Window treatments can make your home feel cozy and compliment the decor. While most people think of window treatments like blinds, shades, and curtains, you can also consider plantation shutters. Before committing to the cost of installation, there are some things to consider.
What do you need to consider before purchasing plantation shutters for your home? Before you order your shutters, consider:
- Slat Size
- Cost and Warranty
In this article, you will learn about four different factors and ultimately determine whether or not plantation shutters are right for your home.
Where Do Plantation Shutters Get Their Name?
Plantation shutters are a common name for wood or faux wood shutters. These window treatments are permanent fixtures in your home and can help with insulating your residence.
They get their name from the look that harkens back to shutters found on the old antebellum plantations common in the United States' southeastern area. With that said, today’s shutters offer more flexibility than ever. From light and UV control to wide-open views, plantation shutters are versatile and look beautiful in any decor.
What Are the Slat Size Options?
Slats on plantation shutters are also referred to as louvers. The slat size you choose will ultimately depend on what type of style you want in your home. Do you want the shutters to look more traditional or more contemporary? The available options will also depend on the windows' overall size, as it will determine the shutters' overall size.
For slat width, there are five sizes from which to choose:
- 1 7/8 inch
- 2 ½ inch
- 3 inches
- 3 ½ inches
- 4 ½ inches
The larger slat size offers the best view to the outside, however, 3 ½” slats are the most common, and 2 ½” slats are typically seen in older, traditional bungalows and historic homes.
What Material Options Are Available?
There are three different materials used to manufacture plantation shutters. According to diynetwork.com, the most common materials include solid wood, composite, and vinyl.
These shutters do not contain wood but may have aluminum or PVC inside that works as a support structure. Vinyl shutters do come with drawbacks. Structural issues plague the larger shutters and the vinyl material is known for yellowing and cracking over time.
Composite shutters have become the best option for most homeowners. They offer you the look and feel of real wood at a significantly reduced price. These shutters are made of medium-density fiberboard that is coated with a polypropylene wrap. Typically they offer a Lifetime Guarantee against peeling, warping, cracking, and yellowing, which makes them an ideal window treatment for Florida homes.
Wood plantation shutters are the most expensive of the three options. While you can manufacture these shutters from several types of wood, the best is arguably basswood. Basswood has a high strength-to-weight ratio, meaning that it is extraordinarily strong despite being a lightweight wood.
You can choose to have wood shutters painted or stained in any color and be made to fit custom windows. Unlike Vinyl and composite shutters, wood shutters can be made to fit specialty shapes such as arched windows, triangles, and more.
What Upgrades Should You Consider?
While all shutters have standard fixtures such as tilts and hinges, there are some things you can customize to make the shutters fit your personal style and decor.
Traditional plantation shutters have vertical tilt rods that open and close the slats. Hidden tilts, which moved the rod to the back of the louvers, has now been replaced by Invisible Tilts. These tilts use a gear driven system, allowing for the rod to be eliminated and offers a wide-open view.
For larger windows, you may consider divider rails or split tilts. Both options allow you to control the upper and lower slats on the shutters separately. These features comes in handy if you want to close the top portion and open the bottom during the early morning hours.
All true plantation shutters come with hinges that allow you to open and close the shutters as you desire. Upgraded hinges allow you to match the hinges to other hardware in your home. White hinges that match the shutters are by far the most popular and add to the beauty of the shutters.
Frames and Mounts
Like with hinges, there are many frame options available from crown molded to flat shaker and many in between. This allows you to match the style of your home with ease.
What Affects the Cost and Is There a Return on Your Investment?
Plantation shutters can be costly, especially if you go with a solid wood design. That is why Composite shutters have become a great alternative, offering a lower price point without giving up the quality and look you want. You can easily find out if shutters will fit your budget by measuring the width and height of your windows, before reaching out to a professional window treatment company.
Unlike other window treatments, plantation shutters can affect the overall worth of your home. Blinds, shades, and curtains are not considered permanent fixtures. If you were to sell your property, it would be easy to remove them and take them with you. However, because plantation shutters are installed on the home, they are considered permanent fixtures. Because of this, shutters are tax-free in Florida and therefore will add considerable resale value to your home. To learn more about the resale value of plantation shutters, check out How Plantation Shutters Add Value to a Home.
Plantation shutters are a fantastic way to update your home's look and add functionality to your window treatments. By understanding the slat sizes, materials, upgrades, and costs, you can decide what type of plantation shutters are best for your home.