Not all shutters are created equal

The last decade has seen shutters made overseas flood the Australian market. The prices have gone down a bit, but when I've looked closely at many of these products the quality ranges from ordinary to very poor. They may be acceptable as a mass produced commodity for a mass market, a hard alternative to soft blinds and curtains. However if you could see what lies underneath the paint of a new imported shutter, you may discover that you don't actually get what you pay for.

From Luxaflex to Norman, it appears Chinese produced shutters are pre-made to a lower standard than Australians often expect. Once you've gone to the trouble to install them, they tend to fail to stand the test of time. These photos show what is hidden under the paint of several samples of imports. Beware the inherent weaknesses and short cuts taken by many overseas manufacturers. Ask the retailer where your shutters were made – if they are Chinese, Indian or Russian you could be paying inflated margins for an inferior product.
Examine an imported shutter closely
Poor paint coverage, colour consistency, fading
This Chinese shutters is inferior
The paint didn’t last long before peeling
and bubbling
 
Faults evident when new
Paint cracking – instability/inconsistent coverage
What you don’t see matters
Underneath the paint of a Chinese shutter
   
Jointed timber off-cuts
Frames with no integrity, compromise strength
Jointed timber off-cuts
Underneath the paint of an imported shutter
   

Blades bow in a short time
Insist on solid cedar blades
Jointed timber off-cuts
Even blades have multiple finger-joints
   

Chinese “Basswood” is not 100% 
Multiple bits of different materials are seen here
Sold as "Solid timber"
As you can see, these frames aren’t cut
from one solid piece
   
 Solid” cedar on the outside
Even some natural finished cedar shutters aren't all that they seem
…is hiding laminated timber inside
If you ask for solid cedar, make sure you
are getting what you pay for

Buyers beware: just because you may be paying a lot for shutters doesn't mean you'll be happy with the end product if the installation is not up to standard. See pictures of what to avoid when installing shutters here >>