6 most common problems with window shutters

At Barlow Blinds we believe in being honest and upfront in everything we do and highlighting the 6 most comment problems with window shutters will help you make an informed decision as to whether window shutters are right for your home.

Problems with window shutters: 1

They will make your room darker when compared to most other types of window covering. Window shutters are made up of panels fitted into a frame, so you will have a frame that is fixed to the wall and inside that you will have the panel frames and that is a lot of timber that will stop light coming in.

A simple solution to this is by keeping the number of panels in your shutter to a minimum will help in reducing the amount of framework and allow more light into the room.

Problems with window shutters: 2 

Following on from problem 1 the number of panels in your shutter is really important not only for allowing light in but also how your window shutters look when compared to your windows.

The photo above is a great example of how better advice before ordering makes a big difference. Having this shutter made with 2 panels instead of 3 would allow more light into the room (less frame) and would also match the design window frame perfectly improving the look from outside the home. In this case it’s a win, win. More light in your room and looks so much better.

Problems with window shutters: 3

One of the most common problems with window shutters is as the example above shows matching your shutters to your windows.

Hands up…. this example is one of ours.

As you can see the shutter frame does not line up with frame of the window. To avoid this we can add what the trade calls T Posts. T posts are built into the main frame of your shutter and can be positioned exactly in the right places to line up with window frames. (Our customer thought this looked ok, but we didn’t so the shutter was replaced)

Problems with window shutters: 4 

Shutters being made in the wrong material.

Window shutters can be made in a number of different materials, wood, fauxwood, mdf and vinyl.

These different materials would be suitable for most rooms in your home. Wood and mdf would never be suitable for bathrooms, ensuites and some kitchens.

Wood and mdf will over time go mouldy and warp if fitted in a bathroom or ensuite. The problem is you will not know this until a few years down the line.

We have been asked to visit a number of jobs where customer were sold fauxwood shutters but mdf (cheaper) shutters were installed. You have to have total trust in the company supplying your shutters that you are getting what you pay for as it is impossible to tell the difference between the different types of shutters (even for us).

As you can see from the photos over time water, steam or condensation will work its way into the frames (These shutters were just over 2 years old).

Vinyl and fauxwood shutters are great for bathrooms just make sure you have total confidence in the company who is working for you.

Problems with shutters: 5

Windows out of square. This is a fairly common problem, not so much on newer home but certainly on older house.

As I explained earlier your shutters will be installed in a frame that has to be perfectly square to allowing the shutter panels to open and close freely.

When we measured and order your shutters we have to make the frames to the narrowest measurements both on the width and the drop of your windows.

This is a plan view of a shutter using a traditional frame fitting inside of your window recess.

So if your window is out of square and the shutter is fitting nice and snug and one side there will be a gap at the other end. Depending on the size of gap there are a number of different ways of covering the gap.

Most common is caulking or sealant. Neat and good for small gaps. If the gaps are bigger then timber beading strips can be used. If the gaps are fairly big then we can shape a batten in a matching colour to your shutter.

The simple way to avoid all of this is to have your shutters made and installed with what we call a Z frame.

As you can see the Z frame fits to the front edge of your window recess and due to its shape overlaps the wall. This means any gaps that there are will be hidden behind the overlapping frame.

The Z frame will be on 3 sides of your shutter, top, left and right. So there will be no need for sealant or battens.

Problem with window shutter 6

Problem 1 was about window shutters making your room darker. Problem 6 is the opposite. Standard window shutters are not blackout.

As you can see in this photo you would never class this shutter as blackout but you would be really surprised at how many people are being told that they are.

I would describe a standard shutter as a dimout, it will make your bedroom fairly dark but not blackout (Also not the closure may differ slightly from louvre to louvre)

This problem is easily solved as long as you have to conversation BEFORE you order your shutters. Shutter and shade is the solution.

This photo shows a shutter with a blackout blind built into the shutter frame. From the front it will look like every other shutter in your home. The blackout blind is tucked away and gets lowered at night and as you can see every with the shutter louvres fully opened the top part of this window is totally blackout (we did take a picture with the blind fully down and as you can imagine you could see a thing… not our cleverest idea)

I hope that has given you an insight into the window shutter trade and hopefully will help avoid some of the most common problems with window shutters.

I would always recommend getting professional advice from your local shutter supplier and if you are in Leicestershire and would like more advice I would love to help. Give me a call on 0116 2769771

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