May 10, 2013

Before purchasing shutters


It’s important you’re well informed about shutter basics, wood types and other considerations before purchasing shutters for your home. To do so we first need to address some quick primers on important shutter topics. Shutters consist of three main parts. These main parts are the fitting around the window known as the trim or Z Frame, the slats (louvers) themselves and the tilt rod (like a draw string on mini-blinds).

Shutter Trim

The trim in relation to the window is usually installed in one of two ways. The first option is to have the shutters completely encased within the window frame and the baseboards or standard trim around it. This option is popular because it completely controls the elements and is often slightly cheaper due to less customized installation and design.  The second option is to have the actual shutters installed with its own window framing protruding away from the window. These installations are typically done when there is not large enough window seal area for the shutter and window to function properly together. In addition to how the trim is installed there are also different types of trim for shutters. 

Shutter Louvers

The second main part of shutters is the shutter slats themselves. These slats are technically referred to as louvers. These louvers go a long way in determining how much light is allowed into a room and the design of the actual shutter itself.  The most common louver sizes are 4 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches. Additionally there are louvers that are 2 1/2 inches. The 2 1/2 inch louvers are usually seen in colonial or Victorian homes while 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inch louvers are often seen in newer homes and on larger windows so as to ensure aesthetic appeal.  Though these are not the only sizes that are common as louvers also come in sizes both bigger and smaller than those listed.  Ultimately this aspect of your shutters is dependent on your preference and the ability of the company making them. Slats also come in two shapes, elliptical or flat (straight). Elliptical louver is most comonly used because it closes out more light and can allow the panel to go wider without doubling the panels in the window.

Shutter Tilt Rod

Last but not least of the shutter puzzle is the tilt rod, sometimes referred to as a push rod. The shutter tilt rod is the vertical rod that hangs from your shutters. This rod is like the drawstrings that are often seen with wood blinds. This rod is the device used to open and close the shutters as well as adjust the tilt of the louvers. Most tilt rods run vertically down the center of the shutter. Other shutters sometimes feature what is called a “hidden tilt-rod” which runs vertically along one edge of the shutter so it doesn’t obstruct the view of someone looking through the window. 

Shutter Sizes

Custom plantation shutters come in all different shapes and sizes. While many people may wonder if their oddly shaped windows, arched windows or doors are too un-traditional for shutters the fact is that shutters can be very versatile by being custom built and designed.  This versatility is a big draw over store-bought shutters that only come in certain sizes or in the best case scenario can be custom ordered and after weeks of waiting still not has a shutter that properly fits the window.