The world of shutters is varied with such a wide range of information available it can be difficult to know what to choose. Here we try and make things a little simpler to help you choose the right plantation shutters for your home.
The popularity of plantation or louvred shutters has been increasing since the 70’s. Shutters have provided a traditional window covering in many parts of Europe for many years and are getting more popular every day.
In the UK, 9 out of 10 people choose silk white as the most popular colour of interior shutters. These provide a natural colour that blends well with all internal décor, particularly favourable where there is white window surround since this avoids the need to replace them each time the room is redecorated. Other colours and wood stains are available.
Choice of shutter styles
There are several different wooden plantation shutter styles to accommodate the variety of window types. There is a shutter style to suit, whether you have a standard casement window, square bay, patio doors, traditional sash window, or, one of the more complex designs of French doors, multi-paned bays, unusual shapes or large-size track requirements.
The standard style of window easily accommodates a basic design of shutter. Often this comprises of a set of panels to match your window layout, hinged in a 4–sided frame for ease of fitting.
The more complex window styles often involve angled or curved shutters. These shutters normally require templates or detailed drawings, but with an expert available on the telephone helping you all the way, even the most inexperienced home improver can obtain a professional finish. At opennshut.co.uk, Sam is available to help you both over the phone and via email.
The variety of styles of shutters allow you to choose a design to suit your need for maximum light, privacy and convenience. The options include
- Full-height, with the option of horizontal middle rails should you require movement within independent sections.
- Top-opening, also known as tier-on-tier, providing a choice of opening sections.
- Half-height, also known as café style, which fit only a fraction of the way up a window leaving the top section fully open.
Shutters can be provided in plantation louvered or solid shaker style. While louvered shutters are the most popular, as the shutter can remain shut and the louvers adjusted to let in light, solid shutters also have their place. For solid shutters, there must be space for them to be opened into the room to allow light to enter.
Wooden shutters can also be made to suit bespoke shapes, allowing for curves, arches and angled designs. For wide-openings, it is more likely that a Track system will be required. The shutters hang from an overhead track in order to support their weight. There may be an option to either fold these to the side via bi-folding pairs or slide behind one another into a compact section to one end of the track.
The market provides many different materials and too many negative appraisals just to suit those companies’ own products. An expert’s advice is crucial and neglecting to seek it can be very costly. For example, whilst certain woods look fantastic, they may be totally unsuitable for a kitchen or bathroom where there is high humidity and a tough durable product providing a water-resistant finish would be far more suitable! Opennshut.co.uk have tried to select a range of products so that we have the right product for each window.
The benefits of different louvre sizes
Plantation wooden shutter panels have movable horizontal slats, known as louvres/louvre blades that rotate to allow the louvres to open for access to light and visibility, or shut to reduce light and gain privacy. Louvers are available in three sizes and the size can be selected depending on the size of the room and shutter. The larger the blade the more light will be allowed into the room. Most people opt for the medium size.
How do I measure for DIY shutters?
For the majority of windows, measuring is straightforward. Measure the width of your window inside the recess, in three places: across the bottom, middle and top of the window. Then, do similarly for the height. Take the smallest measurement of each to give you the width and height for calculating the cost. Shutters are priced in square metres, so how many panels or hinged sections you choose should not affect the cost.
For measuring more awkward shapes and bays, the overall width and height is normally all that is required for a quote. Then, any angles or curves requiring templates or detailed drawings can be achieved via expert advice to obtain accurate measurements for a perfect, professional finish.
How easy is DIY?
The simple answer to this is ‘very’. The actual fitting of the shutters is almost as easy as measuring. All quality shutters are supplied ready-hinged for easy, clip-together assembly and fitting inside a 4-sided frame. The panels slot into position with drop-in hinge-pins, with ready-fitted magnet catches and frame, reveal edges ensuring a secure fit with little fuss, check out our fitting videos to see how.