Window shutters of whatever style whether panel, louver, board and batten or Bermuda, have many uses. Dependent upon their location, exterior or interior, they protect windows from storms and hurricanes, add quality and decoration and lower cost of maintenance. For this purpose, interior window shutters is mainly our concern. We ask why consider them over draperies, which style to choose and what are the relative costs of installation? We answer.
Why choose shutters?
Shutters have advantages over draperies and blinds that are often overlooked. They are easier to maintain, are better draft dodgers, and fit in with various decorative styles. They are generally out of the way of cats and dogs that may claw or chew on them. Overall they give the room a finished custom look that does not take away from the intended look.
Style wise they fit in with traditional or modern furniture while making fashion statements of their own. And there are never any no dry cleaning bills. Custom shutters can be made to fit any odd shaped or difficult window and this answers the question on how to decorate these problem windows. This cannot be said for draperies or commercial blinds.
Window shutters and their various styles
Traditional or colonial style shutters are usually 3/4 inches thick with wide louvers either flat or wedge-shaped with a middle top to bottom ridge. Of course all the varied styles can be custom designed to specifications, while being a little harder to find already made. More recently, Plantation style shutters are the choice of manufacturers and expect to find more variations in style in these over the traditional. For those desiring that extra elegant touch for their window treatment, wood enclosed stained glass panels shutters are also available.
Shutters come in wood, vinyl, metal or fabric. More precisely, where plantation styles are concerned, they most likely will be wood of two grades, multiple design woods, or fake wood. Wood of course being the look where this style shutters are concerned. They vary in price from moderate to expensive according to the grade and whether or not they are precut or custom made. Unfinished wood shutters, most often in yellow popular, are also available.
Vinyl shutters are either polyurethane resin or polyvinyl. Polyurethane, painted white or ivory, are an excellent choice over wood. It is resistant to wear and its ability to withstand hear or cold conditions with no warping makes it a favorite choice. These come in louver widths of 2-1/2, 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches. Fake wood shutters, made from polyvinyl are low end priced and the louvers are generally small. These are specifically designed to give those with lower incomes a chance to afford shutters.
Expect to pay more for shutter installation. Generally, installing them on all windows on an average size home will cost somewhere around $1650 as compared to a little over $900 for drapes and $750 for shades or blinds. Add to that the cost of the shutters and you will have a general idea of the overall expense.
Alternatives are doing the work yourself if you have carpentry skills and are especially good at precise measurements. Accuracy is the key to worry free installments. No guesstimates here, measure and then measure again. Your first consideration is whether to install the brackets on the inside the window or outside the window. Either way, you measure precisely but another caution for the outside mounting is adding in the measurement for the hanging strips that will be used.
Don’t attempt installation yourself unless you are sure of what your are doing. Learn how precisely and understand every little details or hire a professional. Or, better still, barter with a friend who is an installer. You, a plumber, will take care of his plumbing needs for a set amount of time. In bad economic times, bartering makes more sense than ever.
Batten and Board and Bermuda style exterior shutters
Panel and louvered styles are easy to visualize but less well known are batten and board and Bermuda. What sets them apart? Board and Batten shutters are a Spanish influence and were used originally on barns and Tudor style homes and on Northeastern brownstones.
What could be easier than nailing two or three boards together in a frame and using them to cover windows when those wailing winds came rushing through? Over time, of course they were created more decoratively while still retaining their useful purpose. The style used in warmer areas probably left open spaces between the boards for breezes to flow through, while those in colder areas nailed the boards closer together.
Bermuda is what else but the style of shutters popular in the Caribbean. They are put together in a way that allow air and light to filter in, while allowing for privacy. These mostly are made from fiberglass and have none of the look of the heavier styles used in colder climates.
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