Brief each Sales Representative to quote on the same shutters:
You can only truly compare quotes if the suppliers are quoting to produce the same type of shutter(s). So, to find the best supplier ensure you can compare “like with like”.
Choose the type of shutter you want for each opening and then ask each supplier to quote on the same material and hinges or tracking. For example, if a window is quoted by one supplier to be covered in a shutter made of solid Western Red Cedar with chrome on brass hinges, make sure the next supplier quotes for solid Western Red Cedar with chrome on brass hinges.
Another situation to avoid, is letting one supplier quote a Venetian for a particular window, while another supplier quotes that same window with a shutter!
Ask that each opening be itemised on the quote so you can compare each item fairly.
Items that need to be specified for each shutter quote:
1. Base shutter material
- Western Red Cedar
- Fast grown woods (eg Basswood)
- Timber - MDF or composite wood, made from glued sawdust or wood waste (eg. 'Craftwood', 'Customcraft')
- Laminated & Jointed Wood Off Cuts
years whereas synthetics may not. However, synthetic shutters must remain supported in the opening (except when cleaning) otherwise as time passes they will sag. See the different features of materials used for shutters.
2. Finish to be put on the shutter
- Clear finish
- Painted colours
- Powder coated (aluminium only)
- No finish required
Some wood products may need recoating, so at this time make sure it will be possible to have the manufacturer recoat at a later date.
3. Number of panels per opening (design and function)
What the supplier recommends to you in this part of the quote is very important. There are so many combinations and options and just one will be best for each opening.
The types of shutter movement recommended for you in your quote will be one or a combination of:
- Bifolding – two panels will be connected together and hinged to the opening at one side. You will be able to fold them together and open them as a unit.
- Sliding – panels will slide on tracks. Good for small rooms or large glass areas
- Hinged – panels will be single units hinged to the opening.
- Tracked bifolding panels – two or more panels that can fold on top of each other and slide on a track. Good for large sets of French doors.
- Fixed panels – you will not be able to move the panel at all- not recommended. Make sure the shutter will be fully moveable so you can clean the window from time to time.
4. Hinges or tracking hardware (in order of value):
- Stainless steel (various grading available, if in seaside locations ask for marine grade to maximise lifespan)
- Steel coated with brass (Electro brass) will not wear as well as brass
- Powdercoated/painted Steel
- Stainless steel or aluminium
- Anodised or powder coated steel
- Galvanised steel
- Painted steel
5. Tilt mechanism options
- Rod attached down the centre of each shutter panel –this gives a very traditional look, however the rod is the weak link in the shutter because it is tacked on and can come loose with use.
- Semi concealed tilt rod – A strong aluminium device which is cleverly concealed to the rear of the blades and allows blade movement, whilst providing an uninterrupted view.
- Fully concealed tilt rod – only available in some shutter styles
Check your quote contains the price of installation. You need to know the cost of this labour up front and some retailers leave it off so they seem cheaper. Also, if the installation is too cheap, question it. The installer should have cabinet making skills if the job is to be done properly.
Make sure this is included in the quote because some retailers leave it off so they seem cheaper.
8. Retail Terms of Trade and Contract
Ask for the retailer to outline how the job will be run and how long it will all take and any inclusions or exclusions of which you should be aware. If there is a contract, read and understand the fine print.