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  • Loose blackout linings

    I have been asked by a local school to attach blackout linings to their curtains in the school hall for a school performance coming up.
    There are 26 pairs of curtains, which are all hung from corded tracks around all 4 walls of the hall, which are 4m high.

    My concerns now I have come home from measuring are:

    * how will the blackout lining affect the weight of the curtains when opening them.

    * how will they hang nobody will be able to reach the curtains so they need to move easily.

    Has anybody any suggestions which I should use, I have been reading all the topics and there are various ones mentioned.

    Also as the blackout will be attached to the curtains do you make the linings the same width as the curtains which are a width and a half (approx 2m) or the nearer to the width of the window which are all 2m wide.

    As these are so high I am not sure my head for heights is going to enable me to get up so I will probably be reliant on my fitter.

    Suggestions please.

    Thanks

    Michelle

  • #2
    Re: Loose blackout linings

    H Michelle,
    If the the tracks can hold 4m long curtains, I would have thought that they would hold the linings as well. They wouldn't be cheap tracks as they are corded - are they aluminium? They should be fine.

    If you are attaching the linings to the curtains using hooks, then make them narrower than the curtains. I think you would have to attach them at the sides, otherwise the linings will just be showing all the time.

    Dont forget you need FR lining.

    I hope they're not too dusty!!
    Kind regards
    Pen Harrison
    Colly Brook Fine Furnishings

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Loose blackout linings

      Hi Pen,

      Thanks for your reply. They are aluminium, they had to be corded so they could be opened without climbing, 18 out of the 26 pairs are 36" drops, only 8 are longer.

      I have a price from Hallis for £2.08/m for FR 3 pass, I worked out if I make them the same size as the curtains I will need 131m, so if I make them slightly narrower I could make them 2 1/2 widths.

      Making them seems like it is going to be the easy part, fixing them in place another. I have a fitter with scaffolding but not sure I will be able to get up that high. So options would be for them to attach them insitu or take each one down for me to attach to put back up.

      Attaching at the sides seems like a good idea, maybe a tack stitch at the corners, they are all side by side to give the look of a continuous curtain so should keep the sides together.

      Now just to price, do you think £45 per pair for all lengths is okay, this works out at £1170 but it is 26 pairs. What do you think?


      Michelle

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Loose blackout linings

        Does that include fitting? Dont forget your fitter may have to hire a scaffold tower, I shouldn't think he would have one that high.

        I also think you would have to sew them all the way down, just not the corners because they will be abused.
        Kind regards
        Pen Harrison
        Colly Brook Fine Furnishings

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Loose blackout linings

          That was just the make up plus lining of approx. £3/m (£400).

          Fitting I don't know just trying to think of options, my fitter does have scaffolding this high, but trying to work out how long it would take, even 4 an hour is 6.5 hrs.

          It would probably be a better finish if I took them down to attach and put back up but that means putting up scaffolding twice.

          Don't know how to resolve this one, but need to give them a quote tomorrow as they need them for mid july as they have a school performance booked.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Loose blackout linings

            I had a few curtains @ 380 cm drop and formal pelmets to make for the same which I had to install on my own. I purchased a platform that allowed me to get up to that height and walk from side to side for about 1.5m. The unit was self assembly and once erected, it had wheels at one end to move it. It was brilliant and only cost about £160. If you think it might help I will look up the company for you.

            Julie
            Julie

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Loose blackout linings

              Hi Julie,

              That would be great i need to consider all my options, obviously you felt safe at this height.

              How did you decide what to charge them for fitting?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Loose blackout linings

                The company was Midland ladders and the platform was Gardeno. It states the working height as 3,5m, but I was comfortable at hanging 380cmdrops with a formal pelmet fitted above that. The platform is £85.
                I charge £13.50 per hour for everything I do - probably not enough, but in a rural area like mine I can't afford to be any more expensive.
                Try and calculate the loading, unloading of your car, erecting the platform etc etc and give an estimate rather than a quote. Myself, I would take the curtains down to affix the linings and then re-hang. If you do use the platform, take a couple of smaller steps to use to help you get on and off it more easily.

                Good Luck

                Julie
                Julie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Loose blackout linings and pricing

                  Looking at your costing I would say you are under selling yourself. I do this type of work regularily and your price is less than our price to the trade. It's always difficult when pricing volume because the price at the end always sounds big but you have to be realistic with your time and margins.
                  On the fitting front I would allow for a whole day, at a generous day rate because you can never tell what problems you might come across. Always keep in mind you are working at height, your measure and quote time and your travelling expenses.
                  I hope this doesn't come across as teaching people to suck eggs but it is easy to be intimidated by larger prices and consequently cause yours self problems in the long run.
                  Take it from one who knows

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Loose blackout linings

                    I had a job to do last year similar to yours, only the school wanted fr linings but not blackout. The curtains were taken down to be dry cleaned so i then inserted loose linings at this point. The linings which were to be replaced were loose linings and the school were happy for me to put loose linings in again. I made the linings slightly narrower than the curtains and they hung ok they didnt flap about.
                    Karen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Loose blackout linings

                      All excellent points raised here, especially the one re: volume price. It is so tempting to 'cut down' the job price to make is sound like ones normal job value. BUT DON'T! Good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Loose blackout linings

                        I did a similar job last year and secured the lining to the face fabric by chain stitching at a few points down the sides and across the hems. This worked well, keeping both fabrics together when being drawn.

                        Good Luck!!

                        Sas

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Loose blackout linings

                          Thanks for all your comments,

                          At the moment I have come up with a total of £2482 which works out at £95 per curtain fitted, not sure now if this is too light. This included £350 fitting & £100 for scaffolding which I may be able to get hold of instead of hiring, I have stipulated that this is for 7 hours fitting and any further time will incur a further hourly charge of £35/hr.

                          What do you all think, am I still underselling myself, and if so what do you suggest?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Loose blackout linings

                            Thats seems about right to me although I wouldn't let them know how long you have allowed to fit. If you pull in and hook up the linings before you arrive you might do it in less than 7 hours. Then they might want a discount!!

                            Phil.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Loose blackout linings

                              Its a risk either way, its only allowing 15mins per curtain and that has to include putting up, moving & taking down scaffolding.

                              And if I get the fitters to take down the curtains and I sew the sides together that doesn't seem long. Not sure I will be able to get up on the scaffolding myself and I will only know when I get there.

                              If only it was a lower ceiling it would be a doddle of a job, even if a little boring.

                              Comment

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