The shutter range these days is nothing like it used to be as they have come a long way in providing all types of shutters for both the interior and exterior of your home. Wooden made shutters, especially cedar have proven to be the most popular for quite some time although you can buy shutters in other materials such as vinyl if you prefer.
When it comes to buying shutters you have several factors to think about which include selecting the style, the type of finish you want, the panel configuration and last but by no means least how much you want to spend.
As far as styles go you have a choice of what’s known as traditional or plantation shutters. These are the main two types you will find being sold. Traditional shutters use narrow shutter panels which are usually in the shape of a wedge where they look thicker in the front and narrower in the back where as plantation shutters offer much thicker, flat shutter panels so the choice is yours depending on what your preferences are.
When I chose my shutters I went for the traditional kind because they matched in quite nicely with the Venetian blinds I had, but that was just me. Obviously, we all have different tastes but it is a good idea to think about what would look good with the window coverings you have at the moment unless you plan on changing them altogether.
As for the finish, many people opt for natural looking shutters and use staining to give the desired effect. The other popular choice is to use white paint or a varying shade of white depending on what suits but you can use pretty much any colour you like. I’ve seen pink and yellow coloured houses in Scotland that have gone ahead and painted their shutters in the same colours so it’s really up to you although you’ll find that most shutter companies will either sell them in a wood tone or a white finish.
As for the configuration of shutter panels, this really depends on the size of your window and the style that you go for as there is some degree of flexibility with having more or less panels than normal. You can also have shutters custom made to your specs as well if you like. A standard size window may use 20 panels but you want to have 30, in which case you would ask the shutter company to design the panels to be narrower to fit in with what you’re after. This however is a rather more expensive option and you will be better off just going with what’s available if you’re sticking to a budget.
Speaking of budgets, just like most things price is very important and the amount you pay will largely depend on what you need. Before you do any research or go anywhere it’s a good idea to sit down and ask yourself the following questions.
Do I want interior or exterior shutters?
How many Windows and doors do I need to cover with shutters?
What size measurement are the Windows and/or doors?
What type of material do I want the shutters do I want the shutters in?
What style of shutters do I want, plantation or traditional?
How many panels would I like for each shutter?
What type of finish would I like to have on the shutters?
How much is my overall budget and what’s the most I can spend?
Writing your answers down on a piece of paper will help give you an idea of exactly what you want and what you can afford. Shutter companies usually base the price on the exact size of window, therefore the exact size of shutter needed and the style, the finish and how many panels you require. So with all the questions already answered you should have no problems getting an exact quote.
If you are on a tight budget and you plan to buy interior shutters a cheaper option may be to buy blinds instead. You can pick up some pretty good blinds at a cheap price if you keep your eye out but bear in mind that blinds don’t last as long as shutters. I love my shutters but I wouldn’t dream of using them on sliding doors as blinds are much better, especially these days with the new types that are available.
When it comes to tall windows it’s often a better idea to have two or three sets of shutters on the same window as there are maximum panel guidelines between shutter panels. One way round this however is to use a dividing rail between the panels in the same frame and whichever method you choose you are going to end up with two or three louver sections in any case. This is good because you will be able to open and close them independently of one another, offering you more flexibility with sunlight control.
There is a maximum panel size with shutters which is another reason why blinds are a better option for large windows and doors. Consult the shutters and blinds salesman on which would be the best option for what you need and they should be able to help you out.