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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Window Shutters Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – 15 in. Vinyl Louvered Shutters in Bright White – Set of 2 (14.5 in. W x 1 in. D x 31.75 in. H (3.74 lbs.))
№2 – 2″ Faux Wood Blind, White, Premium Valance (39″ W x 64″ L)
№3 – Perfect Shutters IR561447260 14-1/2-Inch by 47-Inch Raised Panel Center Mullion Exterior Shutter, 1-Pair, Burgundy
Two Piece Rail System
The two-piece rail system is an important security feature when buying rollshutters. The two-piece rail system actively hides the fasteners from outside access one the installation process is complete. This stops anyone from tampering with the rails and gaining entry by removing the security roller shutters.
Edge Retention System
This rail system is one of the most secure on the market. Here’s how it works: this rail system has grooves on the inside of the rail and hooks on the ends of the curtain. If force is exerted against the curtain the hooks grip onto the grooves further securing the curtain into the rail channel.
This doesn’t come cheap though, and it is usually recommended for properties that are in high-risk areas, or properties that have had many break-ins, despite conventional security measures. We also recommend this product if you have very wide security shutters.
Originally, the edge retention system was designed for hurricane protection but we found that it also has great benefit for high-security applications.
Splitting the Curtain
The wider the curtain is, the less strong it will be in the center. In that vein, splitting the curtain is a good and inexpensive way to maintain the fortitude of your security shutters.
Essentially, during the installation process, we split the rollshutters into or more sections, where each section is still run by the same operator. There is some extra cost for the additional rails and extra installation time, but it doesn’t really add up to that much.
A good rule of thumb is that you should consider splitting the curtain if area covered exceeds 8’.
Curtain Profile Filling
What’s inside matters. The same holds true for rollshutters. Many roller shutters are foam filled and the density of the foam affects the strength of the curtain. Here are the various foam densities and their corresponding strengths:
We strongly recommend using our Mini Safe Curtain with Polyurethane and Hard Resin for the best security feature.
Use a U-Sill
Security roller shutters need a flat surface to be properly secured. Adding a ‘U’ shaped channel sill is a good idea to stop would-be intruders from prying the security shutters up from the ground. If you don’t have a flat surface for the roller shutters to be secured, then we recommend our U-Sill product.
If you don’t have a flat surface for the roller shutters to be secured, then we recommend our U-Sill product.
Manual Locks vs. Automatic Locks
Automatic locks are usually found inside the panel box or along the curtain of the rollshutter. The immediate benefit of this is that the lock is out of sight and can’t be tampered with. These locks engage when the rollshutter is down and disengage when the rollshutter is opening. Not only are these locks secure and hidden out of sight to avoid tampering, because they usually unlock with the movement of the operator they have the added benefit of protecting your operator and curtain.
These locks engage when the rollshutter is down and disengage when the rollshutter is opening. Not only are these locks secure and hidden out of sight to avoid tampering, because they usually unlock with the movement of the operator they have the added benefit of protecting your operator and curtain.
Manual locks are likely located on the bottom profile or somewhere along the curtain of the rollshutter unit. These locks are visible from the outside. We recommend a lock that has a heavy return and a solid internal mechanism making it strong and secure.
The only disadvantage with manual locks is that if the unit is not unlocked before operation, the force from the operator working against the lock can wreck the motor and/or the curtain which can be a costly fix.
Manual Override Motors
A manual override motor is a regular motor with a gear mechanism that allows the unit to be cranked upwards in case of a power outage or motor failure. For security, we recommend this motor as it allows you to crank your security roller shutters down and secure your building if there is a power or motor failure and you are not able to stay on the premises.
For security, we recommend this motor as it allows you to crank your rollshutter down and secure your building if there is a power or motor failure and you are not able to stay on the premises.
If you choose to go with a manual override motor ensure that the connection for the crank handle is not one that hangs out of the panel box housing on the rollshutter. If the attachment is visible it is possible for vandals to use that to (slowly) crank the rollshutter open.
Flush Mount Control Options
Preventing thieves or vandals from accessing the wiring to the control options above ranks up there when securing your property. Ensuring that the control option is flush against the building prevents easy access to the wires in the switch.
Hanging Measuring bay window blinds Establish the depth (including mechanism/bracket – allow 6cm for bracket) of the blind to be used. (Diagram 1). At each angle within the bay, mark the blind depth on the ceiling or sill (using a tiny pencil or chalk mark) out from each window. (Diagram 2). Where the two marks meet is where the blinds will butt up alongside each other. (Diagram 2). Once these points have been marked around the bay, measure between them to work out the width of the blind. Always measure the central blind first. (Diagram 3). Lengths must be measured in the usual way, but for widths, remember that the blinds cannot fit close together because of difficulties in raising and lowering them. We recommend that you order these through Design Service.
Features – The straight lower edge is fitted with a bottom weight bar in a channel to keep the edge rigid. Full instruction leaflets are enclosed with all blinds. Piped Straight Edge Roller The piped straight edge roller blind is the simplest and most space-saving window treatment.
Cost of Installation
Costs for having plantation shutters installed by a contractor are a bit more predictable. Contractors who have installed plantation shutters before can quickly get accurate measurements and suggest which materials would work best in different rooms. For example, while natural wood may look beautiful in your living room, it might not be so practical in a bathroom where moisture will cause the wood to warp. The size, material, and quality of the shutter will have a significant effect on the cost. Contractors usually go through a shutter supplier and can get various sizes that are not normally available at home improvement stores. Here are some sample prices of the shutters most contractors use for standard-sized windows:
Wood vs. Faux Wood
It’s not hard to argue that natural wood is more appealing than vinyl or PVC. However, “faux wood,” as it’s sometimes called, has some advantages:
Price — Faux wood shutters are often lower in price than real wood.
Weight — Because some shutters are made “hollow core” (as opposed to vinyl-wrapped medium density fiberboard, MDF), they can be significantly lighter.
Moisture Resistance — If you live in an area with high humidity, hollow faux wood or aluminum core will resist expanding and sagging. (MDF core louvers will tend to expand and crack as the material swells with moisture.)
Natural wood is the choice for those who have a very healthy budget or for whom a specific appearance is a must. Among the advantages are:
Size — Because wood plantation shutters are made of hardwood, they can be quite a bit larger than plastic or vinyl. Shutters larger than 2inches can sag if they are made of vinyl, so they need divider rails or other supports which can destroy the traditional look of a plantation shutter.
Natural — While vinyl or plastic shutters can be painted to match any color scheme, the natural shades and finishes of the various species of wood have something for every look.
Classic — While many plastic shutters can be made to look like real wood, the faux wood finishes can vary significantly depending on manufacturer and model. Up close, it can be easy to tell they’re plastic. The warmth of natural wood is a classic feel that’s impossible to beat.
Popular Plantation Shutter Brands
When you go to purchase your plantation shutters, there are three brands that represent the high-, mid-, and low-cost range of what’s available. Which one you choose depends on your budget and your tastes. Hunter-Douglas produces three lines of plantation shutters in both real wood and faux wood styles. A higher-end product, Hunter-Douglas is worth the cost for beauty, quality of workmanship, and customer service. Hampton Bay produces a mid-cost line of shutters as well as other products such as lighting and ceiling fans. The mid-range pricing of Hampton Bay makes them very popular for those who are balancing aesthetics with a budget. HOMEbasics is a low-cost brand for budget-minded DIYers. Available in both faux and real wood, the affordability combines with the visual appeal to make this a very popular choice for plantation shutters. Reviews also describe them as easy to install. Regardless of which line you go with, be sure to ask about frames. Frames can cost extra, but they add an unsurpassed beauty and warmth to a room with plantation shutters.
Aluminum Hurricane Panels
Hurricane panels secure to the outside of a house using bolts or tracks. They deliver excellent protection for doors and windows without changing the look of your house.
The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you can’t see out of the window once they are in place.
This is generally the least expensive type of shutter protection. The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. When not in use, storm panels should be stored in an easy to reach location. • Inexpensive• Removable• Simple to Store• Easy to Install
Accordion Hurricane Shutters
Accordion shutters unfold easily to cover and protect during a storm. When not in use, they remain permanently affixed to your window, which eliminates the need for storage.
They are made from a lightweight aluminum and installed into tracks on the top and bottom that guide the movement of the shutters as well as hold them in place. The top track holds a wheel carriage that adds to ease of movement. These are manually operated.
Accordion hurricane shutters need to be maintained by lubricating and cleaning annually. You won’t need to worry about storage as they are left in place retracted when not in use. • Can double as a security measure.• Easy to deploy by one person.• Eliminate the need for storage.
Bahama Hurricane Shutters
Bahama hurricane shutters resemble decorative shutters that typify the look and feel of a tropical home.
These one-piece hurricane shutters attach directly above your windows. Prop them open to shade the window and lower and secure them the wall for quick storm-ready protection. • Minimum maintenance.• Easily operated by one person.• Aligns with architecture of your home.• No storage necessary.
Manual or Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
Properly installed rolling shutters have minimum impact on the architectural integrity of your property. When not in use, they are stored in an enclosed box above your window. When needed for storm protection, you can manually lower them with crank handles from inside or outside the building or, automatically lower them with a motor, in which case manual overrides are included.
Electric or motorized roll-down shutters are a popular solution for lanai area of a home. They can be installed to easily enclose the entire lanai. In addition to storm protection, rolling shutters function for security, light and sound control and insulation. • Can be automatically deployed.• Easily operated by one person.• Aligns with architecture of your home.• No storage necessary.• Excellent theft deterrent.
Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors
Impact resistant hurricane windows and doors are not considered “shutters”. They are an alternative to shutters that offer full-time protection against the elements, intruders, UV rays and noise. This is generally going to be the most expensive option in hurricane protection.
The benefit of total home replacement of windows and doors with impact resistant products is that you never have to think about it again. Once installed by a qualified, licensed professional your protection is in place 24-7-365.
If your windows and doors need to be replaced, you might give serious consideration to replacing them with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. The cost of replacing a window or door with a non-impact product and then adding a shutter to meet current codes is very close to replacing the opening with an impact product. • Always deployed.• No maintenance.• Least obtrusive of all protection systems.• No storage necessary.
Storm panel hurricane shutters
These steel or aluminum shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. There are several styles of storm panels to choose from.
The first style incorporates both tracks and bolts. The top of the panel is slipped into a track above the window, and the bottom of the panel is secured to bolts that are permanently attached beneath the window.
The second style uses a set of C-shaped tracks above and below the windows and doors. Bolts slide into the tracks from either side and must be manually aligned with the holes on the panels.
The third style uses only bolts permanently set into the wall beside the windows and doors. They can be loosened as the panel is hung horizontally, and screwed down to secure it.
The biggest problem with storm panels is that homeowners often don’t check them when they buy a home. Many discover later that panels are missing or were cut improperly, or are too heavy to install themselves.
Roll-down hurricane shutters
These shutters attach above the window. They roll up and store in an enclosed box when not in use. They are lowered either manually by a hand crank or automatically by push button, and lock in place for storm protection. — Are permanently affixed above the windows and don’t require any extra storage space. — Can easily be made storm-ready by one person. — Offer some of the best protection, and make an excellent theft deterrent. — Most expensive of the popular shutter systems. — Push-button-operated roll-down shutters require a battery backup system so the shutters can be lowered and raised during power outages.
This glass can withstand hurricane debris and eliminate the need for hurricane shutters. It costs more, especially to retrofit an older house. Modern code requirements, which already require hurricane shutters or other protections on new houses, make the glass a more practical option at the time of construction. — Eliminates the need for hurricane shutters. — The most practical hurricane glass is similar to a car windshield, with a durable plastic-like layer sandwiched between glass. The outside layers break, but the center prevents a hole. — Must be installed by a window contractor. — The frame must be replaced along with the panes to meet code.
Other window coverings — Less expensive panes, commonly used as thick plastic-like security windows, are about half the cost of layered panes. But they are less aesthetically satisfactory for household use because they scratch easily and fog when in contact with household cleaning chemicals.
Average cost: Varies widely. Average storm preparation time: Varies by type.
Plywood hurricane shutters do not meet most building codes, yet many homeowners who lack more permanent storm shutter systems cover their homes with them. If you decide to use this system, it is important to install the shutters correctly.
Overlapping plywood shutters
If your windows do not have a 2-inch inset, plywood shutters can overlap.
Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush. Make sure it is at least 5/of an inch thick.
Cut the plywood sheets to size for each window, allowing for an overlap of at least inches. Label each panel.
Drill corresponding holes in the plywood and walls. Use a 1/4-inch drill bit for the wood. Use a masonry or carbide-tipped bit for concrete or stucco walls.
When a hurricane threatens, use tapping screws at least inches long to bolt the plywood in place.
Shutters should have proper louver tension
The shutters louvers should be smooth and stay in the desired position each louver section. The problem with tension screws occurs over time, when tightening the screws becomes necessary on a regular basis. Eventually, the louvers within a single shutter unit will not have uniform tension because the louver sections adapt to the tension screw differently. Polywood, vinyl, fauxwood, and synthetic shutters usually have an extremely tight louver tension.
It is then difficult to put the louvers exactly in the desired location, and the rotation of the louvers is difficult. The best technique for providing uniform tension that will remain constant is a split nylon pin tension system that requires no maintenance.
Measuring and fitting help on video
One of our expert fitter & estimators, Martin Pidcock from John Lewis Kingston, shows you how to measure up and fit accurately, for roller and ventian blinds both inside and outside a recess. He also shows you how to fit a spring mechanism blind (the safest option if you have young children around), and how to cut down a ready-made blind that’s a bit too wide for your window.
Care of your blinds
Fabric blinds can be dusted with a synthetic or feather duster, or vacuumed with the upholstery brush attachment in the same way as curtains and furnishings. Venetian blinds can be dusted and wooden ones can occasionally be treated with a wood cleaner. Do not use soap and water.
Originally, shutters were used to protect homes from the weather and intruders. Today, function is no longer a necessity thanks to glass window panes. But if you want that added protection, functional exterior shutters are a perfect way to add curb appeal and old-world functionality.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Window Shutters wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Window Shutters
- №1 — 15 in. Vinyl Louvered Shutters in Bright White – Set of 2 (14.5 in. W x 1 in. D x 31.75 in. H (3.74 lbs.))
- №2 — 2″ Faux Wood Blind, White, Premium Valance (39″ W x 64″ L)
- №3 — Perfect Shutters IR561447260 14-1/2-Inch by 47-Inch Raised Panel Center Mullion Exterior Shutter, 1-Pair, Burgundy