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The Benefits And Disadvantages Of Plantation Shutters

Why are plantation shutters so popular? Can you install them at any window in any room? Are they practical? What materials, sizes and colours do they come in? What is the lead time from placing an order to installation? How long do they take to install? Are they expensive? What are the benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters?

Benefits And Disadvantages Of Plantation Shutters: Why Are Shutters So Popular?

Simply put, when designed well and installed expertly, they look amazing! Plantation shutters are probably the only soft furnishing that you notice from outside the property. This is one of the key reasons they are so popular – Curb Appeal! Shutters effortlessly add style and quite often value to a home. Shutters are also: 

  • Easy to operate
  • Versatile
  • Hard wearing
  • Provide excellent light control
  • Compliment almost any decor
  • Custom colour options
  • Manufactured to almost any shape
  • Provide sound protection
  • Available in real wood, engineered wood and faux wood
  • Can be motorised
  • Just look great.

Can You Install Them At Any Window?

You can, the real question is should you? We love shutters, they are a fantastic product and look amazing. In our opinion however there are benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters and they do not work in every room or window. As specialists in all soft furnishings, not just shutters, we can be objective and pass on our experience.

Benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters

White faux wood full height shutters in a bathroom

What are the benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters when you require darkness?

Shutters are very popular in bedrooms and they give you great control of light and privacy but they are not blackout. As a result they are not great if early summer light will interrupt your (or often more importantly, your children’s) sleep. To overcome this issue you should install a blackout blind behind the shutters. To ensure there is enough room for the blind this should be arranged at the same time the shutters are surveyed. In addition consider motorising the blind because accessing manual controls behind the shutter can be a pain. The latest battery powered motors are great if there is no power at the window. The same principles would apply for TV, cinema or any other room where darkness is important.

It is important to point out that even products with blackout fabric will not completely darken a room unless it is installed in a complete blackout system. A blackout blind behind a shutter however will make a vast improvement in preventing light bleed.

If you would like more information about complete blackout systems please get in touch »»»

Large Doors

Open plan spaces with large doors are very popular in modern design. Visually, shutters look stunning in these areas, particularly if complimenting other windows in the room. There are a couple of points you must consider. Where will the shutter doors sit when you want to open the garden doors? Will they block out daylight entering the room? Will they be a pain if you want to go in and out of the doors regularly? You can overcome these problems at the planning stage by creating the correct space either side of the external doors for the shutters to sit. If you are retrofitting the shutters this may not be possible.

Stylish curtains and contemporary blinds may be a better solution for sliding and bi-folding doors.

Interestingly, this large shutter style works really well as a room divider.

If you are in the process of installing large doors on a project please feel free to get in touch to discuss all the options and how they can be installed without compromising the design. Get in touch »»»

Installing Shutters At Just One Window

We are back to curb appeal. You may have just decorated a room and want to install a single shutter. For some reason a property looks out of balance with a shutter at just one window, especially at the front. As a result 9 out of 10 customers end up ordering more shutters.

What Options Are There?

Shutters are available in Full height, Tier on Tier (a door above a door) and cafe style (half way up the window) options, so are very versatile. 

You also have the choice of 47mm, 63mm, 76mm, 89mm and 110mm louvers. As a general rule the larger the louver the more light can enter in to the room and the easier it is to look in and out.

The tilt rod used to open and close the louvers can positioned centrally or offset to one side. The current trend is to remove it altogether and to choose larger louvers.

While you can match shutters to your decor and any Farrow & Ball or Dulux colour (at an additional cost), our advice would be to choose white unless you are 100% confident in your colour choice. Your shutters will out live your decor and if they are white they will match whatever style you choose next.

Benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters

Lime Shutters with blue walls

Manufactured from hardwood or engineered wood, they can be installed at almost any shape window. A faux wood option is also available that is perfect for bathrooms – Do not confuse this with the plastic shutter that we think is awful.

Our expert adviser will explain the benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters in each room to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Where Do Shutters Work Really Well?

We have stated many times that shutters are a great product and can be installed in almost every window. You just need to take into consideration some of the points raised earlier. They are however fantastic for bay windows. The design and angle of bay windows means that there are gaps when you install most types of blinds. This can cause light and privacy problems. Curtains can also block a lot of the window and therefore the light unless there is plenty of space to dress the curtains either side of the bay. The benefit of shutters is that they cover the gaps and take up less space than curtains. One point to be aware of is that the shutter doors will generally stay closed in a bay window so make sure you choose the right size louver to meet you light and privacy needs. 

Can they be motorised

The industry had removed shutter motorisation because there were endless problems. Motorisation technology has made vast improvements in the last 2 years and as a result motorisation is once again available. This is a definite advantage. Large, high gable windows have become very popular and shutters are perfect for these windows. Being high up they used to be hard to reach so you could not open or close them. Now that the shutters can be motorised this problem has been removed and we expect to see more shutters installed in gable windows in the near future.

Each shutter panel or door will require its own motor. The more panels you have in your shutter set, the more motors you will need.

Is the lead time a benefit or disadvantage of plantation shutters?

Expect to wait between 8 – 12 weeks for installation as the shutters will usually be coming from China. This is considerably longer than all other soft furnishings. You can pay more and have the order shipped by air. 

There are some smaller manufacturers in Europe who supply shutters however we have found there are more problems with these products. While the problems get resolved it is still frustrating when you cannot complete a job on time.

Soft Furnishing Design like to work on projects as early as possible so that the products you choose can be incorporated into the overall design. This means the lead time is not a problem. We install the shutters at the agreed time when the windows are ready.

How long does installation take?

Shutters take longer to install than blinds and require more skill. As a general rule installation takes between 30-45 minutes per panel/door. A shutter with 4 doors will take approximately 2 hours to install. 

Are Shutters Expensive?

This is more a question of value for money. Shutters are more expensive than blinds but take longer to manufacture and install however they will also last longer. On average they are approximately twice as expensive as a wooden Venetian blind. Depending on the shutter style and material chosen you should expect to pay between £250-£350 per square metre installed. We also offer a supply only option which reduces the cost significantly. Our expert team help you through every step of the measuring, ordering and installation process. 

Would you like more information about the benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters or any other soft furnishing?

As we have stated many times, we love plantation shutters and they are a large part of our portfolio. Our team would be happy to help you understand the benefits and disadvantages of plantation shutters so that you can make an informed choice.
There may be another product that better meets your needs. 

If you would like to send us details of your project we would be happy to help. 

Design Driven Soft Furnishings Require Planning.

1 comment

  1. Debbie

    Thanks, this is a really useful blog post. I feel much more confident about choosing plantation shutters now.

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