Parts of a shutter

The basic unit of every shutter is the panel. A panel is made up of blades (also known as louvres). The blades are held in place by the top and bottom rails and side stiles connected by a metal strip (semi-concealed tilt rod). The metal strip controls uniform movement of the blades and gives an uninterrupted view through the blades when they are open.

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“Custom made” shutters vs “custom shutters”

(i.e. customised). Be aware!

There are two different approaches to making shutters in the marketplace today. You must be careful to check which one you are paying for because one type is inferior and should therefore be much cheaper than the other.

“Custom shutters” which usually means customised shutters

A company may claim to be selling “custom shutters” which is a weasel word for compromising on quality by taking a pre-built, standard size shutter and cutting it down (customising) till it can be slotted into your window with some filler panels or hanging strips. This usually results in a poorly fitting shutter. Most shutters sold in Australia today are pre-made in China and cut down to fit your opening.

“Custom made” shutters

These are the best choice for a beautiful and enduring shutter, because every part of the shutter is measured and specially made to within a millimetre fit for each individual window, a truly bespoke product. The result is an attractively proportioned shutter with good insulation and long term value. We recommend you check carefully that you are not buying “customised” pre-built shutters. While most retailers sell product made in China, architects and designers are more likely to seek a local shutter specialist that can custom manufacture to your needs.

How shutters are fixed in place

Shutters are fixed to openings in two different ways, depending on whether the opening has an exisitng frame to attach them to or not.

Window/opening with existing frame:

The opening is measured, number and style of panels is selected and the shutters are ordered for installation onto the exisiting frame. For best results, use a non-mortice hinge to fix the panel onto the existing frame. (This saves cutting into your existing woodwork.)

Window/opening without a frame:

For these windows, a joinery frame must be specially made up and fitted inside the opening. The panels are designed to attach to the frame.

See an example of how NOT to install shutters here >>

How shutters are built to open and close

Shutters are installed with fittings so they can be opened and shut easily. Depending on the way the shutter is to work, these will be one or a combination of the following:

  • Hinged
  • Sliding
  • Bi-folding
  • Tracked bifold
  • The quality of these fittings is very important if you want years of trouble free use.