What are Plantation Shutters ?
Plantation shutters are louvred panels fixed inside windows and doors, their primary function is to control light and shade. They originated in America and the West Indies and date back to before the American Civil War. The louvres are moved by means of a tilt rod.
Why should I buy my shutters from Select Shutters ?
We are local experienced retailers with a shop in Highgate, North London that you can visit without appointment. We do not hide behind a Limited Liability company (we have recently heard of another shutter company "doing a runner" taking deposits and failing to deliver). We are a family business with children of school age and have a commitment to providing good service. All of the photographs on this site were taken by our staff after we installed the shutters.
Why do you have a shutter website as well as your Changing Curtains site ?
We have seen shutters become more popular over recent years and the two big importers trying to increase market share have one day training courses. After a one day training course some people describe themselves as shutter specialists, and some people believe them. We have had our retail shop installing all types of window treatment for over seven years and prior to that we were trade sub-contractors installing all of these products for shops and interior designers. Our senior fitter first installed plantation shutters in Holland Park over twenty years ago.
Do shutters look good at every window ?
No, not at every window. Some windows are unsuitable for various reasons. The best way to judge is experience. Our senior fitter has been installing window treatments for more than twenty years, and in this time has dealt with many thousands of windows. We can offer advice based on experience, however it is your home and we will take your instructions. Most windows can have shutters installed if this is your preferred look.
Which louvre size should I choose ?
Larger windows tend to suit larger louvres, but smaller louvres can give more privacy. The choice is yours - we will bring samples when we survey. People who have had shutters previously and are now putting them into their new home usually choose larger panels and wider louvres for a simple uncluttered look. The panels are hinged to give access for cleaning or opening windows, however light, privacy and shade are controlled by tilting the louvres. Wider louvres in white can reflect a lot of light into the room. Multiple small panels will reduce the amount of light that can get in unless you open the panels. In a bay window open panels can protrude into the room and can get in the way.
How practical are shutters ?
Very. Because of the way they are fitted over the window, shutters improve insulation and draughtproofing, therefore they may save you money on your heating bills. With a light-blocking frame to reduce lightwash at the edges and a closer fit between the louvres than is achievable with a venetian blind, shutters will provide similar blackout to a blackout roller blind (light does not come through the fabric but does come in around the edges). Greater blackout can be achieved with blackout lined curtains and pelmets, greater insulation can be achieved with interlined curtains (interlining is a fleece like fabric that goes between the facecloth and the lining). The overall effect of shutters is very different to curtains. For various reasons some people choose to have both shutters and curtains - please discuss with our fitter.
Can I fit my Shutters myself ?
That really depends on your practical skills and the complexity of the installation. This is why we have developed our unique approach whereby you can make this decision with our senior fitter / installer when we come to do the survey. We will bring frame and panel samples and discuss all the details with you.
How environmentally friendly is your product ?
All of the wood we use is sourced from farmed or managed forests. Western Red Cedar comes from Canada where it is either replanted or from designated areas. Canada has a large amount of land suitable for little other than trees and wilderness, this is sustainable land use. The Basswood, Paulownia and Poplar we use for stained or painted wooden shutters is farmed in North America and China and reaches maturity in approximately 15 years, we then laminate the stiles for strength and dimensional stability.
What are the maximum and minimum sizes ?
Maximum individual panel width is 750mm, minimum width is 200mm, you cover wider openings with multiple panels, there is no real maximum height but any panel over 1800mm should have a midrail for structural integrity and to protect against warping. There is no practical maximum width for a shutter installation if it is planned correctly.