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Q's: Curtain Poles and Shower Screens


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Hi All,

This is going to sound kinda dumb, but we are busy fitting out our first property for letting, and wife and I are disagreeing over two items.....

1) Curtain poles. We are ripping out the old plastic tracking and replacing with wooden curtain poles. Wife says go as cheap as possible (Argos value range), and I am looking at more expensive (double the price, hopefully better quality) ones from Screwfix. If we put up value ones and the wood snaps/wears/comes away - whos responsible for it? Is it a false economy?

2) Shower screen - we are ripping out an old crusted crummy shower screen. I am thinking of replacing with a glass shower screen - wife wants a pole and shower curtain arrangement on the basis that if it gets dirty/moulded, we can throw it away and replace with a new £5 one. But... will having a plastic shower curtain reduce the letablity of the property, is it again a false economy?

3) Roller blinds in kitchen/bathroom. Are these a good idea, or do they self destruct? what are the alternatives? Looking for low maintenance here - don't want to be called out every 5 minutes.

Any advice would be appreciated to settle an argument?



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Here's my opinion, but that's all it is - I'm not interested in your arguments!!

1) Poles or track? I'd go for track and gliders as more universal and reliable - your future tenants may wish to hang their own curtains.

2) Shower screen or rail and curtain? Curtain. Easy to discard and replace at or before change of tenant - and again tenant can fit own if they wish. Screen requires regular cleaning (hard water?)and can be accidentally misplaced.

3) Roller blinds in kitchen and bathroom are fine. I haven't met one that 'self-destructs'. Easy to replace between tenants.

General - everything you supply as a landlord is your responsibility to maintain. Quality is a matter of judgement. Too good is waste of money but too poor won't get treated well. Make sure all supplied items are listed on inventory with condition report from regular inspections. If tenant has replaced anything with their own, make sure you know where yours have been stored, alternatively you could remove from property if not required.

Re. bathroom and kitchen, watch out for signs of mould (RL has good advice sheet for this) - a good guide to how your property is looked after. Tenants' habits vary!

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Yep I'd concur everything Chestnut has posted especially the choice of shower curtain (and adjustable sprung loaded shower curtain pole if possible) instead of a shower screen. You can pick up good quality shower curtains (not plastic but nylon) in the sales for a few pounds and they are easy to replace in a few minutes.

A few additional comments......

* Fitting any curtains or blinds at windows can sometimes be difficult if you have reinforced concrete lintels or worse to drill into. My trick is to fix a timber batton to the wall with 'no nails'.....score the plasterwork first to give it a good key. When dry, paint the timber the same colour as the wall and fit blinds or curtaiin track to the timber......its much easier......and seems to stand the test of time and rough treatment.

* Try and buy roller blinds for the kitchen that are spongeable/ washable.......they can look tatty with stains that can't be removed.

* Depending on your bathroom/ window layout......you can get reverese roller blinds that operate from the bottom up......usefull with some batthroom combinations.

* If fitting nets we always use the sprung loaded net rods....they last longer and are easier to fit.

* Note: We only fit curtains/ blinds to windows that actually need it. Often a kitchen or bathroom window doesn't need anything. No point spending money unnecessarily......you're unlikely to get more rent.

* None of your expenditure is going to be revenue deductable......it may be capital but will depend.......and if your place is unfurnished neither will any replacements after April 2013.

* We occasionally try to recover the costs of cleaning large draw curtains from the outgoing tenant.......in the same way as we would for cleaning carpets. We operate on the basis that our large draw curtains are cleaned every 2 years. So, the tenant can either provide a receipt or we attempt to claim from the deposit. Some agree, some don't ......we don't bother to persue them if they decline the request to pay.OOps, giving our secrets away. :huh:

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Hi there,

1. Curtain poles every time. Take a look online - loads of good quality cheap ones - get wood or metal.

Plastic track gets sticky and dirty but revive this by spraying Mr Sheen or similar on the track and rub it in (not in the curtain).

2. Definitely shower curtain with rail - I do a plain white cheapest (Tesco) not expecting to get it back at end of tenancy. (If I see these on offer I buy them in bulk.) The Toolstation tension shower curtain rail at £5.20 is ideal - use them all the time. Chrome or white.

5. Best value roller blinds for endurance are from John Lewis - check out their 'value' range. Most cheap ones go wrong because the central roller is made of cardboard. JL ones are made of metal. Again I stock up if I see them in a clearance or odd ones on offer. You can also buy online. If tenants trash - I charge.

In London I use JL roman blinds - these come to bits easily for washing and are made of polyester. Dunk in bath of Aerial or similar, rinse and drip dry - had some over 10 years now.

Curtains - check out your local charity shops. Just got a brilliant pair of patio door curtains in neutral colours that had just been cleaned for £3.50.

Top tip - Always have in your man bag a list of your most common window sizes and a tape measure.

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Curtains - check out your local charity shops. Just got a brilliant pair of patio door curtains in neutral colours that had just been cleaned for £3.50.

I am a volunteer worker in a very large and busy Cancer charity shop and I do not mind giving a few hours every week of my time to help out.

It is quite amazing what comes into the shop from our central warehousing and from donations straight to the shop from the Public so I would like to reinforce Mortitia's comments above and just say that their are some great bargains to be had if you care to look.

Curtain poles are certainly readily available in my shop as are many other items that landlord's require all the time so check out your local charity shops.

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