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Can Plantation Shutters Be Repaired?

Plantation Shutter Installation

You love the look of plantation shutters, as their wide louvers let in light in greater quantities than your old shutters. The other day, though, you had a problem. The hinge on your shutters didn’t want to budge, or perhaps the shutters wouldn’t open or close all the way. With your shutters left unusable, you wonder what your options are. Can you repair them, or do you need to get them replaced?

You can get plantation shutters repaired, be that on your own or through a professional repairperson. Minor problems such as  loose screws or worn-down pieces are small enough projects to do in an afternoon, but for more severe damages, it’s better to let a professional assess the shutters.

In this article, we’ll talk about all the issues that can afflict your plantation shutters and how much money repairs may cost. We’ll even give you some tips for prolonging the life of your shutters, so they can continue to beautify your home for years to come. You won’t want to miss it!

How Do Plantation Shutters Break?

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are much more complex than your average set of shutters. Each shutter panel has a top rail, louvers or slats, a tilt rod, a midrail, the hinge mortise on the side, tension screws beneath that, stiles on either side, and a bottom rail. This is all attached to a frame or hang strip.

In other words, there’s a lot that can go wrong with each of your shutters. Here are several issues plantation shutter owners should keep an eye out for.

Shutter Panel or Frame Breakage

Any of the panels that comprise your plantation shutters can break, as can the frame that holds each panel together. These are considered more severe issues that don’t happen through everyday use. It might take a particularly rough storm or serious interior damage for your shutters to break to this degree.

Louvers Fail to Stay Open

You open the louvers on a bright, sunny day. Then you walk into another room. Two minutes later when you come back in, the louvers are closed. You didn’t do it, so who did? No one. The louvers closed by themselves because their tension loosened.

By tightening the tension screws, typically with a Phillips head screwdriver, the louvers should now be able to stay open when you set them that way.

Magnet Damage

Each shutter frame has an internal magnet designed to hold the shutters together when you close them. These magnets are set in a box, made of plastic that safeguards them. However, the plastic can wear down with enough UV exposure, although this shouldn’t happen for a few years. When it does, you either need a new plastic casing or even a new magnet in some instances.

Louvers Are Misaligned

The louvers are supposed to be evenly spaced from one another. When you first bought your plantation shutters, the louvers were that way, but lately, a few overlap or hang loose. This can happen if you have children who play with the shutters like toys.

Each louver has a spring-loaded louver pin made of plastic. These pins slide right into the stiles’ holes, and thus your louvers stay in place. Missing pins can cause your louvers to go slack, as can the pins being moved from the holes.

Louver Breakage

If your pet gets too close to your plantation shutters, they could break the louvers, as could curious young children. In most cases, if the damage is extensive, the louver has to be replaced entirely rather than be repaired.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Plantation Shutters?

Plantation Shutters

One or more of the problems above are ruining the look of your plantation shutters. You don’t want to wait another day to get the issue ameliorated, but how much is a repair job going to cost you?

We’ll talk more in the next section about whether you should work with a pro or fix the shutters yourself, but in this scenario, let’s imagine that you did call in the professionals. According toHome Advisor, the average cost for plantation shutter repair is between $123 to $346. The national average is $233.00.

There are several factors that can influence this price, driving it higher or lower. Let’s discuss these factors now.

Extent of the Damage

An overlapped louver is typically easy-peasy to fix, but if there’s frame damage, that’s a more involved job. The quicker your shutter repairperson is in and out, the less money the repairs will probably cost you.

Your Location

Where you live can also play a role in how much you’ll pay for plantation shutter repair. Using Home Advisor, let’s compare prices for a New York home with plantation shutters versus one in Tampa.

In the heart of New York City, the state average for shutter repairs is $609. Also, the project range is between $306 and $912. That’s way higher than the average prices above.

Considering you live in Tampa, the state average is lower at $226. You can get away with much cheaper plantation shutter repairs, as they’re priced between $132 and $399.

Shutter Material

Plastic, metal, and vinyl plantation shutters are generally the simplest to repair. That said, sometimes they’re costlier than wood shutters, although that will depend on the type of wood used to manufacture your shutters.

Shutter Color

Did you get your shutters painted a certain color that’s not so easy to find? This can come back to bite you if the shutters need repairs. The time your repairperson needs to take to get the color to match your other shutters will likely increase the project cost.

Can You Repair Your Own Plantation Shutters or Should You Let the Pros Do It?

Plantation Shutters

Now comes the big question that’s probably been on your mind for a while. Should you take care of plantation shutter repair yourself or call a professional repairperson to the house to do it?

The answer will depend on what’s wrong with your shutters. If you have severe damage, such as a broken frame or shutter panel, these are jobs that only a professional should tackle. Given the importance of the shutter frames, you don’t want to accidentally make the problem worse by tinkering around.

If the louvers won’t stay open, you can often fix that yourself. You can even take care of replacing the magnet or its plastic casing if you’re feeling particularly handy. Louver pin work should be handled by professionals though, especially if your pins are gone.

You might guess which pins you need and order them online, but if they’re not the right fit, the issue goes unfixed. A pro can bring in the correct pins the first time, getting your plantation shutters in running order much faster.

What if the louvers are broken? Like structural damage to the shutter panel or the frame, this is a job for your repairperson. As we mentioned earlier in the article, broken louvers are often better off being replaced than repaired, and your repair team can quickly get you new louvers that will match your old ones.

Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutters

Whether it was a small job you could do yourself or a bigger one that the pros had to handle, your plantation shutters are fixed and now look better than ever. You’d like to keep them in working order for a long time to come.

The following tips will help you do just that.

Check the Louver Tension Screws Every Now and Again

To prevent your louvers from getting loose and floppy, take a look at the tension screws every couple of months. If they seem loose, tighten them back up before they become problematic. Don’t keep tightening the screws if they’re already pretty tight, as that’s a good way to strip them. Then the screws are useless.

Use Your Plantation Shutters Properly

If you reach for the tilt rod to open your shutters, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, you should gently hold the louvers, tilt them, then grab the panel’s stile to pull the shutters open.

Clean with a Feather Duster

Feather dusters and soft cloths are best for dusting your shutters, which you should do on a monthly basis. If an area is particularly dirty and the feather duster didn’t clean it well,  try wetting a cloth and rubbing the area firmly yet gently. Do make sure you dry the louver afterward, especially before closing it.


Plantation shutters have many components.  If these components malfunction, you can get them fixed in most instances. The exceptions include lost parts and major structural damage to the louvers or to the shutter frame. Those exceptions will require replacements.

Choosing between fixing the shutters yourself or letting the pros do it should be determined by the extent of the repairs. Best of luck and enjoy your newly repaired plantation shutters!