Window Shutters on a BudgetWritten by Sarah Vande Krol
While there is great value in installing custom-made interior wood window shutters, sometimes they are still too expensive for certain applications. Some alternatives – including poly or vinyl shutters – are less expensive but also much less attractive. For a high-quality solution at a lower cost, look for a company that sells individual solid wood shutter panels that can be installed in any configuration.
When shopping for individual shutter panels, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The most important factor is material used to make interior shutter panels. Basswood has best characteristics for window shutters because it is a very straight hard wood with little distortion. Basswood also has a fine, uniform texture and indistinct grain, which make it superior for staining or painting. You should also look for a company that can make a large number of panel sizes so you can receive best final fit for your window.
How To Determine Individual Panel Sizes to Order It is best to determine how you will mount your shutters before ordering shutter panels. Sometimes it is necessary to use hanging strips to attach shutters to outside of window opening. A reputable company will provide information about different installation methods so you can determine how best to install on a specific window.
Width: Measure width of area you want shutters to cover (NOT including any trim strips). 1.Divide this width by number of panels you want across window. This will give you approximate width of each panel. Round this measurement up to nearest 1/4 inch. Example: Width = 36-7/16" Divide by 4 and round up to nearest 1/4" Order (4) shutter panels 9-1/4" wide
How to Identify a Quality Interior ShutterWritten by Brian Wright
1. Shutters have proper louver tension The shutters louvers should be smooth and stay in desired position throughout lifetime of shutter. Some manufacturers feature “tension screws” on side of each shutter panel, with one tension screw required for each louver section. The problem with tension screws occurs over time, when tightening screws becomes necessary on a regular basis. Eventually, louvers within a single shutter unit will not have uniform tension because louver sections adapt to tension screw differently. Polywood, vinyl, fauxwood, and synthetic shutters usually have an extremely tight louver tension. It is then difficult to put louvers exactly in desired location, and rotation of louvers is difficult. The best technique for providing uniform tension that will remain constant is a split nylon pin tension system that requires no maintenance.
2. Shutters are built from a quality material Wood is most preferable material for building shutters, and not all woods are made alike. Basswood is a superior wood because it is among straightest of hardwoods with a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain. It can be sanded and stained to a smooth finish, and it is lightweight yet very strong.
3. Shutters are purchased from reliable company You should research company from which you plan to purchase your shutters. They need to be a reputable, knowledgeable, support oriented, and accessible. We recommend you test their knowledge by asking questions. Check out their credibility with an organization such as Better Business Bureau, and check to see if they have a list of customer comments or references. The company needs to be prepared to communicate all of necessary information to you about purchasing interior shutters. They need to have a staff that is experienced and available for technical questions. It is frustrating when only knowledgeable person is always "in field."