The Ultimate Guide to Windows

Plantation Shutters For Elegant Homes

Controlling the amount of sunlight entering a room through a window, or window dressing can be done with blinds, curtains or drapery. Many people, however, opt for the permanency, elegance and classic look of plantation shutters. Fully closed plantation shutters enhance insulation. Plantation shutters also provide another barrier that can enhance security. Plantation shutters are versatile and easy to maintain.

Unlike blinds which are often narrower, plantation shutters are made up of wide compound louvers that fit into a frame with the tilt of the louvers controlled by a rod running up the middle (of the louvers). Plantation shutters swing away like traditional shutters do, except that these swing towards the room interior (inside swing) when not required. Plantation shutters can be made with natural wood or synthetic materials that simulate the look of wood (“faux wood”).

Natural wood plantation shutters have an appeal, and wood is the material choice for those who can afford it or where the aesthetics provided by wooden plantation shutters is a prime consideration. Hardwood is sturdy and durable, making it a preferred material for plantation shutters. Plastic or vinyl plantation shutters larger than 29″ can sag unless these are provided with divider rails or some form of support, which in contrast, wood plantation shutters do not require such support since the louvers are thicker.

Simulated wood plantation shutters, though could be cheaper. Some faux wood plantation shutters also have a “hollow core”, making these lighter. In highly humid areas, hollow core aluminium rectangular tubes simulating wooden plantation shutters perform better at resisting the impact of moisture which natural wood is prone to (i.e., sagging and/or expansion). Medium density fiberboard (MDF) louvers are not suitable for moist locations.

The supply cost for plantation shutters is dependent on the window size, the louver width, and the type of material used for the shutter louvers, tilt rod, and hardware (hinges, locks and handles). Non-custom sizes (i.e., not conforming to prevailing market standard sizes) are usually pricier. The cost for shipping must also be factored in. Pre-painted shutters definitely have a premium compared to “bare-type” shutters (cost for painting or staining would have to be considered in this case). The cost for installing includes labor and any contractor mark-up (if a contractor is engaged to do the installation), and this is usually priced per square foot of shutter area. The cost for installing may be affected by the remoteness of the house or the environment. Online sites can provide information on local suppliers and installers and the rates these companies charge corresponding to applicable types and sizes of plantation shutters. Information and tips on the shutters best suited for a particular application are provided by these info-sites. Further, some of these websites have features that aid in the quick estimate of the price for supply and installation.