How to Buy Plantation Shutters


Plantation shutters can provide privacy while letting light in, and their elegant look turns your windows into a focal point for the rest of the room. The shutters come in numerous finishes and are one of few window treatments that can add value to your home. When you buy plantation shutters, be sure to measure accurately and carefully choose the finish you need the best outcome.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Measure your windows from the top molding to the windowsill to determine how tall the shutters need to be. To figure out the width, measure the width of the top, middle and bottom of the window, and then use the largest number. It’s common for windows, especially taller ones, to vary slightly in width.

  • Determine how many panels you want on each window. For standard size windows, you can typically use two so that they close in the center and open on either side. Very small windows tend to look best with one shutter, while bay windows may require four or more to adequately cover the entire area.

  • Decide what size slats you want. Plantation shutter slats typically range from 2 1/2 inches to 4 1/2 inches. Wider slats provide clean, modern lines and allow for more light to come through when the shutters are open. On the other hand, shutters with smaller slats may suit more traditional-style homes better.

  • Determine how you want the shutters mounted. If you want to open the shutters so they’re flat against the wall, you need an interior mount close to the window. To open the shutters so they’re straight out at 90 degrees from the wall, an interior mount that's flush with the wall is preferred. If your window is not recessed or if the window itself opens in, you’ll need an outside mount.

  • Contact your home improvement store to determine pricing for the size and style of shutters you want. Look for the same products online to get a feel for the different styles available, as well as a general understanding of prices. This will give you a basic idea of where you can get the best product for the best price, helping you choose the company you want to work with.

  • Decide whether to install the shutters on your own or to hire a contractor. Many companies offer free or reduced cost installation with a purchase, so if you won't be doing it yourself, include the cost in your list of requirements when choosing a retailer.

  • Visit a local window treatment store or home improvement store to view your options in person if you aren’t going to purchase the shutters online. In many cases, the store will have to order the correct size for your windows. A visit to the store gives you the opportunity to view the material firsthand and get a feel for how the product will look in your home.

  • Ask for swatches if you’re unsure how the plantation shutters will look in your home. Most online retailers will send them to you for free, and most brick and mortar retailers have sample books you can take home with you.

  • Place your order once you've decided on the shutters and installation details.

Tips & Warnings

  • If plantation shutters are too expensive for your budget, consider plantation-style window blinds. You can get a similar look and feel for much less money.

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