While there is great value in installing custom-made interior wood window shutters, sometimes they are still too expensive for certain applications. Some alternatives – including poly or vinyl shutters – are less expensive but also much less attractive. For a high-quality solution at a lower cost, look for a company that sells individual solid wood shutter panels that can be installed in any configuration.
When shopping for individual shutter panels, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The most important factor is the material used to make the interior shutter panels. Basswood has the best characteristics for window shutters because it is a very straight hard wood with little distortion. Basswood also has a fine, uniform texture and indistinct grain, which make it superior for staining or painting. You should also look for a company that can make a large number of panel sizes so you can receive the best final fit for your window.
How To Determine Individual Panel Sizes to Order
It is best to determine how you will mount your shutters before ordering the shutter panels. Sometimes it is necessary to use hanging strips to attach shutters to the outside of the window opening. A reputable company will provide information about different installation methods so you can determine how best to install on a specific window.
Measure the width of the area you want the shutters to cover (NOT including any trim strips).
1. Divide this width by the number of panels you want across the window. This will give you the approximate width of each panel. Round this measurement up to the nearest 1/4 inch.
Example: Width = 36-7/16″
Divide by 4 and round up to nearest 1/4″
Order (4) shutter panels 9-1/4″ wide
Up to 1″ may be trimmed off the top and the bottom of each individual panel (a total of 2″ per panel).
1. For a two tier unit (panels across the top and bottom), combine individual panel heights as required.
A high-quality wood shutter panel can be painted or stained to a beautiful finish. Even if the shutters arrive and seem fairly smooth, a light sanding is advised before beginning the finishing process. After sanding and brushing off any dust, primer and paint can be applied. Often a more smooth finish is achieved by spraying the primer and paint, although the use of a high-quality brush can also result in a nice finish. When staining, follow the instructions given by the stain manufacturer. The stain manufacturer may recommend applying a wood conditioner before staining in order to ensure even stain color penetration.
Once your shutters are finished and installed, you will have a high-quality product that will increase the value of your home at a fraction of the cost of custom-made shutters.