Plantation Shutters with 247 Blinds
Disclaimer : This post was written in partnership with 247 Blinds. The shutters were gifted as part of our collaboration.
Plantation shutters are our ultimate favourite window treatment but unfortunately, one of the most expensive too (typical!). So we’ve teamed up with 247 Blinds to show you how simple it is to measure and install your own plantation shutters, at a fraction of the cost, using their made to measure service.
I’ve broken this post down into sections to help you decide which style of shutter is the best fit for your home and then how to measure, order and fit them properly yourself. It can be quite a daunting process but hopefully this guide will show you how easy it really is…
Firstly, why should you choose plantation shutters:
They are beautiful, classic and timeless. They wont date like curtain and blind fabrics and appeal to a wider audience in terms of style - they also looks great in all era buildings from Victorian to new build.
The provide extra insulation, helping to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter (also helping to save on the heating bills!)
They help with noise pollution when closed, dulling the sound of traffic making them a great choice for city dwellers.
They offer extra privacy and security in being able to have them completely closed but are versatile enough to also allow lots of light.
They are great for allergy sufferers, especially those with pets, as the slats can be easily wiped clean unlike curtain fabrics which can hold onto all types of allergens.
I personally see them as an investment for resale too. It would definitely be a big tick for me if a property had shutters installed already.
Shutters from 247 Blinds are made of faux wood which makes them perfect for wet conditions like bathrooms and kitchens. They are guaranteed not to warp or crack unlike hardwood and MDF versions.
There are lots of different options in terms of the style of shutters available and it’s important to ensure you find the right one to fit your needs and aesthetic. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you choose the right style for your home:
Full height shutters run the full length of your window, from the top to the bottom, as one thing. They are available with or without a mid-rail. A mid rail is a solid section within the panel that allows the louvres above and below it to move independently of each other. This is a good option if you want full privacy at the bottom of your window but to allow light in at the top. Mid rails are optional, unless your windows are over 1600mm tall and then they are essential. You can have the mid-rail at any height but it’s recommended to have them at the same join as where your top and bottom windows meet.
Cafe style shutters don’t go to the top of your window and are typically only half the height, although you can have them at whatever height you want. They are great for when you want privacy but still want to allow as much light as possible, all of the time.
TIER ON TIER
Tier on Tier shutters are basically two sets of cafe style shutters on top of each other. Technically the best of both worlds as they can offer the full coverage and privacy of a full height shutter but also the top and bottom shutters can be opened fully, independent of each other, to provide the light from a cafe style. But they do have their downsides! The overall window must be taller than it is wide to support the hinges for the top section. The stress on the hinges can cause the top tier to sag if it’s too big/heavy. Also, the middle section where the two tiers meet is much wider than a mid rail and can look quite chunky on small windows.
As well as the overall style, there are also several other detail options that you will need to consider. These questions will come up when you order but I’ll cover them now as I think they need more consideration and can affect how you measure:
Shutters from 247 Blinds are available in a range if colours and their samples are free. I fully recommend getting a sample before you order, even if you go for white as there are a range of ‘whites’ to choose from. We opted for Chalk White as it’s one of the closest whites to our woodwork. It’s also one of the colours available from a UK manufacturer which means it has one of the shortest lead times of 3-4 weeks (some of the other are 8-12 weeks) and also comes with pre-drilled holes which just makes it loads easier when installing. It’s worth the few extra pennies. Promise.
The frame style is dependant on how you want the shutter to sit within your window:
L Frame sits within the window frame
Z Frame sits around the window frame
Louvres are the slats within the shutter that let the light in:
64mm are the most popular size. They allow a nice amount of light and good privacy.
89mm allow more light and a moderate amount of privacy. They are good for windows that have a lot of detail as they look less busy.
Tilt rods are how you open the louvres:
‘Standard’ are visible tilt rods that sit in the centre of each panel and suit a more traditional style
‘Hidden’ tilt rods are inside the shutter frame and give a more clean, contemporary look
NUMBER OF PANELS
This is the number of separate panels you will have inside your shutter frame. The size of your window will determine how many panels you can choose from (a small window may only be able to have 1/2 panels, a large one 3/4+) but it can make a big difference to the overall style.
See how two similar sized windows can look very different dependant on the details chosen:
OPENING OF PANELS
Another thing to consider in regards to the panels is which way they will open. For a single panel your options would be left or right, for a double you could have one panel opening to the left and one to the right, or them both opening together like a concertina in one direction. For 3 or more panels at least one side will have to be a concertina style opening where the panels fold into each other. Here are a few examples:
ARE YOU STILL WITH ME? OK, GOOD!
So now we know the look and style we are after, we are ready to measure. For our bathroom we wanted a full height shutter with a mid rail at the point where our top and bottom windows meet, with 2 panels (left and right opening) and visible tilt rods. The first thing we need to do is decide where, within the frame, we want the shutter to sit. We wanted to keep a bit of usable sill and so went as close to the window as possible but allowing enough room for the louvres to freely move past the window handle.
We then used this point to measure the window size. Firstly, measure the window top to bottom in 3 places (left, middle and right) and make a note of the smallest measurement. Then measure left to right in 3 places (top, middle and bottom) and again, make a note of the smallest measurement. You then need to remove 5mm from each measurement and this will be the size you use to order, this will ensure the shutter will fit in all places - caulk will help you tidy any gaps!
If you want a mid-rail or you are having a tier on tier style shutter, you’ll also need to measure up from the sill to the point you want your mid rail to sit/tier on tier meet. This would also be the case for a cafe style shutter as you wouldn’t want it to the full height of your window.
Measuring is that simple - you can also read the instruction provided by 247 Blinds here
Once you have all of the measurements and have decided on the style/details you want, you can order! And 247 Blinds make ordering super simple; there are drop down boxes for each of the categories we have discussed - and don’t forget your discount code! For the next month I have a 15% off discount with 247 Blinds use code: thehousethatblackbuilt at the checkout.
When your shutters arrive, first unpack the frame and lay it out on the floor . Each piece will be labelled, left, right, top or bottom. Fit each piece together to build the frame, the corners have a tongue and groove edge so they slide together easily. The middle bar only come with the tier on tier and that needs screwing to the outside frame.
Next, place your shutter frame into the window frame and use the packers provided to even the gaps around the edges - remember we took off 5mm from the smallest measurement so there will be gaps. You will also need to pack the bottom so the gap at the top isn’t huge and also your ledge might not be level.
Be careful if you do use a spirit level to also check by eye. If your whole window is wonky, you kinda need to go with it or your shutter will look ridiculous. Dad is obsessed with the level!
Once you’re happy that the gap is even all around the edge and that the shutter is level to the window, you can screw it in!
Top tip from my Dad: When screwing in the middle of each side, hold the frame away from the wall so that the screw doesn’t go too tight and bend the shutter frame inwards.
Now that your frame is secure, you can install the panels into the frame. The panels come complete and if you’ve had hinged panels i.e. two panels that open to one side, they are already attached to each other. They also come labelled so you know which panel fits where. Winning!
Line up your panels inside the frame so that the hinge on the panel sits into the hinge on the frame and slide the pin (provided) through both. And that’s it! Kind of.
If your panels don’t line up with each other, most likely because your window is a bit wonky, packers for the hinges are provided to help even it out - the installation can be a little fiddly to make sure everything is level and even but it’s not difficult at all.
The last thing that you need to do is caulk the gaps around the shutter frame. And then you really are done!
I told you it was easy, didn’t I? What do you think, would you try this yourself? Let me know in the comments below and if you do try it, I’d love to know how you get on!
K, love ya, bye x