White window shutters have been fashionable window furnishings for the past 10 years. We have embraced the minimalist look and the relaxed mood of shutters. They are a high ticket item and a long term investment.
Most shutters sold are white and are not all made from top grade timbers as they used to be. Today they are available in:
All white shutters look alike, so how do we know whats the best to choose.
This is best for outside for shading on the outside of windows or privacy for outdoor rooms. When a high quality powdercoat finish is used these will last up to 10 years. They need to be kept clean to get the best life span. Aluminium is not suitable inside windows for reducing heat as aluminium is a good conductor of heat. I don't classify this as a green product because it uses a lot of energy to produce and is not biodegradable.
These are a cheap alternative and are best used in small openings as they are very flexible. Material is thermoplastic and will be affected by high temperatures. The material carries upto a 25 year warranty, but this does not warranty against manufacturing faults, but simply that the plastic will not rot or otherwise breakdown. I don't classify this as a green product because it uses a lot of energy to produce and is not biodegradable.
These products use cheap materials. The finished product looks good and is very economical but be aware beauty may only be skin deep. There is no knowing what is under the paint - what timbers have been glued together, are there cracks and splits, what glues have been used? Thick primer/undercoats are used to cover the timber variations, fill joints, cracks, splits, gum veins and knots. Then a lusturous final coat gives the look of a fine crafted product. I have serious questions about using a product with so many unknown variables in my home.
Traditionally this material is used for cupboard doors. It is heavy, not very stong and will absorb moisture. There are controls on Australian produced material as far as toxic glues and additives are concerned, but these controls are not implemented overseas. This should make for cheap shutters, and there is every chance they will need to be replaced sooner than plastic, aluminium or solid wood.
These are often sold as premium solid timber products, painted or stained. They will insulate and you could reasonably expect them to last longer than wood composites, some plastics and laminated and jointed products. Research has not given me a lot of confidence in the management of the forests, the stability and longevity of these woods.
This is the premium material for shutters. It will last for generations, insulate, and comes from eco sustainable forests www.wrcea.com.au . This ia a beautiful timber which can be left natural, but is generally finished in fashion paint colours. Australia's leading manufacturers use this as their prefered timber. Do not confuse these productes with laminated or engineered cedar products.
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
2. Finish to be put on the shutter
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:
4. Hinges or tracking hardware (in order of value):
5. Tilt mechanism options
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.