In our experience we’ve come across a number of people that have gone for cheaper alternatives to the kinds of shutters we provide who have come to us for help afterward.
Common issues with cheaper inferior plantation shutters are warping louvers/slats, inconsistent paint finishes, shutters coming off hinges and shutters that have been installed incorrectly.
Unlike blinds, plantation shutters require a high degree of skill and experience to install correctly. Many companies use inexperienced installers to cut costs, however you may end up with an incorrectly or poorly installed plantation shutter that will haunt you long after the satisfaction of the “cheap” price has disappeared!
In these scenarios the most common mistake people make when looking for Plantation Shutters when they want a 100% solid timber shutter, is they go for the cheapest quote and somehow end up with a Timber Composite, which is basically a shutter with a thin outer layer of timber such as Basswood, but the inside is made up of another material (can be timber 2nds or MDF) glued together to make the frame and slats. So while it looks like solid timber from the outside, it is actually made of many materials.
A way to look out for inferior plantation shutter quotes is:
- Always get a few quotes and if you find one is considerably cheaper, you might want to ask the supplier why?
- Be sure to have them confirm that it is 100% solid timber, solid meaning 1 piece, not many pieces glued together!
FYI, start by checking their guarantee. Timber Composites have the potential to damage very early on and a short guarantee period is a dead giveaway.
We have had a few people calling us to find out more about Plastic Plantation Shutters also known as ABS or PVC. There is nothing really negative at all about this option, other than the fact that its finish is not as nice as the timber options and it doesn’t come in as many colours and options. We as a company made the decision not to supply this option as our prices are very competitive and our timber alternatives are almost price matched to other companies’ prices for the Plastic version.
Then there is always a final cheaper option of Custom Craft or MDF Shutter, which is a manufactured wood with a vinyl wrap (a bit like a cheap kitchen bench). The disadvantages of this product are that if moisture penetrates the vinyl the wood swells, there is also a limited colour range and the shutters can only be made into 90 degree angles and small panel widths (nothing over 600mm, due to heavy weight and weak joints) limiting your shutter options. They are also extremely heavy which puts pressure on hinges causing problems later down the track.
Remember when you decide to buy plantation shutters it’s important to know what you are getting. Small things like knowing that the timber used is slowly kiln dried over 1 week to ensure all the moisture is taken out gradually (like we do), which prevents warping or twisting of the timber once it has been installed, is a vital piece of knowledge.
Be wary of companies offering cheap prices for basswood and other timbers– look out for composites.
We made a conscientious decision not to sell these last three products because of our high standards and excellent 10 Year 5 Way Guarantee, which includes a 10 year product warranty on everything that we sell. For obvious reasons we won’t guarantee something that is not worth going to last the test of time.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of all the types of plantation shutters