Home window coverings now get much more attention from “neighbors” and home appraisers when shutters are installed. Shutters are proving to be a better window treatment, due to the fact that they are the only window treatment that increases the value of a home and are an important additional visual element on the interior and exterior of the home. Shades also control lighting and set the mood of each room. Most interior designers feel that blinds provide a finished look to a window and are more durable than curtains, draperies, or blinds.
More than ever before, houses with shutters are recognized as substantially improved and therefore shutters are the number one window covering all other products. The ‘shutters’ category is the number one product for window coverings in recent years. Surveys have shown that 7 out of 10 consumers prefer shutters to any other type of window covering, however only 2 out of 10 can afford them due to the high price.
Shutters offer many advantages over blinds and shades. Shades offer superior insulation and control of light entering a room, ranging from fully opening the shades for a full view to fully closing them for almost total control.
Shutters generally require less maintenance than most other types of window coverings. Older-style, staple-on blinds require replacement every few years and special cleaning and maintenance. Synthetic and vinyl materials can withstand humid environments such as outdoor use and saunas. In recent years, a DuraShutter laminate material with stapleless snap-on construction provides durability and low-cost alternative advantages.
Shutters can provide better insulation value than any other type of window covering. Since 10 times more heat can pass through a glass window than through a wall, adding a shade to your window will lower your heating and cooling bills.
Shutters are commonly made from 3 different types of materials. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as environmental effects. Traditional blind manufacturers use wood and then spray paint or stain it any color you like and they work well in most conditions. Like any wood product, they are subject to warping over time and the paint can chip and crack over time. Unfortunately, some wood is imported and the felling of some trees causes damage to the environment. Additionally, most blinds are painted with lacquer-based primers or topcoats that release VOCs into the atmosphere. VOCs have been shown to increase greenhouse gases.
Vinyl and other synthetic shutters were developed as an alternative to wood shutters. For certain applications, such as exterior, high humidity areas like saunas or pool halls, vinyl and other synthetic window shades are a great option. The plastics used in these types of shutters can fade, change color or yellow over time with sun exposure. Unfortunately, vinyl and other synthetic window shades are made from petroleum products, and the drilling, transportation, refining, and storage of petroleum-based products are a concern for many, as their use increases our dependence on oil. And when they are painted, the use of VOCs is also bad for the environment.
Many blind manufacturers now, as well as flooring companies, offer lower cost, eco-friendly laminate alternatives to wood. Many American and foreign shutter manufacturers now offer all three options, vinyl/synthetic, wood, and laminated materials. Laminate materials are designed to overcome the disadvantages of wood, vinyl and synthetic shutters. DuraShutter laminate material is a dense, solid engineered composite that is an environmentally friendly recycled paper and wood product. Its density gives it a better insulation value than wood and the eco-friendly laminate siding material provides better resistance to fading or yellowing than vinyl/synthetic. Laminate shutters can be made into an excellent product that is indistinguishable from wood shutters. Since DuraShutter laminate is made primarily from recycled materials and eco-friendly laminate finish, it has a significantly lower impact on the environment.
Blinds are often called the “ultimate window covering” but were expensive until the introduction of blinds made from lower cost laminated DuraShutter materials which many blind manufacturers now offer as a lower cost alternative. So once you’ve added interior shutters, just stand back and admire them, both from inside your home and from the sidewalk. Walk past any house with interior blinds on the front and you’ll see why so many people use them.
By visiting the author’s website at http://www.durashutter.com, you’ll find all sorts of useful information on window coverings.