Materials for Building Window ShuttersWritten by Brian Wright
Shopping for window shutters can become confusing because of huge variety of materials used and promoted as superior. The construction methods of a shutter unit, including materials used, contributes greatly to overall cost of shutters purchased. However, a well-constructed unit made out of high-quality materials will also last longer and look better than something less than ideal. Following is an outline of various woods and synthetic materials that are often used in building shutters.
Basswood Shutters (Tilia Americana Linnaeus, or American Linden) Basswood is absolutely best wood for building window shutters. The Basswood tree can be found from Quebec south to Delaware and Atlantic coast west to Eastern Kentucky with an average height of 65 feet. Basswood is a renewable resource and careful forest management ensures tree harvesting is done responsibly, balancing growth with removal. Each year United States grows about twice as much hardwood as it harvests.
Basswood shutters are very straight and has a fine uniform texture with an indistinct grain. Basswood machines well and is easy to work, and screws and glues well and can be sanded and stained to a smooth finish. It dries fairly rapidly with little distortion. Basswood has fairly high shrinkage but good dimensional stability when dry.
Popular uses for basswood include drafting tables, broom handles, carvings, turnings, furniture, moldings, millwork, musical instruments, woodenware, food containers, and surfboards.
General Basswood shutter characteristics: Does not warp Lightweight yet very strong Uniform grain for a beautiful stain finish Low in resin and tannin which may bleed through finish Renewable resource which is replenished as it is harvested Superior gluing and finishing properties.
Oak Shutters Oak shutters are very heavy. Oak shutters add much weight to window jambs and screws require pre-drilling. Oak shutters are not suitable for painting. Oak shutter louvers tend to warp.
Maple Shutters Maple shutters are very heavy. Maple shutters add much weight to window jambs and screws require pre-drilling. Maple louvers are hard to tension uniformly.
New Jersey Home RemodelingWritten by Total Remodeling
New Jersey Home Remodeling
The U.S. state of New Jersey lies on Eastern seaboard, with New York to its north and northeast, and Delaware and Pennsylvania to its west. New Jersey became heavily industrialized soon after Revolutionary War, with building of canals and railroads. It retained its position as a heavily industrialized state well after World War II. However, it is now better known as a commuters’ state, because many people who live in New Jersey commute to work in New York City, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. People prefer to buy homes in suburbs of New Jersey’s cities and travel to work in other states.
At Total Remodeling, we have done several home remodeling projects in New Jersey. Since New Jersey was one of original 13 colonies, its craftsmen, architects, and designers absorbed several styles that were popular in colonial period and also copied Victorian examples. Many homes in New Jersey have been built in Neoclassical and Victorian styles. Most homes in New Jersey are built of wood, and since New Jersey is bordered on east by Atlantic Ocean, wood does tend to show signs of wear and tear within a few years.
Total Remodeling has done several projects in New Jersey using vinyl siding and roofing products, as well as doors and windows. We have used modern home remodeling products to give a new look to homes designed in Victorian style. For example, we used vinyl siding products to finish a Second Empire French Victorian house in Maplewood, New Jersey, and received an award for our efforts. The vinyl siding products we use—System 2000 and Elite—replicate look of cedar clapboard but require less maintenance. Our skilled craftsmen were also able to add and emphasize authentic period details that enhanced look of house.