What Are Window Shutters?
Window shutters are a type of window covering that is used to cover and provide privacy to the outside world. They are often known as Plantation shutters, wooden shutters or just – “shutters”.
They are sometimes also called louvered blinds, louvered shades, or slatted shades but this can become confusing and most companies who operate in the industry will respond best to “shutters”, especially now that they are a very popular choice. For the purpose of this article, we will keep it simple and refer to them as “Shutters”.
Shutters are a very elegant and stylish window covering and with such a wide range of styles and customization’s available, the options for your home are limitless.
How To Choose The Best Window Shutters For Your Home Under Budget:
Now that you are actively looking into the possibility of having shutters in your home you will quickly realize that it is not that simple.
Shutters come in a wide range of styles and materials so the right choice will depend on a few factors – what room will they be in? Will they be covering windows on an overlooked road? And what your budget is.
So let’s break this down and cover each of the points to try and help decide what’s best for you.
What Room Will The Window Shutters Be In?
The reason this is so important is that the style and material of the shutter will depend on what room they will be in. If they are in a bathroom then perhaps you should play it safe and pick a PVC-based material to avoid the chance of a wooden product getting damaged.
Wood and moisture are not the best of friends so you really don’t want to be paying for wooden shutters and then after 6 months see the louvers swelling or the paint peeling off!
If they are going to be in a bedroom or another room that has low humidity then a nice hard wood shutter will look fantastic! Obviously you can do a combination of materials (assuming your provider offers this) and the best local shutter companies will (should) always offer you the best advice, rather than making it purely about what makes them the most money!
So have a think about this prior to making a decision and discuss this with your provider when they come out to quote.
Will The Shutters Be Covering Windows On An Overlooked Road?
The reason this is a factor is because shutters are fantastic at letting the perfect amount of light into your rooms. If you are on a busy road then it might be worth looking at a Cafe Style shutter as these cover the bottom half of the windows, allowing light in at the top, or perhaps Tier on Tier shutters which can be opened independent of each other, allowing you to tilt the bottom half to maintain your privacy, but open the top half to let in the maximum amount of light.
Read our more in depth article for more information on each of the most popular shutter styles.
Lets be honest, budget comes into everything! And we all want the best possible products and to pay as little as possible :-). But let’s face it, there has to be a compromise.
So to keep it simple, I have put the budgets from low to high as a very general rule.
The reason it is a general rule is because like anything – if you shop around you can find providers who have much better pricing. In fact it is not uncommon for a small local company to offer the high end material for the same price as a high street provider’s low end material!
The other factor when considering price is if you want to measure and fit the shutters yourself.
More and more companies are turning to a purely online business model – so this would mean measuring each of your windows yourself and then ordering the products directly online.
We have a guide on how to measure your own windows correctly here.
The shutters would then be made to your specifications and sent to you directly. It would then be down to you, or a local carpenter to fit the shutters in your home.
This can save you a lot of money, so if you are interested in this option please read our article on the top 3 online shutter companies in the USA.
If you are looking for a shutter company to measure, order and fit the shutters for you then budgets are normally as follows:
Low Budget – MDF
Mid Budget – PVC
High Budget – Real Hard Wood
Another point worth making about the budget is the amount of shutters you are planning to get in your home. Although a larger order is a bigger upfront investment you have a lot more room to negotiate with the company as they will want to get the business even if they have to reduce their profit margin.
Alternatively, you could get the house done in phases so it keeps the cost down while you save up for the next “phase”.
A lot of people for instance will get the front of the house done first so it looks symmetrical and all of the windows match when passing by.
This is a good way to go to keep the cost down slightly.
Alternatively you could just do one room at a time and slowly work round the house until the whole house has the perfect look.
Finding The Best Local Shutter Company
With anything these days, there are normally a lot of companies who offer similar services. Plantation shutters have been popular for about 10 years now so it is very likely that a simple Google search will show up your best local providers.
My best advice would be to get three quotes so you can compare not only the price but also the material, fitting time and also give you a chance to do some research on each company’s reviews and testimonials.
Although it’s normally better to use a more established company, everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes using a new company can also work in your favor, as they are trying to build the business and therefore are likely to charge less than the bigger more established local companies in order to win your custom.
The process to get shutters in your home is quite simple:
Contact and invite three local companies to measure up, show you the different products/materials
Get your three independent quotes
Decide who is best (price, fitting time, material) and contact them to confirm that you would like to go ahead.
At this point the company will have all of your measurements and will simply need to process the order.
Most companies take a deposit in order to place the order and then the remainder is due when the shutters are fitted.
Depending on the company and products you choose will depend how long it will take. Many providers use manufacturers within the USA and therefore the turnaround times are normally weeks as opposed to months for providers who get their products shipped in from China!
In conclusion, Plantation Shutters are a great option for homeowners and are becoming more popular by the day.
They certainly aren’t the cheapest window treatment on the market but they look fantastic and last a very long time. You have to see shutters as an investment, because they will also add value to your home.
The light control and variety of colors and materials make the choices harder but makes it almost certain to get the perfect solution for your home.