Monthly Archives: August 2016

Choosing Shutters as New Window Coverings

Plantation shutters are many homeowners’ favorite window coverings. They are durable, versatile, and can be less expensive than most custom textile draperies. Interior shutters can also increase the value of your home. They are one of the few window coverings that you can finance in the purchase of your house, because if you sell, they often stay with the home. But deciding on shutters is only the first step. You also have to consider the style and material you want for your window covering. Here is some information to get you started.

Brief History of Shutters

Many associate plantation shutters with the grandiose mansions and old plantations of the south. While these unique window coverings did gain popularity during that time, the shutters go as far back as ancient Greece. They were designed for three basic functions: ventilation, light control, and protection. In ancient Greece the first shutters were made of marble. They were solid, sturdy, and difficult to maneuver. Later, as woodworkers became masters of their craft, the design and functionality of louvered shutters improved. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Spanish introduced shutters to America. Not only were they functional, but renowned for the grandeur and elegance they provided in the design of a home.

Types of Shutter Styles

Most often interior shutters are horizontal louvers you can adjust with a tilt rod, up and down. This allows you to let varying degrees of light in a room and control your level of privacy. Of these, there are two main types: traditional and plantation shutters.

Traditional shutters are shallow, only about 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ inches wide. As such, professional installers from San Francisco Shutters Co. can install them inside the window frame.

Plantation shutters are often wider, anywhere from 2 ½ to 4 ½ inches. The wider slats originated in warmer climates, and let in more air while also blocking out the hot sunlight.

The last style is called paneled shutters. They do not have louvers. Instead the panels open and close to let in or shut out light. Some panel shutters come in split design, with louvers on the bottom of top half.

Materials Used for Shutters

These window coverings in San Jose, CA come in several materials which makes them a great alternative to blinds, curtains, and other draperies. They can match any style and color, streamlining the design of your home. Here are the materials you can choose from: natural wood, Polybilt composite and vinyl.

Natural or painted wood shutters are often made of a lightweight hardwood. It has a tight grain and consistent color. The basswood resists moisture and takes both paint and stain well.

Some window shutters are made from wood strands and fibers bonded together. The composite engineered wood is stronger, stiffer, and more durable than natural wood. These window coverings come pre-finished.

Polybilt comes from recyclable synthetics, engineered and reinforced. These window coverings are energy efficient. The surface will not chip, crack, or warp. And though these come in standard white or off-white, you can custom paint Polybilt in any color of your choosing.

Last, but not least, vinyl shutters are durable, lightweight, and resistant to moisture. These shutters will not warp. Though they cannot be painted, these window coverings do come in a variety of finishes, in a range of popular neutral colors. They are often the least expensive option and come mainly in plantation styles.

Are you still curious about the types of window coverings offered at San Francisco Shutters Co? Contact us today at (650) 552-9020. We can set up an appointment to visit and check out some styles and materials in our showroom at 1676 Gilbreth Rd.  Burlingame, CA 94010.

Care and Maintenance for Your Wood Shutters

Natural or painted wood shutters are not only functional, but add a refined elegance to your home. It is no wonder they are a classic installation for countless homeowners in San Jose, CA. However, if neglected, those would-be beautiful shutters can look worn. Over time they can become dingy and dirty with dust and residue. As such, routine cleaning and maintenance is essential if you want to keep them looking like new. But you cannot pull them down and spray them off as you would with traditional blinds. Wood shutters take more care. Here are a few tips to follow.

Cleaning Natural Wood Shutters

If you have stained or natural wood shutters you want to be mindful about what you choose to wash them with. You cannot use a lot of water or any harsh chemicals. You should also avoid any rough tools that might scratch the surface. The best way to clean them weekly is with a soft dust cloth, a brush, or a vacuum and a small brush attachment.

First run the vacuum with the brush over the slats. This will grab up most of the loose dust and dirt. Follow up with a dry cloth or a dusting brush to get in the tighter spaces. Do what you can without using any water. Then, for stubborn dirt, use a small, slightly wet brush. Scrub the dirt away and quickly dry the area to avoid any water damage. While cleaning pay close attention to the tilt rod, since this where much of the dirt and oil will collect. Once a month you should use a wood polish on your shutters to condition the wood and keep dust at bay.

Cleaning Plywood or Painted Shutters

Plywood shutters, or any made from synthetic materials, are a little more resilient than natural wood. As such, you can use cleaning materials that are a bit more substantial. Still stay away from abrasives, but if you need to use a cleaning solution on stubborn dirt, you can dilute it with water as needed.

You follow much the same routine, as with wood shutters. Start with the brush attachment on the vacuum, follow up with the dry cloth and small brush. Then move on to the harsher materials for tough dirt. Wash with the solution, rinse with a damp cloth, and then dry immediately.

Cleaning Exterior Shutters

Cleaning and maintaining exterior shutters takes entirely different tactics. They maybe a bit harder to reach, but they are made of more resilient exterior materials and therefore easier to clean. Fortunately you can use more aggressive cleaning techniques and will not have to clean these as often as interior shutters. Feel free to use as much water as you need and even consider investing in a pressure washer to make your job easier.

First use a hose or pressure washer to spray away most of the dirt and grime. Next, safely use a ladder to access the shutters, and clean the shutters with a scrub brush and cleaning solution. A bucket of water with some liquid dish soap will work well, and for tough stains you can use diluted bleach. If you are using harsher chemicals to clean, test a non-visible area of the shutters first. Once you are done scrubbing, rinse away the soap with more water.

Call San Francisco Shutters Co. for Help

Routinely cleaning your San Jose window shutters will keep them looking like new. It also provides regular opportunities for you to check for sticking or other major problems. If you have any questions about cleaning or maintenance, feel free to call us at (650) 552-9020 or visit our store located at 1676 Gilbreth Rd. Burlingame, CA 94010.

8 Leading Benefits of Interior Shutters

Interior window shutters are a timeless classic, and an easy way to update your home without going to too much trouble. Though a little more expensive than most window coverings, they provide a great value. Best of all? Shutters can work with any style and any home—minimalist, modern, traditional, craftsman, really anything. If you are thinking of getting shutters in San Jose, CA, then don’t wait. Here are just a handful of some of the benefits you can expect from a professional shutter installation from San Francisco Shutters Co.

Efficient

In San Jose, CA you want to make sure your windows are well insulated. The solid wood shutters help keep the cool air in and hot air out of your home, cutting down on unnecessary energy expenses and making climate control easier.

Durable

Unlike flimsy plastic blinds, wooden and vinyl shutters will last a lifetime without getting damaged or torn apart. You can consider the installation of shutters to be a permanent addition to your home instead of an application that will need routine replacement. They can withstand daily use, in both residential and commercial environments.

Versatile

Interior shutters in San Jose, CA come in any number of colors and stains. You can use them to match your existing décor, or to help give your home that much needed update. Also, because of panel configurations, you can install shutters on almost any window shape or size. Because most shutters are hinged in the opening, you still have full access to your windows and expansive views.

Black Out

Most other window coverings do a decent job of darkening a room, but cannot block out the light completely. Interior window shutters block out more light. They are great for east and west facing bedrooms, or the theater room.

Lighten Up

Not only can louvered shutters black out a room, but also let in more natural light when opened. This is because the slats are markedly wider than most blinds. If you open your louvers the right way, you can let in loads of natural light while still maintaining your privacy.

Stylish

Though having been consistently used for decades, interior window shutters never look dated. Shutters always look amazing, from both inside and outside your home. The classic and streamlined aesthetic remains stylish and compliments any interior design.

Easy to Use

There are no cords or strings. Simply lift and lower the blinds with the tilt bar. Not only does this make shutters easy to operate, but also means they are safer for young children. They are also much easier to clean and maintain.

Boost Home Value

Your window shutters are not something you can take with you when you move. Unfortunately you have to leave them behind. That said, shutters will set your home apart for perspective home buyers and boost the value of your home.

Want to learn more about interior shutters or get a quote for installation? Contact San Francisco Shutters Co. at (650) 552-9020. Or, to see the types of products we offer come visit our store front at 1676 Gilbreth Rd. Burlingame, CA 94010.