The first shutters were installed in the colonial Georgian period where most houses featured the federal-style architecture. It was not until the Victorian Era that the blinds and drapes took over, leading to the fall out of shutters.
The colonial house designs re-emerged in the late 1800s, bringing back shutters. Early homes included solid-panel or board-and-batten shutters. These were used together with pricey yet fragile glass. Later on, builders started installing fixed-louver shutters which provided protection from external elements, maximized privacy, and enhanced the circulation of fresh air.
Today, shutters are continuously decreasing in numbers across the globe. The only ones that remain now are inoperable. Despite this, functional shutters still provide a number of benefits. They block excess sunlight when closed, steer away prying eyes, insulate the house during winter, and protect against heavy rains and howling winds.
Here are 10 things to do before starting your shutter design:
1. Measure your window openings
The last thing you want is to fit shutters that are either too small or too big for your window openings. The right shutter size should fir the window opening entirely. A common sight that you’ll see on some ancient houses is a slender, tall shutter weirdly installed on a large picture window. A well-sized shutter should fold neatly between the window casings and leave some room for the perimeter.
2. Don’t install them backward
In case of louvered shutters, check to see which side should face the house and which side should face away from the house. The louvers are normally designed to direct water away from the house when closed. This will only happen if they are properly installed. When opened, louvers will have their edge pointing up. When closed, they’ll be pointed downward. Check to see if your vinyl shutters and molded right. If they are, ensure that they do not get installed facing the wrong orientation.
3. Have the right hardware
Shutters that are directly mounted to the house can collect debris and water. This could accelerate their wear and tear. Ensure that you have operable hardware that is of the right quality. Such hardware provides enough space between the house and the shutters for easy maintenance and air circulation.
4. Determine minimum offset
The offset of a shutter is determined by the distance between the hinges’ mounting plate and pivot point. A large offset will result in a larger swing or throw of the hinge. This is only required for windows that are highly recessed. Such windows can be found in brick facades. To determine the minimum offset that you’ll need, measure the distance between the deepest part of the window casing to the hinge mounting surface.
5. Don’t let interference deter you
Sometimes, you may experience some interference from objects nearby as you try to install your shutters. This could result from a tight fit that won’t let the shutter fold flat. Don’t let this prevent you from fitting your shutter. Shutters that have been installed at the tightest of spots end up providing an appealing view. Where there’s less space for hinges, consider using bifold shutters.
6. Consider the hardware material
The environment in which you live may determine how long your shutter hardware lasts. In the early days, hardware was made from cast iron or wrought iron. Iron is still used widely today with powder-coated steel occasionally taking its place. If your home is close to the ocean, consider using stainless steel or bronze. The best shutters & blinds in Brisbane only function well if the accompanying hardware is of the right material.
7. Choose the style of hinges
The most popular types of hinges used today are strap hinges. Their decorative spade and bean-shaped ends make them an ideal option for many homeowners installing shutters. Another type of hinge that is frequently used is the L-shaped hinge. These work well to reinforce the shutter corners. Either type can be fitted at the rear or front of the shutter. L-shaped and strap hinges fit a pintle. Unlike their earlier counterparts, modern pintles are not simply spikes that are hammered into the framing. They feature lag-screws or flat plates that can be fitted on the window casing or into the jamb.
8. Choose the right shutter style
Your shutters must complement the architectural style of your house. There are typically three shutter styles that have been widely used across American homes. The first is the board and pattern style shutter. It’s a simple shutter design that is common in several historical buildings. Shutters here feature tightly-fitting boards that have no gaps. The second is the paneled shutter. This type provides the highest level of protection from elements and prying eyes. Hardware includes slide bolts, shutter fogs, and ring pulls. The last type is the louvered shutter. These are suitable for hotter climates and are great for air circulation. Some feature tilt rods that allow adjustment of the louvers.
9. Pick a shutter hold-open
Shutter hold opens are also referred to as dogs or tiebacks. They prevent the shutters from flapping and banging onto the window due to strong winds. They are available in different sizes and shapes and come built with different materials. Pick a shutter hold-open that matches the color and style of your window.
10. Let your shutters match your windows
Houses are built with different window styles. If your window features an archtop design, the accompanying shutters should align with this design. Choose shutters that are of the same shape and size as the window when opened and when closed.