Shutters: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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When should you consider installing shutters:

There’s nothing better than a cool summer breeze drifting through the house or apartment, and the feeling of early evening sun as it just begins to dip under the horizon. Unfortunately, summer only lasts for half of the year, and once winter sets in, it brings with it icy cold winds and rains.

For some, rainfall season is any season, especially in the Southeastern United States. What’s more is that Hurricane season every year seems to be getting more intense, and with the weather set to stay the way it is for some time, it might just be time to consider installing shutters in your home for added protection and peace of mind. Shutters have been around for a long time, and in Europe they really first gained popularity as a means of getting some much needed privacy and staying out of the elements, but they also became artistic and beautifully painted as a means of making houses more colourful and attractive. Nowadays there are many takes on those classic designs both for interior and exterior use in the home. Some, like Roman shades are a little more aesthetic, and some for more practical applications, such as modern Hurricane Shutters. Either way, if you’re looking for some added protection from the elements, then shutters may be for you.

Shutters Vs Blinds:

Blinds

The common trait of blinds is horizontal or vertical slats, or a single fabric sheet or cover. Natural colours and materials are available such as bamboo or wooden blinds which when nicely varnished can create a lovely earthy tone. There are aluminium and vinyl blinds which are functional and inexpensive. One other thing which binds these window fittings together is that they are primarily for interior use, and although there are some very specific outdoor blinds, these are the exception, not the norm. Installing blinds in your home may be something you’ve looked at doing, but remember; while there are a plethora of styles not all blinds are going to give you the level of protection and privacy you’re looking for.

Shutters

Shutters are often the most expensive option, and can carry a significantly higher price tag than blinds, but they are very easily the most durable, making them a fantastic addition to any home or apartment. Due to their ability to be easily customized, there is no limit on building styles which they can be applied to which also gives them added value. Shutters often have slats in them too, which can be adjusted to allow light in or to block it completely, as well as providing protection from most weather. 

Types of Shutters: 

There are 3 main shutter types; Board and Batten, Paneled, and Louvered shutters. Each of these can have multiple applications, for both windows and patios or other outside areas. 

Board and Batten

These are characterised as being one of the oldest style of Shutter, since board and batten architecture has been in use for centuries. They are characterized by long solid strips of material running vertically with horizontal stabilizers. These are extremely strong and very versatile shutters, usually for exterior use. 

Paneled Shutters 

Panel work is also quite a long standing technique which found it’s way into shutter making. It usually consists of a square or rectangular panel shape of material (usually wood) with a single square tightly fitted into the centre, with a slight recess. These types of shutters are particularly popular in Europe and often adorned with art and brightly coloured patterns. 

Louvered Shutters

Louvered Shutters are the most modern design, usually these come in a long rectangle or sets of rectangles or squares in a similar style to paneled shutters. What sets them apart is that louvered shutters then have slats which run horizontally at a slight angle to allow for airflow. These are either static or can be moved simultaneously in a similar fashion to blinds. 

How to measure your windows for a shutter:

a. Identify your window type before you measure—window types are going to inform what kind of shutter will suit your windows, so identifying your window type is the key first step in measuring the window area. Remember that windows such as double-hung windows are going to take up double the depth of space inside the frame, so be sure to measure all of the dimensions your windows will take when closed and open.

b. Choose your inside mounting frame for your shutters (normally it can be L or Z frame)—Inside mount frames are essentially frames for the interior of the window which serve as the mounting for the joints on your shutters. An L shape will simply create a small recessed area for the shutters, and a z shape will do the same with a neat lip around the head, jamb, and sill of your window.  

c. Select your slat size and your frame depth—Your slat size will be able to denote how large your louvers will be inside your and shutter frame. Larger slats have become quite popular, especially with plantation shutters. Frame depth will denote how deep you want your shutters to be recessed into the window itself. 

d. Measure out your window area—Be sure to measure the full length, width and height of your window, and be sure to make precise measurements of any irregular shapes and include them in your calculations.

e. Double check your measurements—Before going forward, be sure to double check that you have correctly measured everything. A few minutes spent double checking calculations is never time ill spent. 

f. Be exact in your measurements and as specific as possible, a simple mistake can lead to shutters which don’t fit

Is it possible for me to install my own shutters?

Yes, absolutely. There are several tutorials in internet on how to install shutters yourself, however, as you can see from the instructions above, even measuring the window is not an easy task, therefore we advise you to get help from an expert in the field.