13 Mar 2013
Installing shutters in your home is a good investment because they’re considered a fixture that adds financial value to your property.
But just like all good investments, it takes more than money to reap great rewards.
Investing your time in the research and careful consideration of key practical and design issues is important.
Karina Palmer from American Shutters shares a few tips on what to look for in shutters...
Do you want to install shutters on all your windows and doors, or only in some rooms or specific openings?
Are they to be installed inside or outside the windows and doors?
Palmers says it‘s important to consider the location of the property before making your decision.
She says homes that are on or near the coast require specific shutters which are hardwearing, easy to use, easy to clean, steam and sun resistant.
These qualities also make them ideal for use in bathrooms and kitchens, she says.
Function and form
What is your primarily objective for installing shutters? Is it purely for their design value or is it more specific – is it for privacy, security, light and ventilation control, sound or thermal insulation or to divide an open plan area when required.
Palmer says security shutters are ideal alternatives to unattractive security gates and burglar bars.
She says security shutters that are made from aluminium with adjustable louvers, that are reinforced with steel rods and have a spring-loaded bolt system and key-lock are ideal.
If privacy and light-control are a concern, then it is vital to ensure thattimber frames are manufactured to overlap one another to achieve maximum privacy and improved light block-out.
To determine what type of shutters will work best in your space analyse the architectural and interior design layout of the room.
Consider the impact the shutters will have on the space when open and closed. Ask yourself is there enough space to stack bi-fold shutters, swing open hinged shutters or is there enough space on the side of the opening to accommodate by-pass shutters in order to avoid taking window or door space.
Once the type of shutters has been decided upon there are further choices to make such as the number of panels and more practical issues such as material, finish, colour and additional features.
While the current furniture and accessories in a space must be considered, it’s important to remember that shutters are fixtures and are therefore as important in the interior design plan as floors or light fittings.
Homeowners can now find the widest range of materials, finishes and features on the market - from a selection of materials and timber, frame choices, louvre size and tilt rods.
Palmer says opting for a secret tilt rod ensures clean lines and works well in contemporary design.
Here is a checklist to use when deciding on a company to manufacture and install your shutters.
1. What is the company’s track record? How long have they been operating, do they have an impressive portfolio of projects?
2. What guarantees or warranties do they offer and are they established and stable enough to honour that warranty in the future?
3. Are they specialists in shutters with experience in handling challenging designs and installations?
4. Do they have a wide range of shutter types and finishes such as colour, frames, louvre sizes and tilt rod position?
5. Can they customise according to your unique needs?
6. How ‘green’ is the manufacturer and their products?
7. What timber is being used in the manufacture and how is it treated and manufactured to protect against warping and beetle borer etc.
8. Are they able to offer value-add advice?
9. Can they manufacture specific ranges for installation in unusual shaped openings such as arches, triangles and portholes?
It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of having made the decision to install shutters in your home, but it pays to ask the right questions for the right results.
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