miércoles, 1 de marzo de 2017

What is a Plantation Shutter?

Plantation shutters first got their name from the old plantations in the South. The louvers used in the South were “wider” than traditional shutters and the shutters were put on the outside of the house. These were movable louvered shutters used both for decoration and protection from the elements when closed over the windows.

During the population boom in California in the 1950's, homes were built with large glass windows because thermal efficiency was not an issue. Homeowners wanted a “view” through their windows. Shutter manufacturers introduced wide louvered shutters to be installed inside the house as a window covering. These were in contrast to “traditional” shutters and the wide louvers were called “California Shutters” or “Plantation Shutters”. These Plantation Shutters allowed people to open the louvers for the “View” or close the louvers at night for privacy. It soon became obvious that a plantation shutter, when the louvers were closed, kept the heat from the sun out during the day and the use of plantation shutters grew throughout the Sun Belt to Arizona, Texas and Florida where the population was growing wild. The name “Plantation Shutter” stuck and today it generally means a wide louvered shutter used as an interior window covering.

Why a Plantation Shutter?

Characteristics of Plantation Style Shutters

The most distinctive characteristics of plantation shutters include the permanent frame around the window, and the shutter panel itself has moveable louvers inside 4 stationary sides. These solid louvers are controlled by a tilt rod—a vertical pole that moves all the louvers when you move the pole—and provide you with privacy, light, and temperature control, all the while adding a modern touch to the room.

Louver Sizes

Instead of a blind “slat,” plantation shutters have louvers that are fixed to a frame and can help block out heat or cold when closed. Plantation shutter louvers typically come in 2 sizes: 4” (the most view), 3” (traditional size). No matter what size you choose for your window, the louvers tilt easily to allow more light and view thanks to the tilt rod. Standard tilt rods are front-mounted. We also offer the option for a rear-mounted or hidden tilt rod if desired.

Material Options

Thanks to their premium materials, most plantation shutters last far longer than any window blinds. The best-selling plantation shutters in the U.S. are Polywood® shutters. They’re made from a synthetic wood material that won’t warp or split. More traditional plantation shutters, like our Ovation® shutters, are made from furniture-grade hardwood. Quality plantation shutters won’t sway or break no matter how many times you tilt them open or closed.

Modern Look

With large adjustable louvers and sturdy material, plantation shutters combine functionality with aesthetic appeal. Their look is enhanced with the wide variety of paints and stains available. Match the room’s decor with custom paints for Polywood. Or go with a wood stain to bring out the depth of Ovation shutters.

Ease of Cleaning

The delicate slats of blinds are a hassle to dust. Plantation shutters on the other hand are easy to clean. Every 3-4 weeks, dust the louvers from top to bottom. And wipe away any smudges with a damp rag. Cleaning plantation shutters is as simple and fast as it sounds.

Energy Efficiency

Yes, blinds are another layer between the outside and you. But their thin material and lack of a tight fit is not ideal for blocking the effects of the weather. Plantation shutters on the other hand are known for their energy efficiency. In fact, Polywood shutters block up to 30° of temperature and reduce heat transfer up to 45%. This is what makes Polywood shutters the most energy efficient window treatment!

10 Reasons To Install Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are an attractive, though expensive, window treatment. While the expense may make some people consider other alternatives, there are numerous compelling reasons to opt for plantation shutters over drapes or mini-blinds. Shutters have a clean look to them and are quite appealing. In addition, many home buyers find shutters a plus when comparing potential homes which can make your investment pay off in the long run.

1. Aesthetics. No doubt, interior shutters are attractive. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes as well as mounting options. As an interior design choice, you can’t go wrong by selecting wood plantation shutters. They fit in with just about any décor and offer a clean, cohesive look throughout the home.

2. Privacy. Interior shutters can be adjusted to let the light flow in, yet keep prying eyes out much like mini-blinds. This allows you to have privacy as well as light. If you angle them in such a manner, you can even see out, but others won’t be able to see in.

3. Ventilation. Want to let the fresh air inside yet maintain your privacy? Not only can you adjust the plantation shutters for maximum privacy and control the light coming in, you can open up the windows, let the air flow in, and then adjust the shutters for maximum ventilation - all without compromising your privacy. While you can do the same with mini-blinds, open windows often pose a problem: rattling blinds due to the air flow. Solid plantation shutters don’t have this problem. Shutters are the ideal choice because they make no noise. Blinds, shades, and other window treatments clank, bang, and flutter in the wind. In addition, shutters are easy to adjust. Simply grasp the crossbar and adjust the shutters.

4. Durability. Custom interior shutters are durable and built to last. In addition, most shutters come with some type of warranty. Because you won’t need to replace your shutters every few years, your initial investment will pay off over time. If you figure the cost of your shutters on a yearly basis, you may find that they are less expensive over the years than having to replace window coverings such as drapes or mini-blinds periodically. Plus, plantation shutters never go out of style.

5. Easy to clean. Interior shutters are virtually maintenance-free. Use a damp cloth from time to time and wipe off the dirt, dust, and grime. In addition, you don’t need to take them down in order to clean them as you would with other types of window coverings. A quick wipe down is all you need. The shutters have a larger surface area than mini-blinds making them much easier to clean.

6. Energy savings. Shutters are excellent insulators as well as perfect for deflecting sunlight. Your energy bills will be lower when you have shutters installed. In addition, you can get mechanical shutters for skylights or windows that receive full sun that open and close automatically to keep the sunshine from heating up your house. In the winter, the shutters provide an added layer of insulation. During the summer, you can adjust the shutters to deflect the sunshine so the rooms don’t heat up.

7. Child safety. Plantation shutters do not have dangling cords or strings that children can get tangled up in, making them a safer alternative to mini-blinds and drapes. Families with small children and babies don’t have to worry about their babies getting strangled in the window coverings when they have shutters installed. Shutters are a much safer alternative. One downside to consider is that children can easily open and shut the shutters due to the design. All they need to do is reach up and push or pull the crossbar.

8. Plantation shutters can help preserve the life of furniture and carpets. You can leave the shutters in the up or semi-closed position to direct the sunlight away from furniture and carpets. The UV rays of the sun cause materials to fade over time, which significantly affects their attractiveness and useful lifespan. In addition to fading, fabrics can degrade. By keeping your furniture shaded, it will last longer and remain attractive and durable for years to come.

9. Capital home improvement. Did you know that the IRS considers installing shutters a capital improvement on your home? This can translate into tax savings when you sell your home. Make sure to keep copies of your receipts for potential tax savings.

10. Plantation shutters can be used as room dividers or cabinetry. In addition to covering windows, shutters can also be installed over cutouts and niches in your home. For example, if your family room has a built-in TV niche that’s no longer needed because of today’s widescreen TV choices, consider using shutters as cabinet doors for an attractive new storage solution. Not only does this cover the hole in your wall and the clutter that’s sure to accumulate there, it looks nice and blends into the rest of the home. Another idea is to use plantation shutters to bulk up half-walls and pass-throughs that you may not like. Adding shutters in this manner can provide added privacy and divide the space better, yet still allow light to go through and provide an airy feel to the room. In the case of a pass-through (such as between a kitchen and dining room), you can open the shutter doors when you need to pass something through and then close them again for privacy.

How to Measure for Plantation Shutters


Measure the inside width of the window in three locations: top, middle and bottom. Remember to always measure the opening at the point of the window where the shutter frame will be installed. 

Record the smallest or tightest inside. Repeat the same process for measuring height. Again, measure in three places: left, center and right. 

Maintenance Tips

One of the reasons why plantation shutters are in such high demand is the fact that they are very beautiful, and have the potential to make any home look and feel special. However, if you want to make this effect last, you will need to care for the shutters in the right way. Simply leaving them in a neglected state will not only make them look shabby, but will make them wear out much faster than usual. Fortunately, the things that need to be done to avoid this are straightforward.

Reducing how much work is needed to maintain the shutters 

Of course, you might not want to spend every waking hour worrying about the state of the shutters. Buying high quality plantation shutters from reputable vendors is the best way to avoid this. By virtue of the fact that they are well made, these types of plantation shutters will require much less attention than usual, and this makes them easier to live with.

You also need to be careful about how you use them. For instance, plantation shutters should be operated with care to avoid damaging them. Avoid yanking them too violently when opening and closing them. This will prolong the lifespan and looks of the plantation shutters.

Sliding panels should always be moved slowly and with care. Particular attention is necessary when the panels are nearing the final locking/closed position. Be careful not to damage interlocking extrusions that help provide weather and privacy protection.

Bi-fold panels need to be handled very carefully. Never slide bi-fold shutters along their tracks in a closed book position. They should always be slid in their open book position until reaching their final location. Then the central lock can be disengaged to allow them to fold to a closed book setting. For ease of operation they are best held one third from the top. Be careful not to get fingers caught between moving parts. Never use excessive force to move panels or force locks to engage.
Always check the panels line up properly so the locks will engage correctly. An occasional light spray with a silicone lubricant on the tracks and operational lock parts will ensure longer life and easier operation. Lock holes etc need to be kept clear of debris at all times.

The cleaning process

Many times, plantation shutters lose their luster on account of not being properly cleaned. Proper cleaning tips that will prolong the lifespan of the shutters include:
Our shutters has a very durable, quality controlled, powder coated finish. To maintain the quality finish and comply with the warranty requirements, a simple maintenance program is recommended. As a rule, cleaning is advised every 6 months. However in Coastal areas or Industrial regions, cleaning every 3 months is required.

1.   Carefully remove any loose deposits with a wet sponge.
2.   Use a soft brush or cloth, and a mild household detergent solution to remove dust, salt and other deposits. Do not use steel wool, scrapers, scouring liquids or powders to remove deposits as these permanently scratch the coating surface.
3.  Rinse off with clean fresh water.

Use the above cleaning method to remove any paint splashes, sealants or other residues. For surfaces that have had prolonged contact, methylated sprits or isoproponal may be used with caution. Dulux strongly recommends that a small area is tested prior to applying any of these "mild" solvents. Strong solvents may be harmful to the extended life of the powder coated surface which may not even be noticeable for twelve months.