วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 22 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552

Changing Trends in Wood Shutters


During the 1990s a new trend began to take hold in the United States, that of interior wooden shutters. This was a small part of a widespread increase in the use of window accessories in real wood. Unfortunately, wood shutters were on the high end of the price scale, so wood blinds became a viable alternative. As usually happens, the trend has now reversed, and instead of wood blinds, the market for wood shutters has become more popular, especially that of faux wood, a material that has the effect of wood but at a lower cost.

Why Choose Faux Wood

Consumers buy window shutters for both privacy and to shade the room from the rays of the sun. Unlike blinds, shutters can completely shade the room, thus letting less light into the room. Because faux wood shutters are usually made from PVC or a similar composite material, they can provide the consumers with all the advantages of real wood, including the attractiveness, without the cost factors involved with real wood.

How Trends Have Changed

In the past, wood blinds were a luxury only afforded the rich, but the development of the faux wood shutter has made them more affordable. In fact, the introduction of faux wood has even forced manufacturers of real wood to lower their prices in order to prevent a total loss of sales. This means that although more people can afford real wood shutters, fax wood shutters are still a less expensive option. This narrowing of the price gap between the two types of blinds means that approximately 50% of blinds currently sold in the US are fax wood while the percentage for shutters is likely to be within the same range.

Concern for the environment may also influence people into buying faux wood instead of real wood shutters because they are concerned with natural wood depletion and replacement. Of course, you may find some who will argue that natural wood is biodegradable material while PVC and composite materials may create additional future refuse disposal issues. For most consumers, these problems are not even a consideration, but it's important to take them into consideration for those who may make their decision based upon one of those issues.

Advantages of Faux Wood

Compared to real wood, faux wood shutters have the advantage when it comes to strength and damage resistance. For example, a faux wood shutter will not warp, fade or crack, and over long periods of sun exposure, PVC will keep its shape and texture far better than its real wood counterpart. Though many people may be able to tell the difference between real wood and faux wood, the purpose is to create a real wood "look" to the room that the casual observer fails to note from a distance.

Vinyl Shutters Guide


Buying vinyl shutters for the home can give your home that very stunning look and add that modern day look to your home. Vinyl shutters are very affordable and comes in many colors and styles. People like using vinyl shutters because you design them in the color of your choice, or you can paint them.

If you buy this type of shutter you can easily clean them and take care of them. Using these shutters can offer a durable affect for all types of weather because they come in a a hollow style structure that is very beneficial and it gives you the opportunity to control the amount of light you want to come through. These days people use more of the shutters because of the everlasting strength to protect against all types of stormy weather.

If you're trying to decide on which shutters to buy you might want to buy one with a wood effect. If you decide on buying the wood-type shutter you will find that this particular one will last you a lifetime. When you're making a choice you have the option to search around and look for the best prices and deals. You may decide to buy vinyl shutters because they really give the home a creative look and add that luxurious look.

Sometime if you're lucky you can find shutters for as little as $20 and less. This is definitely the way to change that boring look to a more modern look of today. You will be glad you bought vinyl shutters for your new improved home.

Different Types of Exterior Window Shutters


Many houses these days have some type of exterior window shutters installed, whether they are just decorative or actually functional. People like the way they look on houses, so they are usually an added selling point as well. Depending on your taste, there are a number of different styles of shutters you can consider for your home.

Colonial shutters are one type of exterior window shutter that is both functional and decorative. They can help with storm protection if they are hurricane rated. Usually these shutters come in panels with four sections of louvers that can be opened or closed to different degrees depending on the amount of light and privacy you would like. You can use two tiers of these shutters on taller windows or just one tier on the bottom for a cafe shutter style.

Another type of exterior window shutter you might want to consider are Bahama shutters. These are also functional, but unlike many shutters, they are hinged across the top instead of on the side, so they open away from the house. A shutter that covers an entire bank of windows can also be used as an awning to provide shade. Most Bahama shutters open to a 45 degree angle, although they can be opened just a small amount if that is what you prefer. They are usually made from aluminum and can also provide storm protection when closed.

For those who would like more solid shutters for their windows, board and batten shutters make a good option. These exterior window shutters can have either a separated board or joined board design. They come in many materials, from cedar to vinyl to composite materials, depending on your price range and preferences. They are available in various sizes and work well with curved windows as well as rectangular windows.

Louvered shutters are another common option for exterior shutters. Many homes use vinyl louvered shutters if they just want a decorative look since these are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of colors. Functional shutters are also available in wood and fiberglass and will help control the amount of light that gets into your home as well as ensuring your privacy.

Window Coverings With Style


Maybe I should amend the title to reading window coverings with "my" style

Problem is I don't know that "my style" has an official name ,but one window treatment that I can point to and say" that is totally my style " would be real wood plantation shutters ,done in a classic dark stain .

So what can we deduce from that , that I prefer classic ,elegant and refined with a simpleness about it , no overly ornate moldings no floral embellishments, something rather masculine in presence, oh and something the cat can't swing from.

I don't like drapes with their often numerous layers all trapping dust, decorative swags and lace furbelow s, cafe curtains and valances, layer upon layer of sheers, although all are very decorative there's just too much work involved with drapes. They have to be color coordinated every time you redecorate, they have to be taken down and washed or left in place and steam cleaned by contractors .They do not diffuse light very well in that they have to be either open or closed where as plantation shutters provide not only light control, privacy, ventilation, heat and sound insulation, and a sense of timeless dignified charm, and contribute a decorative element to any room to which they are added.

Even among other shutters and blinds the plantation shutter reigns supreme. Originally plantation shutters were all made from real hard wood panels and were hung on the outside of the window rather than the inside as is the more common practice today. They were used to keep out the elements particularly hurricane damage if that was an issue in your area. It was largely only the wealthy cotton plantation owners homes that these type of shutters were hung as it was only they who were in the financial position to commission a craftsman to fabricate and hang the shutters hence there name today "plantation Shutters"

These days plantation shutters are not just for the rich and famous nor these days are they only made from expensive hard woods, such as Alder, Poplar and Cedar of course you can still find them manufactured from these hard woods but today you are just as likely find them constructed from soft woods such as pine lime or basswood or even faux wood (composite wood).Add also to that list vinyl ,the shutter traditionalist will always prefer a real wood plantation shutter over a vinyl ones ,but vinyl shutters have their uses too as they are not as vulnerable to damp conditions as real wood nor drying out in extreme heat conditions or fading with the sun . But then again neither are real wood plantation shutters if appropriate care is taken a real wood shutter needs the same kind of care that you would bestow on any other piece of fine wooden furniture in your home.

Buying Wooden Shutters


If you're thinking about fixing up the home you may want to consider buying some wooden shutters for your windows. Improving the home can be very simple depending on what you want to do, in one thing you may want to do is give your windows a better look and style. The good thing about wooden shutters is that you can use them inside your home or outside your home. There are many kinds of styles to look for when you're choosing your wooden shutter and that simply depends on what match your home. When you're shopping for wooden shutters you definitely don't want to buy the first ones you see because some can be more expensive than others.

It's always best to shop around at a home improvement store and see what prices are offered and that depends on if you're looking for a more expensive style or a wooden shutter that is low priced. You can definitely update your home and give it that enchanting look by choosing wood shutters.

Most people buy the wooden shutters because they can make the outside of your home look good but most people overlook this because they think the inside of a home is always the most important. Whether people realize this or not, the first thing people notice is the outside of a house and that's why wood shutters play their role because they can be designed and painted in any color of your choice. People that are interested in improving their home's appearance will feel more comfortable in their home because of the new elegant look and feel.

Interior Wood Shutters - One of the Best Window Treatments


Interior wood shutters definitely help in providing great accent and beauty to any home window. That is why one should consider buying shutters and treating them as a good investment And why so? This is because they are included in the appraisal of any home property. Indeed, the natural look and features of window shutters make these treatments perfect additions to your abode.

What is great about interior wood shutters is the insulation value that they offer to home owners. Shutters are actually great in maintaining the temperature inside your home even with extreme temperature outside. Likewise, shutters are also effective in blocking the noise that is constantly being created outside the house. According to the housing experts, one inch of wood has an insulating value equivalent to that of a 14 inch concrete or 6 inch brick.

One of the significant benefits that they offer is the significant positive effects that they have to the environment. Wood is all natural, hence will not harm or damage our environment. This is in contrast to other shutter materials such as plastic, aluminum and other materials that are deemed to be harmful to the environment.

If you are going to purchase interior wood shutters, it is best that you check on the product as there are many wooden shutter products that are actually not made of wood. Some have actually very little if no wood content at all. The best authentic interior wood shutters are ones that are made from basswood and oak.

Plantation Shutters - What They Are, the Different Types and Their History


About Plantation Shutters

Shutters of varying types have been in use now throughout the world for over 100 years. Historically utilized as a protection mechanism against inclement weather, their function was to guard against the adverse effects of the sun, wind or rain dependent upon location and prevailing conditions.

In warmer climes it is common to see the fully closed shutter located on the exterior of a building. When closed this would guard against the heat of the sun and also protect against strong winds and dust storms.

In other locations, these same shutters would be used to protect against the effects of rainstorms, wind, seawater and corrosion.

What are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation Shutters are shutters made up of louvered slats. This feature allows for the regulation of sunlight, temperature, ventilation and privacy and also offers some protection against the elements. Popular as a practical solution to any of the above, plantation shutters have also become widely used as for aesthetic purposes, adding style and individuality to the facade of a building.

The Different Styles of Plantation Shutter

Plantation shutters are available in many different styles, shapes and sizes and they can be fitted either to the inside or outside of a window aperture.

Full Cover or Full Height Shutters

As the name suggests, a full cover or full height shutter will cover the entire window pane. Full height window shutters allow you to regulate lighting and ventilation whilst also increasing privacy and security. This type of shutter can be used in any room of the house and looks particularly impressive when fitted to both ground and first floor windows. Their simple styling and elegance easily transforms a building to the pinnacle of chic.

Cafe style Plantation Shutters

A Cafe style louver shutter covers just the bottom half of a window frame. As such it maximises the amount of light available whilst still providing the required amount of privacy. They are equally useful on both ground and first floors, lending understated elegance to the facade of any building. Popularised by French cafes and bars, Cafe style plantation shutters can be created in both louvered and solid panel styles, and come in a range of finishes including natural and painted wood.

Tier on Tier Shutters

A Tier on Tier Shutter is effectively a full height shutter, split into two sections with an upper tier and a lower tier. This allows one to be opened whilst the other remains closed and is ideal for maintaining privacy whilst at the same time, allowing in plenty of natural light.

The History of Plantation Shutters

Originating in America and the West Indies and dating back to before the American Civil War, the plantation shutter with its distinctive louvers was used widely in the large plantation houses, which needed protection from the sun but also wanted the benefits of a cooling breeze.

Since then, its popularity both as a utilitarian fixture and as a style statement has grown and their appeal now is almost worldwide.

Nowadays, a wide range of shutters is available for use both, internally or externally. They provide an attractive alternative to blinds and are particularly suited to homes in built up areas where maintaining privacy without compromising on natural light is important.

วันพุธที่ 8 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2552

Highlight the Eyes of Your Home With Exterior Wood Shutters


There is an often watched television show that works with people to help them prepare their homes for sale. The catch phrase they use in this production is "curb appeal." Why wait until you are going to sell your home to develop curb appeal? You drive home every day and see your home from the street. Your neighbors also see it from their homes every day. Why not keep your curb appeal 365 days a year?

There are many ways to accomplish this. You can keep a fresh coat of paint on the house. You can attend to your landscaping and keep it fresh. One easy way to do it is to enhance your window dressings. Decorative blinds on the inside and exterior wood shutters on the outside will add a lot to the eyes of your home.

Exterior wood shutters do not have to be expensive. Measure the height of your windows and go to your local Lowe's or Home Depot. They have them in various stock sizes for a variety of windows; these will have to be finished before they are installed on your windows. New exterior wood shutters would quickly absorb the moisture in the air if not sealed and finished. Many times a good wood stain will provide the necessary protection and create a beautiful wooden contrast to your homes siding. If the natural wood look is not to your liking, paint your exterior wood shutters to match the trim on your home. Bear in mind that using too many colors will cause a visual clash and distract from your curb appeal.

Take some of the money you saved on the shutters and purchase quality hardware to hang them. You can really enhance their appearance with quality hinges and hangers. Nothing will detract more from your curb appeal than cheap hardware that shows the effect of the weather and starts to let your shutters hang askew.

With your finished exterior wood shutters in place drive by your home and notice the difference. When you get back make a note to check them annually. Even the best paints or stains will show the weather after awhile. Remember, the weathering is easier to correct when caught early.

Why It May Be Time To Lose The Wood Shutters


You know those wooden shutters on your home; the ones that you never close that hang off the sides of your windows? Well, they are out. Traditional shutters are something that has been around since the birth of the United States and require a great deal of maintenance including the oiling of the unused hinges and the painting and staining of the wood. The truth is that it is time for them to go.

You don't have to get rid of the look completely, just get rid of the old wooden version. There are modern choices that make much more sense in terms of practicality as well as appearance. For instance, aluminum shutters do not close (no hinges to oil or clean) and are resistant to a variety of weather conditions. This means that you can use them no matter where you make your home and that you will not have to oil parts you aren't using. Any time exterior maintenance time can be cut, your life gets easier.

There are a number of other shutter types around that you may want to consider over wood as well.

For one, vinyl offers a number of attractive pros. It is inexpensive to buy shutters of vinyl and they can last as long as 40 years. In other words, through the life of your mortgage, you can go without replacing shutters. It is certainly something worth thinking about. They can be bought in most any style, and they can be painted easily.

Another alternative to your wooden shutters are composite shutters. Made of MDF or particle board, they are made to resist both weather and rot. If you want to be able to shut your shutters, then this may be the way to go as some are available that may be opened and closed. However, don't forget your hinge maintenance if you go this route.

As with just about anything nowadays, there is always fiberglass. Fiberglass is great if you live in an area with severe weather as shutters made of it can be used for window protection in hurricanes and storms. However, it is expensive and does not last as long as the vinyl shutters do.

Then there is, of course, the aforementioned choice of aluminum shutters. These alternatives to the traditional wood offer protection and strength while not being quite as expensive as their fiberglass cousins. They look great and are strong, but there is a drawback to the purchase of aluminum shutters; most companies offer little more than three or four years of warranty protection. This is because they are prone to denting and chipping.

The next time you decide to do a little home improvement, consider replacing those old shutters. The admiring looks you get from your neighbors will be your reward.

Do You Need Plantation Shutters


Plantation shutters are interior blinds. They go on the inside of windows, i.e. inside the actual house. You have probably seen them, whether you know it or not. They are typically made of wood slats. When the controlling rod is turned, they close or open.

They are used for both style and to keep the sun out. A very common style is for the plantation shutters to only cover the lower half of the inside of a window. This allows for some light to still freely pass through the upper window, while giving control to the owner to both block the lower light and get some much needed privacy.

People will commonly have plantation shutters installed on windows in their bathroom. I don't think I need to tell you why privacy might be a good thing to have in your own bathroom! And as stated before, they are a very stylish way to perform this function.

The actual history of these interior blinds goes way back to the Middle Ages, believe it or not. They were originally designed for glassless windows. So, in effect, the shutters acted as the protection between the weather (rain) outside and the inner dwellings of the old home. Later these shutters were adopted on American plantations in the South. They were well-suited to the hotter climates existing there.

Since then, it has become fairly standard to attach plantation shutters onto hinges so that they can be swung out of the way, and the window can actually be opened up from the bottom. They add a real touch of style to any home they are installed in, I must say. They are not quite fancy, but more than homely.

While it is fairly typical to see half-window sizes, it is also quite common to find ones that take up the entire window. It all depends on what looks good and how much control you want to have over the light coming in and the amount of privacy in any given room.

All in all, I would say that plantation shutters add a lot to any room that they are placed in. I like them because I like to be able to moderate the amount of light shining into any given room at any given time. I can even be a little neurotic about it. Someone who is more interior design oriented will probably take as much of an interest in how they change the look of the room.

วันอังคารที่ 23 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2552

Plantation Shutters Bring Antebellum Elegance To Modern Homes


Choosing plantation shutters for form or function? Plantation shutters offer both to today’s homeowner. These unique window treatments trace their roots to ancient Greece. The Greeks used them for both privacy and security. Interior shutters were used to close windows. Along with imposing columns, shutters are hallmarks of Classical Greek Architecture. This ancient order and form in building design later influenced buildings and architecture throughout the Western world.

Before the widespread use of glass, shutters were used to close windows. They were used to protect the interior of the house from the weather and from intruders as well as provide privacy. They could be opened to allow sunlight and fresh air into the building or home.

Elements of Greek architecture are seen in many buildings and homes from the late 18th century, the 19th century and the early 20th century in the United States. It was especially prevalent in banks, office buildings and many public and government buildings. The plantation mansions of the old South borrowed heavily on the architecture of the Greeks. The antebellum mansions of the great plantations from South Carolina to the western edge of Mississippi borrowed heavily from the building concepts of the Greeks. A number of these grand old mansions have been restored and preserved at Natchez, Mississippi.

Just as did the ancient Greeks, plantation owners used shutters for both their beauty and their function. By closing the windows in this manner, these homeowners were able to add a level of security to their homes. This was important because in the era before the Civil War, the agricultural areas of the South were only sparsely populated. Plantations were largely isolated. Plantations were also symbols of wealth, making them targets for bands of robbers. There was also the potential of attack from revolting slaves.

Times have changed and today’s homeowners use shutters primarily for their beauty or form rather than for security.

What are plantation shutters?

Plantation shutters are louvered interior shutters. They cover the entire window. They are most often made from wood, although modern materials including PVC and vinyl are also being used with growing acceptance. The shutters are hinged and can be opened or closed and latched. In addition to swinging open, some models have moveable louvers that can be opened and closed. Other models have stationary louvers. There is great flexibility in being able to partially or completely open the shutters and/or partially or completely open the louvers. This allows tremendous control in directing the inflow of outside air as well as sunlight.

Typically the panels of plantation shutters range from 15 inches to 36 inches wide. Louvers are available in several widths, ranging from 1-3/4 inches wide to 4-1/2 inches wide, appealing to different tastes and fitting with a variety of decors. The width of the louver has a practical application as well as aesthetic. The wider the louver, the more air or sunlight will be allowed to filter through.

These shutters are often used in series. Rooms with a number of windows, several adjacent windows or large picture windows look especially good with plantation shutter window treatment.

Pine is frequently used in construction of hurricane shutters as well. Contractors and do-it-yourselfers can find them both pre-finished and unfinished. Unfinished allows the contractor or diy to finish with any paint or stain color desired.

PVC and vinyl panels come in colors, including white. These panels may be plain or have embossed wood graining. PVC and vinyl are excellent choices for rooms where there can be high levels of moisture or steam. They are good for pool rooms, bathrooms and utility rooms.

Shutters with moveable panels have the added advantage of providing privacy at the same time they admit light and air. You can adjust the louvers in such a manner that light and air is allowed into the room while at the same time preventing outside passersby from seeing inside.

Some tips for selecting shutters for your home

1. Consult your carpenter or contractor. Determine if the present window casings will support the weight of the hinged shutters when opened and closed, or whether additional framing will be required.

2. Consider the width of the louver. The louver width affects the appearance as well as the function of the shutters. The wider the louver, the more light and air will be permitted to flow into the room.

3. Choose between wood and vinyl. Wooden, especially faux wood shutters can give the room a warmer feeling. Vinyl shutters work well in rooms that have high moisture or steam content. Vinyl shutters are easy to clean and will not warp.

4. Choose between moveable and fixed louvers. If you want to use the shutters primarily for privacy and security, you may wish to use fixed position louvers. If you want to be able to open the shutters to admit light, ventilation or see through the window, you will want to select adjustable louver shutters.

5. Read the reviews written by home improvement consultants and also by consumers. These reviews are posted on websites and are published on home improvement websites and in home decorating magazines.

6. Choose a reputable company with a reliable warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Tips for installing shutters

1. Measure the window and make sure that the window opening is square. If the window is not square, you will be required to taper the shutter to fit the opening.

2. Cut the shutters to fit the opening. If you cannot find a shutter that will fit your window exactly, choose a shutter that is slightly larger than the opening. If you need to trip more than ¾” from the shutter, cut all of it from the left or bottom sides. If you need to trim more than ¾ inch from the side, cut half from each side. Use the same procedure in trimming the height of the shutter.

3. Hinge the shutter with non-mortising hinges. Use two shutter hinges for shutters 30 inches or less in height. Use three hinges for shutters from 30 – 48 inches high. Be sure and place the hinges on the opposite side of the desired shutter opening.

4. Install the latch on the opposite side of the hinges. The latch is often installed in the centre of the shutter. In some applications it may be desirable to install the latch near the top or the bottom of the shutter. For example, in a room used by small children you may wish to install the latch near the top of the shutter.

5. The installation tools needed include a mitre, radial arm or table saw; a jointer, planer or a hand plane; screwdriver; square, paint brush; tape measure; pencil; the shutters, non-mortising hinges, screws, fine sandpaper and touch-up paint or varnish.

Today’s homeowner is going to use plantation shutters more for beauty, but they are also important for privacy and security. Shutters are often an excellent choice for living rooms, sitting rooms, dens, home libraries and home offices. There is a special feeling that comes from sitting or working in a room dominated by the rich warmth of wood. Sunlight, ventilation and artificial lighting can all be adjusted to provide just the right atmosphere.

Plantation Shutters - Choosing a Color


With most window treatment options, you have to choose from a short list of standard colors. Plantation shutters, however, offer nearly unlimited color options. They are one of the few window treatments that can be custom painted. So what color should you paint your shutters?

Match the Trim

Typically, shutters are painted to match the color of the trim around the windows. This is because shutters are usually mounted in shallow boxes called "frames" that attach directly to the casing of the window. The frame provides a surface for the shutter panels to mount to, but also visually ties the shutter to the window trim so that, with a good color match, it is hard to tell where the window casing ends and the shutters begin. This is often the objective. Custom plantation shutters are typically designed and built to appear as part of the window.

If you plan to change your trim color, you way want to consider painting the trim the new color before the shutters are installed. Don't plan on changing the color of the shutters once they are installed. Manufacturers paint shutters in a controlled environment with a paint sprayer to ensure that paint is applied evenly. Once installed, shutters will likely have to be painted by hand with a brush. This will result in a poor finish quality.

Stained Shutters

In addition to painting shutters a solid color, plantation shutters can also be stained. In most cases, stained shutters are constructed from basswood. This is a wide grained hardwood with a grain that similar in appearance to birch and, to a lesser extent, pine. Most stained wooden blinds are also made of basswood. Stained shutters generally cost between 10-20% more than shutters painted a solid color because of the additional labor involved and the requirement that they be made of stain quality wood.

Stained shutters are often used when the trim on a window is stained or in cases where the entire room is stained, like in a formal study. In such cases, the shutters can be custom matched to the stain color of the window casing. Unlike solid colors, you should not expect that the stained shutters will be a perfect match to the window trim. Wood cut from the same tree and stained at the same time with the same stain can have considerable variation from piece to piece. You should expect the shutters to be in the same stain 'color family' as the window trim.

In some cases, homeowners may consider using stained shutters against a solid color trim. For instance, a homeowner may want to match the color of cabinets, furniture, or hardwood floors in a room. Most shutter experts recommend against this because shutters are typically built and finished to appear as part of the window. The contrast between the stained shutter and the window trim set the two apart rather than tying them together.

"Duplexing"

Shutters can be painted so that they are one color on the inside and another on the outside. Duplexed shutters are typically used in cases where the outside trim color is very different from the interior trim color and the shutters are painted to match each. Most experts suggest avoiding duplexing of shutters. This is an expensive option, increasing the price by 40-60%. Additionally, the line between the two colors can be inconsistent and not entirely straight and clear.

Reasons For Choosing Basswood Shutters


Most people want wooden shutters because they look great on or in a house. The best kind of wood for interior wooden shutters is basswood. There are many reasons why basswood is the most popular and here are just a few:

1) Basswood is strong but it is also light
2) Basswood has a grain that is uniform allowing a beautiful stain finish
3) It is easy to glue and to finish
4) Basswood trees are growing faster than they are being harvested
5) Basswood does not warp

Item #5 is probably the most important reason why basswood is the overwhelming choice for wooden shutters. Basswood does not warp and that makes this kind of shutter great for being next to windows where they will be exposed to sun, cooler temperatures, and some moisture. Wooden shutters can be a problem if a wood is used that does not weather the conditions properly. Because warping is such a problem, many people also choose another material such as plastic disguised as wood to be used.

Basswood is easy to work with because it glues well and can be made into the texture you desire by sanding and staining. It also dries rapidly without any distortion. These are all very important to have in a high quality wooden shutter. Basswood it seems is just the most versatile type of wood for the purpose of making shutters.

Basswood is also often used for such things as furniture, wood handles, millwork, musical instruments, and of course interior wood shutters. It is a wood that is useful to make many different things and if you are contemplating getting wooden shutters, basswood should be at the top of your list of woods to consider.

Interior Decorating With Plantation Shutters


When decorating your home, remember to think about window coverings as an integral design element. With so many materials available today, choosing the right plantation shutters for your windows is both easy and affordable.

Just what are plantation shutters? As the name suggests, these window coverings were originally used in plantations, either in the deep South of the United States or in the Caribbean nations where slavery was the order of the day. Thankfully, slavery is now abolished, but the residual bonus is the window coverings we still call plantation shutters.

In warmer climates where curtains are perhaps unnecessary, shutters make good sense. They can block out the light and let in air at the same time. Plantation shutters are also referred to as louvers or California blinds.

Traditionally this style of shutter was made from a hardwood available locally (in the case of an actual plantation). Today's plantation shutters are made from plastic, MDF (medium density fiberboard) or a blend of hardwoods. These materials all resist warping and a fairly wide price range is available today.

Traditional wood shutters provide a warmer color as part of your room decor and as stated previously, they are usually made of hardwood, which is fairly durable. Plantation shutters made of wood, however, can warp dramatically depending on temperature and exposure to sunlight. A more durable material would be MDF, which also has the advantage of being lower cost and available in a variety of colors and finishes.

It's important to remember that the hardware used to hang your blinds can be a design element as well, and there is a wide range of styles available. Many hinges and frames can be painted to match existing room decor. Another element to look for in plantation shutters is a hidden and offset tilt bar which controls the tilt of the blinds.

Depending on your location, plantation shutters by themselves can be sufficient window coverings. These can be paired with a drape, but generally blinds stand alone. For those who live in colder climates, shutters should act as a barrier to cold coming through your windows; factor this into your ultimate choice.

Finally, when choosing blinds as a window covering option, be sure to investigate the warranty offered by the company of your choice. High quality blinds should last for the lifetime of your home.

A Look at Custom Shutters


Who doesn’t love the look of shutters? On the outside, they accentuate the windows, adding personality and style to the house. Inside, they offer a beautiful and stylish alternative to mini-blinds. Shutters are readily available in stock sizes.

If you have an unusual size or shape of window, however, you will need to buy custom shutters. Custom shutters are even available for arched or circular windows. The panels in this type of shutter will usually have to be manually adjusted.

Custom shutters are available in wood and synthetic materials. One such synthetic material is Thermalite. This material is offered by Danmer Custom Shutters. It is made to replicate the look and feel of wood. According to Danmer, Thermalite is moisture-resistant, flame-retardant, and insulates better than wood.

The task of finding a custom shutter manufacturer might seem daunting, but it really isn’t. You can find a custom shutter company in your local Yellow Pages. You can also search on the Internet for “custom shutters” or “custom window shutters.” That search will uncover numerous companies. One drawback to using non-local companies, however, is that you cannot have an in-home consultation. You will need to accurately measure your windows. This is crucial in buying custom shutters. Perhaps the best way to find a reputable company is by word of mouth. Ask friends and family for recommendations. When buying custom shutters, only buy from a manufacturer offering a lifetime warranty. Ask to see references and actually speak to some former customers, if possible. At the very least, see some photos of finished jobs.

Custom shutters add significantly to the value of your home. They add class, grace, and dignity to most any home. When the shutters are well made and properly installed this is an improvement that will truly last a lifetime -- one you will enjoy each and every day.

Exterior Window Shutters - Creative Curb Appeal With Custom Shutters


Exterior window shutters may be just the face-lift a frumpy, run-down home needs to blossom, and exude designer curb appeal. A custom window shutter, for interior or exterior use, adds warmth and interest, and comes with a number of practical benefits. Extensive ranges of exterior window shutters, make it possible to enhance virtually any architectural design in an elegant, and stylish way.

Fixed exterior window shutter installation is purely decorative. The shutters are attached to the outside of the home, and are used as a home improvement with aesthetic value. In contrast, operable exterior window shutters offer sun protection, improve security, and may also be of value during storms.

Colorful Vibes With Vinyl Exterior Window Shutters

Non-functional vinyl shutters are the least expensive ranges on the market. These decorative, lightweight exterior window shutters are a favorite choice of do it yourself enthusiasts, as installation is usually fairly easy. A wide variety of color options are available, from white, to burgundy, or the classic blues and greens. One of the advantages is that the manufacturing process allows for a molded-through tint, that is resistant to fading, and other signs of sun damage, or chipping and flaking.

Classy Composite Exterior Window Shutters

Composite custom shutters are normally a non-functional alternative to the more expensive wood shutter. This window treatment, manufactured from materials such as PVC and fiberglass, is virtually maintenance-free. A quality product will be finished with an automotive grade paint, ensuring years of colorful service.

New technology has made a fully functional fibreglass exterior window shutter possible. These hinged shutters are operable, and robust enough to be used as storm shutters. Beautiful lines are designed with historical accuracy, to satisfy even the most discerning homeowner. Extensive warranties attest to the durability of these exterior window shutters.

Warm Wood Exterior Window Shutters

Wood has always been a popular exterior window shutter choice, and with good reason. A wood such as Incense Cedar, with its naturally bug-repellent tannin, is often used. Incense Cedar isn't prone to warping, and the sealing properties of the natural oils help to prevent decay and rot. With the correct preparation, painted Cedar exterior window shutters hold their color extremely well.

Wood exterior shutters offer styles to suit every preference. Louvers can be fixed or operable, and designs make provision for flat, oval, or tapered blades. If you prefer a more unique look, opt for panels, board and batten, or tongue and groove. Custom shutters allow for any combination of these, including horizontal, vertical, or diagonal placement of the louvers and panels.

Attractive Aluminum Exterior Window Shutters

Thermal powder coated aluminum exterior window shutters are durable, and finished in an eye-pleasing palette of colors. These window shutters are styled to imitate the aesthetic appeal of wood. If security is a major concern, opt for interlocking slats to maximize protection. This is a virtually maintenance-free product, finished with peel-resistant paints. Although you can choose fixed louvers, operable louvers have the advantage of allowing you to manipulate privacy and sunlight.

If your family home is in need of a drastic change, add both value and verve to the property with exterior window shutters.

Selecting Exterior Shutters


Adding exterior shutters to your property can relatively quick way to add style and color to the outside of your house. Shutters can be found on Historical and modern houses alike, and both benefit from the timeless style of shutters. Since quality shutters last long and are a unique addition to houses this kind of home improvement should be thought of and evaluated before proceeding to install exterior shutters. .

Lucky for us, exterior shutters are available in many shapes and materials, with a huge market of manufacturers and designers. One very common shutter choice is the vinyl shutters that are easily available at most of the home improvement stores, common because they are simply the least expensive shutters. The only problem with the vinyl shutters is that they often look like plastic and they cannot be stained.

When you think of a classic shutter you probably have the classic wood shutter in mind, but bare in mind that there are a great many types of wood. Considered the highest quality for shutters is the cedar because of its outstanding durability and resistance to decay, this is why it’s probably the best wood for exterior use. Cedar gives long service with little maintenance in applications such as mud sills, window sashes, sheathing under stucco or brick veneer construction, greenhouse benches, fencing, poles, trellises, and exterior shutters. Cedar is also used extensively for exterior siding because it is dimensionally stable and holds paint well, in addition to being a deterrent to bugs.

The reason the cedar wood makes such a perfect choice for the shutter is that the tannin in cedar produced a kind of oil that helps prevent moisture penetration and bugs hate it. this is the prime reason why cedar wood makes a good wood for exterior shutters.

While the cedar wood has a kind of natural protection, it is always recommended that you provide extra protection for shutter and while paint can be brushed, it is recommended that it be sprayed. Most house painters will spray shutters with their airless spray systems for latex paint. Probably the best base for shutter protection is a coat of an oil-based primer tinted as close to your desired final color as possible. The action that protects that wood and the shutter is that the oil penetrates the wood, thus combining with it and providing protection. The top two coats of the wood protection should be a premium-grade exterior latex paint. The great advantage to this is that a topcoat of exterior latex paint will not chalk or fade like an oil-based paint. If shutter caps will be used, paint them as well since the top edge of shutters is the most vulnerable to moisture penetration.

Installing exterior shutters can be a simple task, no more than affixing panels to the house or attaching doors to the main frame. For better home security it is also possible to get and install operable shutters, which can be closed over windows for protection against storms, these are extremely popular as hurricane shutters and storm shutters, and quite a number of hardware options are available. If you are looking for hurricane or storm shutter you should look for heavy and strong material, built from solid hardware with a finish resistant to decay, and make sure that you perfect your finish, remember that these shutters are meant to protect the property in case of a storms.

Plantation Shutter Design


Many homeowners and businesses are finding out why plantation shutters are such a great way to add function, value, and beauty to their homes and offices buildings. Plantation shutters are a relatively inexpensive way to make a big change in the appearance and value of your home. As opposed to the more common shutters that most people are familiar with, plantation shutters are located on the interior of the window, and are fully operational.

Traditional plantation shutters have a rather simple design. They typically are made up of a pair of vertical panels. Sometimes, plantation shutters can be found with more than two panels, rather using a larger number of panels for a more unique look.

Panels

The horizontal slats found on the top and bottom of the shutter are referred to as the 'rails'. Some plantation shutters may also contain one or more horizontal rails in the center of the shutter, dividing the plantation shutter into separate tiers. Located on the sides of the shutter, are vertical 'stiles'.

Louvers

'Louvers' are the parallel slats found between the stiles, which can be tilted and adjusted to allow in more or less light, as well as air flow when the window sash is opened. Louvers can be made in a number of various sizes and shapes, and are normally the most customizable part of these shutters.

The louvers can range in size greatly, allowing for more options. It is important to keep in mind that the wider the louver, the more light and air will be allowed into the room when they are opened. Also, in terms of appearance, larger windows look better with plantation shutters that include wider louvers. This is also true for larger rooms. The 'tilt rod' is the mechanism that controls the movement of the louvers. These also come in a variety of styles. Some of these tilt rods are actually designed into the shutter, hiding the rod from view. These are appropriately referred to as hidden tilt rods.

Materials

Plantation shutters are available in several different materials. Vinyl and PVC plantation shutters are starting to become more popular, but they don't compare to real wood shutters, in terms of beauty and style. Wooden plantation shutters can be made from all sorts of wood, including rich woods such as pine, cherry, mahogany, and walnut. The type of wood used is second only to the quality of construction, including the cut, sanding, and finishing of the product.

Mr. Oliver is a marketing agent for Shenandoah Shutters. The custom plantation shutter manufacturer provides custom plantation shutters and installation in the Mid-Atlantic region.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Wood Shutters For Your Home


If you are in the process of shopping for exterior shutters for your home, you're likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices on the market. You can choose from vinyl, faux wood, or real wood shutters, for example - and those are just your options for materials! Factor in color, shape, style, finishing - and of course, price - and you've got a lot of decisions to make.

Exterior wood shutters are superior

Wood has several inherent advantages over other shutter materials. It is more durable than either vinyl or faux wood. Synthetic materials can age quickly when exposed to the elements. Frequent sun exposure and heavy precipitation can cause synthetic shutters to crack, peel, or fade. While synthetic materials are often cheaper in the short term, they can become quite costly over the long haul if they need to be replaced frequently.

Real wood shutters are also more customizable than other types of window coverings. Expert mill workers can saw, carve, and shape wood slabs into a wide array of shapes and styles. By contrast, vinyl cannot be as easily tailored to a home owner's specifications. And, unlike synthetic shutters, real wood shutters can be stained or painted to match precise tones and shades. Or, if the homeowner prefers, the shutters can be finished to highlight the grain and cut of the wood.

Wood exterior shutters are also incredibly energy efficient. They can be purchased from manufacturers that specialize in woodwork, and can be hand-made. These shutters are free from cracks, gaps, or surface irregularities. They can be shut tightly against the home to keep the heat, humidity, and precipitation away.

Questions to consider before purchasing wood exterior shutters

1. How much shutter can I afford?

Cost is one of the biggest factors in home improvement decision-making. The shutters you want and the shutters you can actually afford might be very different.

It is important to be mindful of long-range costs as well as short-term costs. Over time, real wood shutters are more cost effective than those made from synthetics.

If you cannot afford to purchase the shutters up front, it is often possible to work out a payment plan with the manufacturer. You might also consider putting the shutters on a low-interest credit card so you can pay off your purchase in monthly installments.

2. Which exterior shutters suit my home best?

Choosing the wrong style and color of window coverings can be as disastrous as painting a home loud colors, or filling a yard with ridiculous decorations. Determine the predominant color scheme of your home's exterior, and learn what historical period the architecture hails from (or, dates back to).

If your house is a white Colonial home, for example, board-and-batten exterior shutters painted in a bright color might suit it handsomely. However, if you live in a brick Victorian, your house might look best with subtly colored or stained Bahama shutters.

You might feel uncomfortable deciding which shutter styles, colors, and shapes suit your home best. Ask your wood shutter manufacturer! The staff of a reputable company can usually make design recommendations. Superior exterior shutter manufacturers can often render pieces from sketches or AutoCAD drawings you provide, and talented designers can even improve upon your ideas.

3. What size should my exterior shutters be?

Shutter measurements are determined by three factors: the length and width of your windows; the style of shutter you choose, and the hanging technique that the chosen style requires. (For example, fixed shutters are measured differently than those intended to be opened and closed.)

It can be difficult to measure accurately yourself, so ask a friend, your partner, your neighbor, or a shutter expert to help. It is important for the measurements to be accurate, too. Ill-fitting shutters can make your home look shabby, and can cost you dearly in the long run if they need to be trimmed or re-sized.

Real wood shutters are lovely additions to home or condominium exteriors. By being mindful of price, style, composition, and craftsmanship, you can ensure that you will be making an investment that will serve you well for years to come.

A Look at Plantation Shutters


When potential buyers are looking at a home, many upgrades get their attention. Floor tile, fireplace, and tile backsplash are some popular additions to a home. One upgrade, however, really makes homebuyers take notice. That upgrade is plantation shutters.

Plantation shutters are interior shutters installed inside a window. Though the name is often used to describe any interior window shutters, true plantation shutters feature that are 2 ½ to 4 ½ inches wide, set into panels that are 12 to 19 ½ inches. The panels can be adjusted as needed to let in light or to keep it out. This adds shade to a home and can even help reduce the energy bills. Shutters also add privacy in areas that require it. For this reason, many people install plantation shutters in large windows over the bathtub or in the bedroom. Many people also use plantation shutters in windows facing the street. Plantation shutters can be used in every window in the home, but the cost for this would be great.

Plantation shutters are available in most every type of wood or in vinyl. Customers looking for a stained look should buy wooden shutters as vinyl offers a painted look. Some new vinyl shutters are made to replicate the look of wood. These are a cheaper alternative for those desiring wood.

Plantation shutter installation is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. Installation is quick and requires few tools. If you prefer, some companies do offer installation at an additional price. Contractors or “handymen for hire” can also be hired to install the shutters.

If you do opt to do the installation yourself, the most important thing is to accurately measure. You will want to make sure that your shutters are a precise fit for your window. An inaccurate fit will greatly detract from the shutters’ look and value. Manufacturers will offer detailed installation instructions. Home improvement stores also offer tips and suggestions for installation. In addition, instructions are available on the Internet.

For a classy and long-lasting window cover, consider plantation shutters. They add privacy, shade, beauty -- and perceived value.

Faux Wood Plantations Shutters Are Easily Cleaned, Sometimes


The one thing that, no matter how skilled and artistic, most interior designers seem to utterly forget is the maintenance and upkeep of the stylish look, The glamour, the elegance are all very well, but come Tuesday morning it will still all need cleaning, and some items are simply not designed to be kept clean. Yet, that is such a shame because these amazing embellishments can begin to look so old and tired if they are not easily maintained and given a chance to sparkle like new for a long time to come. The entire look of the room can be brought down. We are faced with the dilemma of wishing to portray classic elegance and sophistication, with a no-fuss, convenient means to maintain that image with minimal effort or outlay. It is for this reason, that faux wood plantation shutters have proven so successful in recent years, and seen a tremendous increase in popularity.

One of the most popular selling features of faux wood plantation shutters is that, not only do they add a level of glamour and style which is quite out of this world, but due to their construction and the PVC based material from which they are made, they are very easily washable, with no risk of damage by using the wrong detergent or scrubbing hard. Wood and other delicate natural materials may look good, but when it comes to keeping them looking that way after a period of time has elapsed, allowing enough dirt and grime to settle on them, the cleaning becomes a very tough task, and you may well be tempted to use cleaning agents and cloths which, while they may be effective in removing the grime, also have a tendency to damage the varnish and paint work which may have been applied, and if no paintwork has been applied, then the surface of the wood is exposed to chemicals which can affect its appearance, its integrity and the sheen and texture that give it the luxurious quality it had. In short, cleaning wooden items is cumbersome and liable to damage the product.

Whereas faux wood plantation shutters can be wiped clean quickly and easily with a damp cloth - no risk of marking or surface damage - no need for tough detergents or scrubbing, and even if you do use a little detergent, there is little risk of you damaging the appearance or harming the longevity of these products. Faux wood plantation shutters have been designed with not just glamour in mind, but the long term maintenance and care of them, too.

Unlike faux wood plantation shutters, some materials in the home have a tendency to attract dust - static surfaces such as plastics, and especially television screens. Many blinds are made of plastic based materials which draw dust, and being constructed of so many different surfaces, this collects over the entire surface area, making keeping the original smart appearance difficult. Material blinds can be just as tricky, particularly in areas where grease may combine with the dust, such as in kitchens. The solution in these cases is to either take the material down and wash it, which for some blinds is simply impossible, or try wiping the material, which can often result in the dirt merely being streaked across the blind itself. Wooden blinds can absorb some of this grease and moisture, drawing and attracting the dirt and grime, making the cleaning process much longer and difficult. Faux wood plantation shutters have twin advantages here - combining the stylish look and elegance of real wood shutters, but without the tendency to absorb grime and make cleaning so difficult.

Because of the PVC construction, faux wood plantation shutters can be cleaned using a simple spray of water mixed with a mild detergent, and wiped clean quickly. For areas in the home where grease is less likely, cleaning can involve nothing more than running a duster along each blade of the faux wood plantation shutter - for the modern urban living space, they are the perfect solution for those too busy to spend hours maintaining a look, but who still wish to have the look of a successful, stylish and classy urban dwelling space which combines all the class and glamour of colonial times, with a 21st century application of convenience.

Plantation Shutters


The exterior of a house plays a major role in creating the first impression of a home. Homeowners must then make sure that the fixtures they buy can create a good first impression. The good news is that given the wide selection of home fixtures available, gaining access to such fixtures can be a fairly easy process. Some examples of such fixtures are the window shutters that homeowners can install on their windows.

There are different types of window shutters that homeowners can choose from. Plantation window shutters have become popular because of their functionality and the look that they can provide for a home. These kinds of shutters are installed inside a window or from inside a home. Usually, these kinds of shutters are made of individual shutters that are between 2 and 4 inches wide. The shutters are also usually set into panels that are about 12 to 19 inches in length.

In addition to this, plantation shutters have also been designed to be adjusted depending on the amount of sunlight that homeowners would want to let in their homes. As a result, plantation shutters serve both the purposes of giving people the privacy that they need and providing a way for homeowners to save on energy bills. The two types of plantation shutters, wood or vinyl, people can pick the shutter that would blend with the other décor and color schemes in their homes.

Given the importance that the exterior of a home plays in creating a first impression, home owners need to make sure that the fixtures that they install in the exterior of their homes are not only functional but are also aesthetically pleasing. Plantation shutters allow them to make a good first impression.

Interior Shutters Protect Your Home


What is the difference between the curtain and the drapery? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they are actually two very different terms. Curtains are made of lightweight fabrics and are usually unlined. They extend only the length of the window. Draperies, however, are employed on large windows - picture windows, for example. They extend to the floor, are lined with a backing, and are made from heavier fabric. There is so much of the material that they hang in folds.

Curtains or draperies are more important than they might seem. They are used for privacy purposes, of course, and also to block out the sunshine. Sunshine is all very well outside, but inside it is actually quite destructive. Direct sunlight causes the fabric of your furniture to fade, as well as your paintings or other wall decorations.

Interior Shutters
Curtains and draperies don't really keep out all the sunlight that they should. The solution is to install interior shutters as well.

Interior shutters come in a wide variety of styles and materials, from traditional wooden louvered shutters to those made of PVC or vinyl. Whatever the decor of the interior of your room, you can find a shutter to complement it - and one which will perform those other, vital services of providing privacy, sun protection, and even extra insulation should you live in a cold climate.

Surf the Web For a Vast Selection
You can see the vast selection of interior shuttles available by searching the web. However, if you decide to install these shutters yourself, it is imperative that you perform your measurements carefully - measure twice to cut once, as the saying goes.

Horizon Shutters is a company that excels in the traditional wooden shutters, featuring either the traditional or Colonial style louvers, or the wider louvers of the Plantation style. The rich color of wooden shutters would set off a Tuscan or rustic style decor to perfection. These types of shutters are bifold and can be drawn back entirely to provide a complete view of the window. The shutters can fit the entire window, or be 'half-shutters" to provide privacy at eye level if seated.

Shutter Classics is another online company that provides plantation shutters, as well as wood blinds and vertical blinds. (Blinds are louvered but hang from the top of the window and are raised and lowered, rather than being pulled open from side to side.)

Vinyl shutters give the wooden versions a run for their money. Unlike wood, vinl shutters do not crack, peel or deteriorate as wood does. They are therefore necessary in areas like solariums, bathrooms, and the kitchen. Unlike wood, vinyl shutters are a fire retardant. They are also easy to clean.

Of course, just as wood varies in quality depending on what type of tree its taken from (hard woods vs soft woods) so vinyl varies in quality. You'll want the color of the vinyl to be solid throughout, not a mere coating. The more moisture resistant, the better. You'll also want to make sure the hardware to affix the shutter to the window jamb or the wall is of the highest quality.

Eclipse Shutters is a firm that specializes in vinyl shutters of all kinds. All Vinyl is another provider you can investigate in your search for the perfect interior shutter.

Wooden Exterior Shutter Styles and Types



Wood exterior shutters are attractive and highly functional additions to any house or condo. Wood shutters have many alluring benefits for homeowners that will be detailed below:

  1. High durability
  2. Protection against a variety of extreme weather conditions while moderating interior home temperatures during seasonal heat.
  3. Most wood shutters are highly customizable; the shutters can lend charm to a home's exterior, or can accent period architecture.

Cedar shutters: The wood holds up

Wood shutters made of cedar hold up well in varying weather conditions. Cedar is a strong and solid wood that can withstand hurricane winds, heavy rainfall, and scorching heat. In comparison to common exterior building woods such as pine, sycamore, and chestnut, cedar is a tougher, more durable choice. Another advantage of cedar is that it is soft enough to be carved into a variety of alluring shapes. Therefore, this type of wood is a good choice for exterior shutters.

Wood shutters and weather: A perfect match

Most styles of exterior shutters afford homeowners good protection against various weather conditions. For example, louvered wood shutters have multiple slats laid across the shutter frames, with small gaps between the slats. When closed, they allow a homeowner to ventilate a residential interior without letting in too much heat or sun. A louvered wood shutter system can provide a pleasant and environmentally green solution for cooling a home or condo. This style of wood shutter also offers effective protection against blustery winds, snow, and hail.

Many other types of exterior wood shutters provide excellent protection from sun and heat. For example, board-and-batten shutters, which are made of thick wooden slabs carved to resemble Southwestern barn shutters or Northeastern colonial shutters, can be closed on scorching, sunny days. When closed, these thick wood shutters lend residential interiors shade, giving residents respite from heat and humidity.

Bahama (or, Bermuda) shutters swing up and away from the structure. They are suspended from the home or condo with top exterior hinges. This unique construction allows a homeowner to quickly swing his or her Bahama shutters closed as a thunderstorm or hurricane approaches. Bermuda exterior shutters also provide good protection against strong gusts of wind and heavy rains. They are popular additions to architectural exteriors in storm and hurricane belts.

Wood shutters: A highly customizable, timeless choice

Wood shutters can be made to suit the tastes and needs of homeowners. Because the wood used to construct exterior shutters is durable yet soft, the pieces can be carved into many different shapes and sizes. For example, if a homeowner wishes to have small, homey hearts or stars carved into a set of board-and-batten shutters, a skilled shutter craftsman can do it. The homeowner can opt to have the shutters painted, too, to add a splash of vibrant red or blue to the house - or, might wish to have the shutters weathered to make the house look rugged. A condo owner might wish to modernize his or her dwelling with small, oval-shaped wood shutter sets finished in metallic grey. The shutters can be machine- or hand-carved, then painted, to achieve the sleek, modern look the condo owner desires.

Many shutter styles have rich historical origins. Panel shutters are descended from European royalty, and accent Victorian and Gothic architecture handsomely. They suit the Queen Anne-style, ornate houses of San Francisco as well as they suit the stately Tudor apartment homes of Pittsburgh, PA. Meanwhile, board-and-batten shutters are inspired by American frontier shutters seen in the Northeastern colonial period and the westward expansion of the 1800s. These rougher, slab-like shutters soften concrete homes and condos, and add cheeky charm to expansive ranch houses.

Other shutter styles can be used to enhance the architectural lines of a home or condo. For example, large homes with many windows - including mansions - look stunning when each window is smartly framed by louvered wood shutter sets. Meanwhile, tall, slender buildings achieve pleasing proportional balance with the addition of Bahama shutters that jut out in salute from the windows.

Homeowners who want to add highly functional and versatile accents to their living spaces should also consider wood shutters. Constructed of durable materials, engineered to withstand weather, and customized to suit a range of tastes, exterior shutters are pleasing additions to countless styles of architecture.

Faux Wood Shutters and Replacement Doors


Building materials used to be simple to choose and buy, simply because there wasn't much of a selection. You only had to choose between two and three choices in home building materials. Now, however, the number of choices can make it very difficult to choose what you want and need for your home, in everything from faux wood shutters to replacement doors. That is why it is important to do your research before you walk into the store to help you determine what you want and need without being confronted with the myriad of choices. The good news is that no matter what your budget, you are sure to find the home building materials that you want and need for your home. Learning more about the material choices can give you the information that you need to make the best choice for you, your budget, and your home.

Faux Wood Shutters

Faux wood shutters are one choice that you may want to consider. Faux wood is not real wood, but it has the same look and texture of real wood. This gives you added benefit, especially when used outside, because wood does not hold up well to rain and other environmental conditions. Many things are found made of faux wood, including shutters and replacement doors.

Faux wood shutters are actually made of a very strong plastic material called polyurethane. This material is compressed and man-made to be very consistent in design and color for the best look for your home. This is an excellent benefit in shutter construction, because many times the shutters have to be cut to fit a specific window and in faux wood shutters they can be cut and will still be the same color and material all the way through, so nothing further will need to be done. This is unlike wood, in which the cut edge would have to be painted or stained to match the rest of the shutter.

Other Benefits of Faux Wood

The benefits of faux wood are numerous. Real wood is very susceptible to moisture and temperature. These conditions can cause the wood to rot, expand, and warp. Faux wood is great with weather conditions, because they do not affect the faux wood. It stays the same color and shape no matter what it comes into contact with. Faux wood can also be easily washed with water and detergent to keep it looking as beautiful as the first day.

You can use faux wood shutters inside your home instead of insulated drapes to frame windows or outside the home. They are a wonderful choice for any window, because they are fade-resistant and easy to care for and keep clean. They can be used inside the home with window coverings or in place of window coverings, whichever you prefer.

Faux wood shutters can add new life to the outside or inside of your home. With their durable construction and easy maintenance, you will be well on your way to having a beautiful home that will stand the test of time.

Plantation Shutters - Choosing Between Traditional Wood and Hi-Tech Polycore Shutters


There are several factors that determine the functionality and the aesthetic quality of interior shutters for your windows which will make them stand out as an attractive feature of your room. These window shutters will have three modes of operation: shutter slats fully open to allow in maximum light; slats fully closed to prevent light from coming in; and with the louvers partially open to restrict and control the exterior light and view to the desired level.
In many ways the most important of these three is in the fully open mode. From the functionality point of view, the louver or shutter slat width largely determines the amount of light coming in and the ability to see outside. The thinner the louver, the more light can come in and the better the view. This thickness is determined by the strength of the material that the shutters are made of. For example blinds can be angled so that one can obtain a good view; but they lack real strength and are less aesthetically pleasing. Similarly one can obtain several types of polymer fabricated interior window shutters, but some of these have both the look and feel of flimsiness as well as plasticity. This lack of structural strength prevents the thinner, more elegant appearance that most people prefer.
There are two good options you could go for, the more traditional wood shutters or the Polycore shutters which use a new breakthrough technology of polymer construction with a metal core for the additional strength required to operate effectively. Both are elegant, aesthetically pleasing and operate smoothly -- they do their job and look good! As to which to choose, it really is up to one's own preference. Wood certainly provides the more natural and traditional look of plantation shutters. The Polycore shutters don't have such a wide range of colors, generally only coming in white, off-white and cream. However, they are well-designed and stylish as well as being considerably cheaper than the usually more desirable wooden plantation shutters.

Real Wood Plantation Shutters - The Top Three Myths You Need To Know


Real Wood Plantation Shutter Truths Revealed

I am constantly amazed by the amount of misinformation floating about when it comes to information about Real Wood Plantation Shutters. Bottom line; Shutters are the single hottest trend in Window Coverings today. With so much concentration on this one type of Window Treatment, a number of myths have developed to better position some sellers of Shutters when it comes to price, delivery time, and product benefits. It's not that every decorator is passing on bad information knowingly, it is a simple fact that some of the myths are so prevalent in the industry the even the decorators themselves don't know the correct information.

Want to learn more? Keep reading...

Myth #1 - Real Wood Plantation Shutters are not as strong & durable as many manmade material shutters.

Simply not true. In fact, Real Wood Shutters have something Mother Nature can make and man has tried to duplicate for years, but hasn't perfected. Mother nature still holds the trump card when it comes down to the raw materials that go into Real Wood Shutters. The fibrous nature of wood acts, at the microscopic level, like millions of layers of interconnected individual fibers pushing and pulling on each other to maintain their originally grown shape and direction. For this simple reason, most shutter manufacturers only make wide panels (over 24 inches) and / or specialty shapes like arched top panels in real wood only. If you have extra wide windows and want to minimize the number of shutters panels required to cover the window, Real Wood Shutters are exactly what you want.

Myth #2 - Real Wood Plantation Shutters take too long to build making them impractical.

Again, not true. With the advent of pre-primed and sanded wood materials that go into an assembled Wood Shutter, production time is typically only a few days more than manmade material shutters. When you consider the fact that Real Wood Shutters will outlast their man-made shutter counterparts, Real Wood Shutters are custom painted so you can get them in the exact color you need, a few extra days in production goes a long way in valued added benefits.

Myth #3 - Real Wood Plantation Shutters are just too expensive.

This is the most common myth of all. Although it is true that Real Wood Plantation Shutters are slightly more expensive than manmade material shutters, you need to consider the bang for the buck you get by upgrading to Real Wood Plantation Shutters vs. manmade alternatives.

Want to know even more? Please check out my latest online article on the value added benefits of Real Wood Shutters by clicking below.

How To Choose The Best Wood For Your Indoor Window Shutters


There are many choices for wood that you can use for making window shutters but some are better than others. Let's take a look at some of the wood you probably shouldn't use before we look at the ones that are recommended.

Although oak is a very good hardwood and makes for great furniture they can present some issue when using them for shutters. For starters, oak is very heavy so oak interior shutters will add a great deal of weight to window jambs. They will also have to be pre-drilled, aren't really suitable for painting, and the louvers are prone to warping. As you can surmise, these aren't a good choice for shutters.

Like oak, maple is a very heavy wood and used often for furniture such as dining and bedroom furniture. Because it is so heavy it also requires pre-drilling of the window jambs and the louvers are difficult to tension properly.

The next area we will move into are the woods that are suitable for shutters. Poplar is moderately heavy wood and is good to use if the finished product will be painted but the green color and mineral streaks inherent in the wood do not allow for staining. Easily obtained and inexpensive, it results in a lower quality wood shutter.

Cedar is a good choice in some cases since it mills and finishes good but it is a very soft wood and is easily dented or scratched. If you are thinking of using the wood for exterior window treatments it is excellent with its resistance to bugs and decay it will last a long time with little maintenance required.

Pine is a wood that is used for many different products from building homes to the furnishings in them. It is very soft and there are many grades of pine to choose from. Still this is not at the top of my list to use for your window shutters.

The best wood in the opinion of many is basswood. The tree is found mainly on the East Coast of the North America ranging from Quebec in Canada down to Delaware and then as far west as Eastern Kentucky. The trees grow to an average height of over sixty five feet. Basswood is a managed renewable resource and the way that the trees are harvested balances growth of new trees with the removal of others for wood. The resulting shutters are extremely straight and have an indistinct grain and a uniform texture.

Basswood results in very straight shutters with a fine indistinct grain, they are easy to mount, and can be stained for a beautiful finish.

Wood Window Shutters - Time to Replace Them With Other Shutter Types


On these modern times, some home owners might think it is actually time to replace their tradition wood window shutters on their windows and install a much more modern option like the aluminum type of shutters. These are actually great in resisting the harsh elements such as water, sun and wind. Aluminum is very durable and can actually last a long time. It is indeed the right choice when wanting to replace your wood shutters.

There are other many window treatments that are worthy replacement to your wood shutters. One good replacement is the vinyl window shutters. Vinyls are easy and quick to clean, reasonably priced and can last for a long time.

Vinyl window shutters can provide your home the traditional style. They work as your shutters for years without the need to replace them. They do not weigh so much are can be had in different attractive styles such as traditional, board, louver, and batten panel. If you want to own a really good quality and great looking window shutters, you may order something that is primed and already ready for painting.

Another type that can replace your wood is the composite window shutters. These types are like thick board that is manufactured from weather and damage resistant materials. They are shaped from unique molds which offer various styles and designs such as board, louvered, raised panels and batten. These types of shutters can be found in the cupboard style wherein it is hinged on top so that it can be opened and closed similarly to the old model type wood window shutters.

PVC Or Wood Exterior Shutters


So you're interested in an exterior shutters makeover. Your current wood shutters on your house are showing signs of rot and you would like to revamp them. Every 5 or so years it seems like you go through this cycle again and again of getting them replaced and now you're contemplating on an solution. You can easily solve this problem by looking towards PVC as a viable alternative for a guaranteed no rot, virtually maintenance free shutters.

PVC shutters are quickly becoming the modern standard as a functional; guaranteed no rot alternative to wood shutters, which generally last 5 years on average. There is merely a small difference in price, the long-term payoff can be huge to you as a homeowner. The first step needed is to understand a little bit more about PVC shutters. This will help you in moving forward in finally solving your shutter problems. PVC exterior shutters requires special installation that differs from traditional wood shutters. This is partly due to the thermal nature of PVC. This material is currently being used in the industry for exterior trim applications and window boxes. Next you want to secure the shutters to the house. To do this, you need to keep in mind that there are three important differences between PVC and wood:

1. Use vinyl safe paint

2. Use 3-4 hinges for support, not two. (Gives a more decorative look and is more historically accurate)

3. Secure with bracket at top and shutter dog on bottom for the outside portion of shutter. In addition, we place a 2" x 2" metal L-shaped bracket behind the top outside corner and we drill down into the side of the shutter from above and we mount the bracket directly into the brick or siding wall using a screw and an anchor.

If you follow these steps or hire a professional then you can finally enjoy maintenance free shutters that look just like wood when painted without all the worries of wood rotting.