Things to Know Before Buying Plantation Shutters: The Ultimate Guide

You’ll often be passing by a house and soaking in what we call curb appeal, where attractive houses give off a fairytale feeling while others can feel plain and unfinished. When it’s your home, you want it to have your signature all over, but you also want style and comfort.

Window furnishing can make all the difference in your interior and exterior house decor, and shutters could be your perfect fit. They are sleek, practical, and easy to maintain, but in this detailed guide, we look at nine things you need to know when considering plantation shutters as your next window covering.

In this guide, you will discover:

What You Are Aiming for With Plantation Shutters

Figure out what you are aiming for as you look to install plantation shutters. We’ll start with some of the most common benefits you should expect and continue to some of the less apparent advantages you get.

Firstly, you get near-absolute light control in your home as you have that afternoon rest in the dark or enjoy movie time any time of the day. You also get excellent thermal insulation ranging from a couple to a dozen degrees, which is crucial in the scorching summer heat.
However, there’s more to it! Plantation shutters will also mean far less noise from the outside and will surely bring a particular atmosphere to your interior. Additionally, they affect the curb appeal just as much and will change your house’s appearance.

You should consider all these when choosing the best fit with your sales rep or browsing the web for ideas. Many tips below will build on your understanding of your specific needs, making it essential to know exactly what you are looking for.

Choosing the Right Materials

You can get various materials working to your advantage depending on why and where you are putting your shutters. This means you must be careful to secure a high-quality finish, appealing looks, and heat insulation.



Basswood is a straight hardwood perfect for plantation shutters, proven to be very strong, durable, and uniform. All these features make it one of the favourites regardless of the finish you might be looking for, with excellent quality to match its classic yet modern appearance.

It has no odour and no allergens, as a perfect pick for families with kids or pets and asthmatics. It’s readily available in multiple colours, whereas whole grain allows for water-based paint.



Aluminium provides more when it comes to insulation, best used as outside shutters to keep heat inside during winters and protect against it in the summers. Aluminium is sturdy and weather-resistant, so it’s a long-lasting solution requiring little maintenance.

Aluminium shutters also provide added privacy and security, with lock systems protecting against potential intrusions. They are durable and will not warp for years with a warranty on powder coating.



Usually the most affordable of the four options, Paulownia shutters are often used to cover larger spaces such as patios. However, they are more susceptible to outside impact as Paulownia is exceptionally light and can warp more easily, especially if used outside in harsh weather conditions.



Polymer shutters can replicate what basswood would look like from a distance but will not feel nearly the same when you touch them. Still, the polymer is designed for performance and can withstand stress whether you have toddlers or big dogs who love looking out the window in the house.

Taking Measures and Getting Quotes

It’s rather easy to take measures but it’s also vital if you’re to get correct quotes and calculate potential costs precisely. It’s thus crucial to keep a calm hand and be surgically precise while measuring your recess, as it will help when shopping for shutters.

What you will need

You will need a couple of tools and preferably a partner to help you. First things first, you’ll need a metal tape measure you will use as well as a pen and notepad you’ll use to write the measurements down.

Use step ladders to reach high and remain as precise as possible. Also, a wall stud finder may help as plantation shutters are best attached to wooden window frames.

What you will do

Once you have the tools ready, it’s easy as 1-2-3. Make sure you measure each window and door separately, even if you think they are identical. This will help avoid any mistakes and mishaps down the road.

  • Step I
    Measure the depth of your window recess. If it’s not at least 70mm deep, you will have to go for an outside mount – which will be discussed toward the end of this guide.
  • Step II
    Measure the drop at three different places from left to right, as you take the measurements of your top-to-bottom height.
  • Step III
    Measure the width, and again, do so at three different places from top to bottom.
  • Step IV
    Double-check your numbers, especially if you’ll DIY, and write them down.
  • Step V
    Get quotes with your measurements and compare prices, looking for the best value for the money you can get.

Minor Upgrades to Make a Difference

With plantation shutters, there are several details that you can include and feel the difference with minimal extra expenses. Let’s discuss some tweaks you can make and get better value for almost the same money.

Hidden hinges

Hidden hinges will mean a more simplistic and modern look overall. They are still strong and functional while offering a lot regarding interior appearance. Look at the options and choose what adds to a clean look of a classic that plantation shutters indeed are.

Shutter pull rings

Pull rings are a functional feature that makes for a spot where you will actually pull your shutters. However, they can also add to visual appearance, with some really lovely designs you can go for.


Locks are more standard with exterior shutters although you can go for lockable plantation shutters as well. This will provide some added security but is probably better suited to keep the shutters closed for kids, pets, or strong winds.

Hidden tilt rods

Hidden tilt rods will make the most significant impact on appearance, offering a clean look with no interruption from the inside. It does come at the cost of having to pull louvres to open or close the shutter.

Split rods

Whether you want privacy and light simultaneously or just want to mix and match your sunlight, split rods are the way to go. You may split it anyhow you want, but dividing the shutter into one-third at the top and two-thirds at the bottom is common.

Big Things to Make It Work

You will obviously have to consider big things that will affect the price more as well. From choosing your perfect colour to specific detailing, these things can affect overall costs.

However, possibly the biggest decision to affect the pricing you’d be looking at is going for motorised shutters. These add to the comfort and differ significantly, with a range of options available as you consider the following:

  • Power source (Battery, Wired)
  • Controls (Remote, Switches, Apps)
  • Brand and Warranty

Louvre Size and Other Specifics

You will obviously have to consider big things that will affect the price more as well. From choosing your perfect colour to specific detailing, these things can affect overall costs.

Louvre size

Louvre size

There are a couple of standard louvre sizes and you want to decide on this with your window view and size in mind, as smaller louvres better fit smaller windows while larger ones give a clearer view. On the other hand, you can only go as big as your recess depth allows.



Bi-fold plantation shutters are great for larger windows or double doors but can work on smaller ones. Such shutters create an accordion effect when folded and look neat in both positions, so it’s worth considering if your space allows it.



There are several framing options you can go with, depending on whether you are mounting to fit the recess or to fit the window frame (to be discussed below). These options include Z and L frames with inside and outside mounts.

With that in mind, it’s important to note that the main differences between an L frame and a Z frame are the recess space requirements and the fact that the former can limit how much you can open your shutters.

Mounting Options

As said, choosing how you’ll mount plantation shutters can also determine the type of frame you’re going with.

Recess fit

Recess fit with an L frame is the most common choice, and most people will go with it if they have the option. This means fitting your shutters inside the window recess, which makes for a polished look and minimalistic appearance from both inside and outside.

The L frame requires a perfect angle, though, and this might mean extra work with caulking. On the other hand, the Z frame allows for imperfection with edges to cover any gaps. Whatever the case, you need quite some space for this option to work for you.

Face fit

While it’s a choice otherwise, you will have to go with a face fit if you don’t have enough recess depth. Typically, you’ll need at least 65mm for a recess fit and the face fit is recommended otherwise.

Face fit gives a more sturdy look and typically looks more robust. If you choose the face fit mount, it’s important to note that the Z frame is not available, and you also have to go with the L frame in such circumstances.

Installation Matters

All these tiny details point in the same direction, as we cannot but conclude shutter installation is all-important for your end product. This means you must be very careful with such a DIY project or select a professional contractor crew to rise to the challenge.

This means you want at least a few guarantees as you’re already investing money and going for a leap of faith with your house’s appearance. This means you want reasonable pricing and quick quoting, and outstanding efficiency. More importantly, you want to avoid poor workmanship, potential mistakes that go unaddressed, and disappointing customer support.

Look for an experienced contractor with solid customer reviews, who comes off as reliable and capable of producing a perfect end product.

Value for Money

As with any project, you want to get value for your money and there are certainly few better ways to invest in your home. Indeed, high-quality plantation shutters mean added comfort and added value to your house in the short and long term.

You don’t want to go for the cheapest quote only because it means the least money out of your pocket, but the highest price does not necessarily represent the highest quality of work either. You want the contractor to be upfront about the costs and use only quality materials so that you are actually happy with the results.

Final Thoughts

Plantation shutters are the perfect way to dress your windows to impress, adding to your house’s curb appeal and value when you decide it’s time to sell. More importantly, shutters provide that extra bit of comfort.

Shutters are a top solution if you’re looking to keep your home cool, want to have movie nights at noon, or wish to muffle your neighbour mowing their lawn. Browse solutions and choose your preferred option before getting in touch to get a quote, then compare different contractors’ prices and ultimately follow through the process to perfect results.