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Shutters 101: how to choose, measure and fit

The Shutter Store 4/4/2018 12:15:55 PM Buying and Fitting Shutters, Shutter Styles

Yellow and grey living room with yellow full height shutters
Pic: The Shutter Store

Which shutter style is best for me?

To get the best shutters for any window, think about whether you want to cover the whole window or only part of it. Some rooms just need the lower part of the window to be dressed for privacy whereas, in others, covering the whole window is essential. If the whole window will be dressed, do you want a single panel from top to bottom or two rows of stacked panels you can operate independently of one another? Maybe shutters without slats are better for some rooms? Here’s the lowdown:

Full height shutters will cover the whole window. These are a great choice for every room in your home.

Tier-on-tier shutters cover the entire window as well, but the top panels are separate from the lower ones, so they can be opened independently. They’ll go anywhere, but we like them especially for living spaces. You can maximize the light coming in at the top of the window during the day with open top panels, while passers-by are prevented from looking in by lower panels left covering the window. They’re good for bedrooms, too, letting in light from above while maintaining privacy.

Café-style shutters cover the lower part of the window only, leaving the top undressed. They’re sometimes called half-height shutters, but they don’t have to come halfway up, and generally look best if they’re aligned with a glazing bar, which could even be three-quarters of the way up the window. Try these for a space that’s not overlooked, or team them with drapes in a living room.

Solid shutters don’t have louvres. They’re a good choice for a black-out effect in a bedroom or kid’s room, or for enhanced insulation or security. They’re also perfect for fans of traditional style décor.

Half-solid shutters have a solid lower panel and a louvered upper half, and are especially good for French windows, providing security, but allowing light adjustment through the top half.

Can I hang shutters on attic windows and shaped windows?

All our shutters are custom made to fit your windows beautifully – and that goes for bay windows, shapes such as arched or round, and attic windows, too. Like all our louvered shutters, attic shutters will maximize light, and control the sunlight reaching the room to help keep it at the right temperature year-round.

Grey bed with colourful bedding and white shutters
Pic: The Shutter Store

What type of shutters should I choose: wood or polyvinyl?

Both are great choices. Polyvinyl shutters look like wood and ours – which have an aluminum core – are tough and stable. They’ll give you a lot of bang for your buck. Waterproof, they’ll stand up to life in a kitchen or bathroom.

If you prefer a natural material, we offer two wooden shutter types to select from. Classic poplar hardwood is solid wood with a smooth finish. Premium elm shutters are our top-quality shutters. They have an attractive grain you can see and feel. All our wooden shutters can be stained to enhance the wood’s characteristics or painted to complement the room scheme.

Blue and white office with blue shutters
Pic: The Shutter Store

How do I measure for shutters?

To measure a window for shutters correctly, you first need to look at what type it is:

Does it have a recess? If so, your shutters will come with an inside mount fixing. With recessed windows, the shutters can be installed at the front of the recess, so the panels will fold back 180º or they can be positioned against the glass of the window.

Windows that aren’t recessed need an outside mount fixing. Outside mount shutters can be installed on the wall or doors, or on top of existing trim.

Got a bay window? Decide whether it’s a three-section bay with a central window and an angled window at each side. Or it might be a box bay window with the two side windows at 90º to the main window. Alternatively, it could be a curved bay. These often have six windows around the curve of the bay, but there may be three, four, five or seven.

Once you’ve assessed the type of window, select the window type and shutter style and download the appropriate measuring guide for step-by-step instructions.

Our guides also explain about the frame (the piece that surrounds shutter panels and creates support for them), and what’s available for your style of window.

Remember, if you have any questions about measuring, we’re here to help. You can also send us a photo of your window if it’s a difficult shape, or you need more advice.

What do I need to know about slat sizes and tilt rods?

Our shutters come with a choice of slat sizes. Large slats look more contemporary and are great for large and tall windows. They’ll maximize the light that comes into your room. Smaller slat sizes have a more traditional look.

To operate the louvres of the shutter panels, you can choose between a front-facing tilt rod positioned centrally on the shutter panel, or a hidden rod. With the latter, moving a single slat controls all the slats in the panel because they’re internally connected. The look’s more contemporary as well.

Navy and white dining room with wooden café style shutters
Pic: The Shutter Store

How do I order?

Ordering is simple. We’ll take you step by step through the process, where you’ll be able to specify shutter style, what they’re made from, choose the number of shutter panels, the size of slats, the type of tilt rod, the color and finish including hinge color, and the mount and frame type in just four easy steps.

How long do I have to wait for my shutters?

Once we’ve confirmed your order by phone, the standard dispatch time for custom-made shutters is around five to six weeks. If we’re making a special shape shutter for you, the average dispatch time is seven to eight weeks.

Need shutters in a hurry? We have an express delivery service for our American polyvinyl shutters, which will be dispatched in one to two weeks after phone confirmation of your order, and for our American hardwood shutters, which will take around three to four weeks after phone confirmation.

How do I install them?

Installing our shutters is easy – even for those who aren’t habitual home improvers. Most of our customers take just 60 minutes to fit their shutters. Follow our step-by-step guide according to window type and your shutters will be up in no time. Got a question? We’re here to help.