw, we’ll test the fit and return to finish the job.)
Step 2: Attach center rod bracket. Have your pencil, screw driver and screws, center bracket, and 2-foot level placed on your ladder positioned under center measurement of window. Climb ladder with one rod section (or one end section with extender rod) in hand and reach to place one rod end in the newly mounted side bracket. Place the other end of rod in the center bracket “cup” and hold center bracket against the wall with one hand. With your other hand, place the level on the rod and move bracket to proper location for “level”. With pencil, mark bracket holes. Temporarily attach bracket with one screw.
This picture shows the rod section placed on the center and right brackets. (You won’t have your panel and rings attached while mounting the brackets, but I didn’t take a picture of rod only – sorry.)
Lay rod aside and mount center bracket onto wall. Having a second stool or ladder within reach for “holding” supplies helps a lot.
Step 3: Attach final bracket. Before leveling the rod, mark your horizontal measurement (distance from the window frame) for the bracket.
Assemble your rod to the full length you’ll need for your window and rest it in the first two brackets. With your level nearby once more, hold your third bracket at the horizontal measurement and slide your rod into the bracket. Lay your level on top of the rod and adjust the bracket vertically until the rod is level, while keeping the horizontal measurement intact. Mark your screw hole with an x and attach your bracket.
At this point, I like to check my rod for level without the window treatment and rings on the pole.
Now for the test fit:
- Load the rings (and panels attached) onto each separate end of your rod and do not join the rod ends yet.
- You want to hang your larger rod end first, the one that you slide the other end of the rod into (or rod end with extension rod inserted). With panels attached to the rings, it will be heavy, but spread the panel evenly across the rod and place it on two of the brackets as shown here. Spreading the panel distributes the weight so that it stays in place on the two brackets. Yes, you get the see the same pictures again. 🙂
- Lift the smaller section of the rod loaded with rings (and panel) and carefully slide it into the larger rod end as you lower this end into the final bracket.
Check each panel for proper length.
Remove rod and panels from the brackets. If you need to change bracket locations to adjust panel length, now is the time to do it. (Hopefully, you measured correctly, and no changes are necessary!)
Before permanently hanging your treatment, you need to secure those brackets to support the weight. If your first screws went into a stud (you can tell by how it got a little harder to get the screw to go in), simply add the second screw to each bracket.
If your screws went only through sheet rock, you’ll need to use some zinc wall anchors, 50-pound weight capacity, for each bracket screw. These make a 1/4″ hole in the wall, so that’s why we tested first, before using them. These type anchors are wonderful (!) for holding heavy panels, and I use them for many things – like hanging mirrors, etc.
With wall anchors in place, re-mount all brackets and hang your treatment. Done!
- I’m right-handed, so mounting brackets from right to left helps me manage easier. I hold brackets with my left hand while maneuvering rod, level, and screw driver with my right hand – my stronger arm.
- Plan ahead with supplies and tools placed within reach each time you move your ladder.
- A second ladder or stool is helpful alongside your “climbing” ladder. This gives you another surface for needed supplies.
- Window frames, ceiling moldings, and floors can be severely off-level. Sometimes, your “leveled” treatment can appear off-level in contrast to off-level moldings. For aesthetics, I sometimes have to mount my rod slightly off-level. I know! It drives me crazy, but you have to go by what looks best and is NOT an exact science. Ugh!
- Patience is key. Take your time. Be methodical. You’ll get to the end soon enough. The pay-off will be huge!
Do you have any window treatment installations planned in the near future? I’m interested to know if this helps you plan for it a little better. Thanks for hanging in there for those of you who read the entire post.
You deserve a gold star! 🙂
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