Plantation shutters are an outstanding addition to your home, giving a classic, timeless look. They’re also ideal for keeping the weather at bay, the sun out in summer and the warmth inside during the winter. But before you go all in and buy new plantation shutters, there are a few things you should consider first. Read on to learn more in this guide for Atlanta plantation shutter buyers.
1. You can change the entire look with different louver sizes
Plantation shutters are available in three different louver sizes; 2½-inch, 3½-inch and 4½-inch. The size you select can change the entire look of your windows and is something you need to consider carefully. 3½-inch louvers are the most popular as they provide a balanced appearance on most windows. The larger the louver, the fewer cracks there are for light to creep through, but if they’re too big it will look off-balance with only a few louvers.
2½-inch louvers are ideal for small windows so may suit older styles of home and vintage buildings with their much smaller windows. Finally, 4½-inch louvers are perfect for large, tall windows and will provide a more open view, so they’re an excellent choice if you have a view that you want to see or a room that needs a lot of light. Talk to your Atlanta plantation shutter installer about the best option for your home.
2. Choosing the right materials makes a big difference
Most traditional plantation shutters are made from wood, but there are some circumstances where this might not be suitable. For example, moisture can warp and damage wooden plantation shutters, so fitting them in a bathroom, kitchen, loft or garage is not the best choice. Instead, there are more robust materials you can use, including:
- Polyresin 3®. This is a type of plastic that, unlike many plastics, will not lose its color during prolonged exposure to sunlight. Shutters made from this material won’t warp, shrink, fade or peel and you won’t ever need to paint them.
- Paulownia wood. As well as being a robust, fine-grained timber, this wood is beneficial for the environment. It absorbs far more carbon than most trees during its life, and the tree will even regrow from the stump once it’s been cut.
- Basswood. An American hardwood that’s ideal for hand carving, basswood remains stiff after it’s been dried and remains very stable during its lifetime as your shutter. Its pale texture and fine grain also make it ideal for painting.
3. You can make big changes to the look with small upgrades
Although it might seem like a simple picture, there are many upgrades you can add to your plantation shutter. You can add hidden hinges, shutter locks, shutter pulls and more to attain the look and functionality that suits you best. Extra fittings come in a modern-looking brushed nickel finish and each one is usually relatively inexpensive. For example, if you have kids, you might want to add shutter locks to keep out prying small fingers. Hidden hinges can add a more contemporary look. Take the time to talk to your installer before you order and see exactly what’s available and how it will impact the overall look and functionality.
4. Professional installation matters — and here’s why
Plantation shutters are a significant investment, and you might be tempted to do some DIY installation to save a few bucks. However, there are a few reasons this is a bad idea. Firstly, you might void the manufacturer’s warranty; professional installers pay attention to every detail, and this is essential. Improperly installed plantation shutters might be prone to warping if they are not fitted true and square, as hinges can become pinched and extra stress will be placed on the shutter panels and louvers.
Remember that your plantation shutters will be covered by lengthy warranties and, if correctly installed, will last anywhere between 25 and 50 years. So hiring factory-certified installers is a small price to pay over having to replace warped and damaged plantation shutters after only a few years.
5. Consider motorized plantation shutters
Traditional plantation shutters can be fiddly to open and close and it might even take a bit of effort. But maybe that’s a small price to pay for something that looks authentic and classic. Motorized shutters used to be clunky affairs and quite noisy, as well as being expensive and difficult to install. However, advances in technology have made them much more accessible, quieter and easier to control. Battery technology has also moved on so that they last much longer on a single charge.
You will also be amazed at the level of control you can have over your motors. You can program them to open at certain times of the day, respond to light levels outside and react to temperature changes. If the hot sun is shining through your windows, plantation shutters that close automatically can save your carpets and furnishings from damaging UV rays, as well as keep your room a bit cooler. Programming is straightforward, with a remote control that can control one shutter or all of them with equal ease.
6. Plantation shutters are simple to clean and can keep allergies at bay
Drapes and Venetian blinds are two of the most common methods of controlling the light coming into your home. However, they both have one big disadvantage in common; they are not easy to clean, and they hold onto a lot of dust. If someone in your household suffers from allergies, this can be a major disadvantage, as that dust is certain to blow around your home and be breathed in.
On the other hand, plantation shutters are incredibly easy to clean, especially if you have the largest 4½-inch louvers. You can run a feather duster along the louvers in the open and closed positions for a quick clean. Alternatively, use a cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, but avoid polyester cloths as they can attract more dust. If there are some particularly tough stains, use a damp cloth. However, you should never immerse your shutters in water or use strong chemical cleaners as this can cause the wood to warp.
7. Plantation shutters appear on your home appraisal as a hard fixture upgrade
When fitting plantation shutters, you might only be thinking of their utility and visual improvement as something to improve your own day-to-day life. However, most of us move home several times during our lives, so any permanent changes to your home should be done with an eye toward how they will affect the future price of your property.
Fortunately, plantation shutters are an excellent investment in both regards. When realtors appraise your property, plantation shutters are the only window covering that they will include on their report. Quality plantation shutters that are correctly installed with a full warranty can actually add to the value of your property and help you get the asking price more quickly when it does come to the time to sell up.
8. Check your estimates to ensure you get quality plantation shutters at a good price
When you do a search, you will find plenty of Atlanta plantation shutter installers, and it can be difficult to know which to choose. Not all installers are reputable, and not all will be factory-certified. So you need to choose one that offers value for money, quality plantation shutters and the assurance that your investment is safely covered by a warranty for years to come.
First, do some research. Check companies for positive reviews on independent websites such as Yelp or Google. This should narrow down your choices and rule out the more disreputable companies. If you find a make of plantation shutters, you can then check to see that they are factory-certified to install them. There should be a certificate on the installer’s website which you can check with the manufacturer. Next, it’s time to get your estimate. This shutter cost calculator from HomeWyse can give you an indication of a fair price for your area to compare your estimate against.
9. Know what you’re getting — manufacture quality of plantation shutters varies a lot
Plantation shutters are made to varying levels of quality in locations worldwide, from here in Atlanta, to American factories across the 50 states, to factories overseas. So, when buying your shutters, it’s best to know how and where they are manufactured and what materials are used.
When ordering, ask how your plantation shutters are made; do they use dowels or mortise and tenon joints? How is the wood cured? Different wood curing treatments lead to massively different outcomes and can affect how long your shutters will last. The paint and finish options are also crucial in determining how long they will last.
Often, shutters made in overseas factories are made to standard sizes and may not work well with your windows, especially if you own an older property. At Peachtree Blinds of Atlanta, we custom make all our plantation shutters here in Georgia, made to measure to fit your windows perfectly.
10. Hidden tilt or invisible tilt?
The tilt rod is the part of your plantation shutter that enables your louvers to move in unison, and there are two ways to remove it. The first is an established, traditional method known as hidden tilt. The hidden tilt rod has a steel connector on the street side of the connector which is very thin and barely visible, no matter which side you look from. This is attached to each louver by a small steel screw so that all the slats move when you move one.
The hidden tilt system has been around for a long time, but premium plantation shutter manufacturers have begun using a new upgrade in recent years. The invisible tilt moves the louvers using an internal gear and completely removes all rods from view. It’s a very reliable system that provides a sleek modern look and can be incorporated into a broad range of designs.
11. Which rooms are you covering?
Each room of your home may require a different approach when it comes to letting in light. As mentioned earlier, bathrooms and kitchens will require a material that can resist moisture adequately. But there are other considerations, too; for example, you might want to choose smaller louver sizes in more intimate rooms such as your bedrooms, while having larger ones in an open living room where you want more light.
Of course, the decor in some rooms might not fit with the look of plantation shutters. For example, if you have a sliding glass door, blinds will fit better. And if you want a softer, more diffuse light effect, some elegant shades might do the trick. Before you consider all these options, you also need to think about how it will look from the outside; some windows with plantation shutters and some without may give your home an unbalanced look that’s unpleasing to the eye.
Peachtree Blinds Atlanta for Top Quality Plantation Shutters
Top-quality plantation blinds are a real investment in your home that can complete the look you want and give a boost to its valuation on sale. Now you’re armed with all the information to make an informed choice when purchasing them, it’s time to consider a reputable, experienced company to supply and fit them for you.
At Peachtree Blinds, we provide plantation shutters that are custom designed and made to fit your windows perfectly and fit the look that you want for your home. We use the finest grade, kiln-dried and seasoned hardwoods that can be stained or painted in any color you choose to match your decor. Alternatively, we can supply premium poly shutters that are more moisture-resistant and can be painted any color. So look no further; you’ve already found the best place in Atlanta to buy plantation shutters. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.