Where to begin when considering interior shutters?
So, you have decided you want to use interior plantation shutters in your windows. But how do you decide which product is best for your very own situation? How do I sort thru all the information and recommendations I get about all the various shutter type products and options?
1. Gather information and ideas. If you are reading these lines, then I am assuming you are already pursuing what would be my first suggestion, and obviously, the internet, is a great place to start. Talking to neighbors and friends will also increase your knowledge and awareness of shutters. People who already have window shutters can certainly provide a honest and unbiased view of shutter products and the companies that sell and install them, so I really think that is a good use of time. Box stores and show rooms that have window treatments are also good sources of information, but you are much more likely to get a trained response, and often the salesperson has never owned or operated shutters. I am not saying to avoid them as I find most salespeople are honest and try to be helpful, it is just they are limited sometimes by their lack of experience
2. I think the next biggest consideration is to decide just what you want from your shutters. That sounds simple, but it surprising how easy it is to just focus on one area and to overlook the rest. We see this often as we ask questions of customers while we are designing their shutters, based on their needs, wants and expectations. The best way to consider what you want, is to consider the choices and the questions regarding options and then to simply answer those questions.
Color, louver size, using a midrail, tilt-rod or open view panels, framing choices, number of panels per window, hinge finish and method of installation are probably the minimum questions we ask a customer. By seeing your home and decor preferences, we can often answer these questions for you and then just get you to listen to our suggestions to see if we are in agreement. This provides you the opportunity to say if you were thinking along a different line, and to also ask why we recommend certain choices. This is where the opportunity exist to really make your interior shutters, truly custom shutters, designed and made just for your needs and taste.
The following examples are just some of the choices and options that are available to shutter customers. You can choose from different material types such as wood versus vinyl, and you can even choose from different wood species when considering a stained shutter. Then there are different louvers sizes and plus you can often choose to have 1, 2 or 4 panels per window. Frame selections are often determined by the conditions surrounding the window itself, such as the presence of casing trim, or there being no trim at all. There are many other options and selections that come into play, but I am sure you get the idea.
3. One of the largest factors in choosing window treatments is the budget you plan to be working with, and just what you would like to accomplish by spending this amount. Often the average homeowner at not be aware of current pricing and just what they can realistically expect. Try to understand that sometimes it may be possible to get the price you want, but that the product may not live up to your expectations over the years. Try to shop with value you mind, as sometimes paying a little more may get you a much better product and service.
4. Consider any obstacles that you may need to overcome and find a professional window treatment dealer that has the experience and products to overcome these hurdles. The one that we encounter the most is customers who want to buy shutters for their windows, but think they can not, because they have tilt in widows. Many times customers who call us tell us that they have been told that interior shutters can not be used. We actually find that approximately 90% of the time, we actually offer a solution that the homeowners find acceptable. Whether we use special frames, altered frames, or simply direct mounting with a reverse wrap around hinge, these solutions allow for interior shutters over tilt in windows.