Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Wood Window Coverings

Not only are interior wood shutters classy and sleek, but they also hold up well if you take good care of them. That said, cleaning wood window coverings can be time consuming and a little frustrating. Louvers are especially difficult. Think of all those horizontal slats collecting dust. But don’t worry, all is not lost. To make the job a little easier, follow these window cleaning tips from the professionals.

Tools for Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Dusting gloves
  • Feather duster, or vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • Furniture polish or lemon oil
  • Mild detergent and water for tougher dirt

Cleaning Schedule

Factors like weather in Saratoga, CA, local allergens, sticky fingers, and smokers will impact how often interior shutters get dirty. Ultimately, you are the one to decide the best cleaning schedule for your household. Here is a basic recommendation.

  • Quickly dust window coverings every time you clean that room.
  • Fully dust window coverings once a month.
  • Thoroughly clean window coverings once a season (winter, spring, summer, and fall).
  • Deep clean window coverings twice a year (during the spring and just before holiday festivities).

How to Dust, Clean, and Protect Wood Window Coverings

There are two common methods for dusting: dusting by hand, or using the vacuum. To dust louvers, tilt the shutters as flat as possible. Then, starting at the top, work your way across. Clean each slat, working your way down to the bottom. Now, rotate the slats until they are closed the other direction and start at the top again. There are specialty tools you can use to clean multiple slats at once, but even just putting a sock on your hand and moving it back and forth can do the trick. As for vacuuming, tilt the blinds in the same manner and quickly dust with the soft brush attachment in place.

To clean away more stubborn dirt, you might need to use a mild detergent mixed with tepid water. Never soak the wood. Instead, simply try to clean it with a wet cloth, then rinse it with a damp cloth and dry it off immediately.

Now that your shutters are clean and tidy, use lemon oil or furniture polish to condition the wood and protect it. Spray the polish on a soft cloth and wipe each slat or panel. Again start at the top, working from side to side, and move down. Another thing you can do to repel dust is wipe the shutters with a dryer sheet. Or spray your duster or dust cloth with anti-static spray. Be sure it is a non-silicone brand. This will leave the surface more dust resistant.

Warnings

Do not wash your wood window covering with powerful chemical solvents or ultrasonic cleaners. These can damage and warp your wood shutters. Also, do not wash with water too often, even if the wood has been sealed. Water can still cause warping, bowing, bubbling, or discoloration if left on the wood too long.

Want to know more about maintaining your interior wood shutters in Saratoga, CA? San Francisco Shutters has the answers. Call today at (855) 538-8637 or visit our showroom on 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010.

Questions to Ask before Purchasing Interior Shutters

Beautiful, sturdy interior shutters are a popular home improvement project. They are functional, but they also add dramatic aesthetics. These window coverings are classy, durable, safe, and energy efficient. Because they come in a wide range of styles, you can find shutters to match your needs and tastes. However, if you are considering indoor shutters, you know they can be a pricey investment compared to over window coverings in Cupertino, CA.

Whatever you decide to go with, you want to feel confident in your choice. To help, here are a few questions to ask to put your mind at ease before purchasing interior shutters from any company.

What kind of wood are the shutters made of?

For indoor shutters, you want something durable and long lasting, but also light weight that resists warping and decay. That’s why we use incense cedar at San Francisco Shutters. It has a straight, smooth grain and takes paint and finishes well. The locally grown wood does not splinter when cut and has excellent dimensional stability.

Is vinyl or composite better than the natural wood?

This depends on who you ask. If you are looking for the most affordable option, a man-made material might be better. However, we certainly recommend wood and more customers prefer it too. Wood shutters are lighter and stronger than those made with composite materials. You can paint them any color you choose. The material is easier to customize if you want a certain curve or shape to your shutters.

What styles do you offer?

Styling choices are important, especially when windows are often the focal point of any room. We offer functional board-and-batten, classic louvered, more traditional raised panel, and exotic Bahama shutter styles. Each has a unique look with a different appeal. And if none of these options are right, you can customize your shutters to suit your needs.

What louver size do you suggest for my windows?

We have options from 1 ¼” to 5 ½” in louver sizes. The thinner slats give you more light control and ventilation. The wider slats can block out more sunshine and give you better privacy. The most common width is 3 ½” for standard windows, and larger sizes for oversized windows or sliding glass doors.

Do I need to include a midrail?

The midrail is a fixed horizontal slat that allows the louvers above to operate independently of the louvers below. This option gives you a little more versatility. Say you want to open the top to let in light, but leave the bottom closed for privacy. With a midrail, you don’t have to open and close all the shutters every time you want to adjust them.

There are several other questions you should ask before making a big purchase like shutters. However, these are some good items to get you started in the right direction.

At San Francisco Shutters, we want you to feel completely confident in your decision to get interior window coverings. If there is anything you want to know about window shutters in Cupertino CA, don’t hesitate to ask. Call our office at (855) 538-8637 or come down and see us, 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010.

Inside or Outside Mounts for Window Coverings?

Windows come in all different shapes and sizes and so do window coverings. Interior and exterior shutters are classic options that are widely popular in Palo Alto, CA. There are several options when it comes to material, style, and color and the choices don’t end there. Once you have decided on the perfect shutters, you get to decide how to mount your window covering. Will it be on the inside or outside of the window frame? Not sure what the differences are? Hopefully this will clear things up.

Inside Mount

As the name suggests, installers mount these window coverings inside the casing. This gives the shutters a cleaner look and accentuates the trim around your window frames. Inside mounts work well on windows with deep sills. The recessed shutters will give you extra space, leaving room for furniture and other decorations. Of course, they do come with limitations.

Most shutters will leave small gaps along the edges so the shutters can open and close smoothly. While functional, these small openings will let in light while shutters are closed. Not all windows can accommodate inside mounts. There has to be enough depth. Fortunately, there are measuring guides you can use to verify the minimum depth for inside mount window covers. Also, you need to make sure you have enough clearance to install the shutters so they don’t hit the hardware. Larger handles, locks, or cranks might be in the way.

Outside Mount

Even if the window casing is deep enough to support an inside mount shutter, you can still choose the outside mount. This option extends shutters beyond the actual window, both above and below, as well as side to side. Ultimately, you can choose dimensions as long as they are larger than the window opening. A larger window covering can make small windows appear bigger. Because the shutters can fold completely out of the way, it opens up the entire view outside your window. And when they’re shut, the outside mounted window-covering blocks out more light. Plus, you don’t usually have to worry about cranks or hardware getting in the way, but there are disadvantages too.

If you have bulky, or thick trim, it will not be easy to place an outside mount shutter. You might need shims or projection brackets. And while this hardware does make it possible to attach outside mount shutters, they don’t always look the best. Outside mount shutters also stick out a bit more.

Choose Your Own Design

The choice for inside or outside mount shutters is up to you. Both options are functional and stylish. The classic lines will give your home the traditional look many homeowners crave. Choose the design that best matches your needs and aesthetic tastes.

Choose San Francisco Shutters

Have more questions about window coverings in Palo Alto, CA? The professionals of San Francisco Shutters are eager to help. Visit our showroom at 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 and get a firsthand look at inside and outside mounted shutters. Or call us today at (855) 538-8637 and schedule a free, in-home consultation.

History of Shutters as Window Coverings

Wood window shutters have been popular window coverings for generations. They are durable, fairly easy to maintain, and hold a classic style. They are also a standard fixture in many historical buildings. Have you ever wondered where traditional shutters came from? Here is a quick review of the history of interior and exterior shutters.

The Beginning of Shutters

With an almost universal use, from Italy to New England, it is difficult to pin down the exact origins of window shutters. Ancient Greece is usually agreed upon as the first populace to use window shutters. They were made of marble, if you can imagine. And, like modern window coverings, these shutters offered light control, protection, and ventilation. Shortly after, the concept of window shutters spread across Europe and quickly began to change.

Tudor England

During the late reign of Henry VIII and the early reign of Elizabeth I, most homes had shutters made of solid wood. The oldest styles include single board, or board-and-batten. They were not much to look at aesthetically, but they did the job. They provided security, privacy, an added layer of insulation in the winter, and allowed for ventilation during the summer. However, they looked different from the window coverings of today. Glass was a luxury, and often just the upper portion of the window would have a pane. So if there was glass, only the lower half of the window’s opening was covered by shutters. For the most part, shutters were used in place of the glass. By the early 1600s, there were hardly any homes across England without window shutters.

The New World

Once the Spanish started colonizing the Americas, they brought many advancements with them. Their decadent mansions in the South were the first in the New World to employ the use of “plantation shutters.” These had wider louvers, so owners could look out over the cotton plantations. They were often painted white so the inside would still look bright even when shutters were shut. Additionally, when England colonized New England, they brought their narrow, louvered shutters. Modern café style shutters mimic the original shutters used before glass become affordable. These have a solid bottom half and louvered top half. In the 19th century, people started to get more creative, developing more styles and designs. They also combined shutter styles. Some homes had raised panel shutters on the first level for better privacy and security and louvered shutters on the second level for improved ventilation.

Modern Day Window Coverings

Today, interior and exterior shutters are still popular window coverings. Manufacturers produce them in a verity of materials, styles, shapes, and colors to suit the needs of every homeowner. You can hang them both inside and outside the window frame or on the inside or outside of your home. You can even get motorized plantation shutters.

If you are interested in purchasing these types of window coverings in Los Gatos, CA then give us a call at (855) 538-8637. Or you can visit us at 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010. The professionals at San Francisco Shutters are ready to help you navigate all the options on the market. With our help, you get the best possible window covering for your needs.

FAQs about Exterior Wood Shutters

Still not sure about choosing wood shutters for your home in Saratoga, CA? Here are a few frequently asked questions that might help you understand our products:

What are exterior shutters?

Exterior shutters can be installed on the outside of any window or door opening. They enrich the external aesthetic of your home and boost its curb appeal.

Where can I install exterior wood shutters?

Because we have the right tools and skills, our professionals can attach exterior shutters to almost any construction material—wood, brick, plaster, cement, and even vinyl.

Why are shutters made of solid incense cedar?

We offer the best workmanship and materials for our wood shutters in Saratoga, CA. The solid incense cedar (aka California White Cedar) is usually white to reddish brown. The grain is straight and has a fine, uniform texture. When cut, the wood doesn’t splinter. One of the main reasons we use incense cedar for our shutters is because of its weathering characteristics. It holds paint and finishes well, but it’s also strong and has good dimensional stability. It even resists pests and decay.

What styles are available?

At San Francisco Shutters we offer several stock and special order shutters styles. Some of these styles include:

  • Louvered. These are the classic style shutters with horizontal slats you can tilt to let in light and ventilation.
  • Raised panel. These more traditional shutters are solid wood with a four piece frame surrounding the fifth raised panel.
  • These wood shutters are especially popular along the coast as they hinge at the top of the window instead of to the side, and pull out to block the window from rain during a storm.
  • Board and batten. These feature wide, vertical slats fixed tightly together with two or more horizontal slats to keep them in place.
  • There are also several styles you can creatively combine, like louvered and raised panel, to get the exact style you want.

The styles we offer come in a variety of thicknesses and widths to accommodate most window openings. If none of our stock or special order shutters suit your needs, we can supply you with unique, custom built shutters to give you the look of your dreams.

How much do exterior wooden shutters cost?

The prices are based on the size, material, and customization. Larger shutters will often be more expensive. However, at San Francisco Shutters we pride ourselves on offering the finest shutters in Saratoga, CA at affordable prices.

Do you install my shutters?

Absolutely. We employ and retain the best installers in the area. Most of them have 10+ years of experience in shutter installation. We never use sub-contractors.

Why don’t you offer painted finishes?

Over the years we have found there is very little demand for dedicated paint colors. Most customers prefer wood shutters they can paint themselves. That way, they can choose the color they want.

How long will wood shutters last?

If properly finished and maintained, wood shutters can last for 20+ years. There are some situations that result in premature deterioration. Usually this is in damp climates where mildew and mold accumulate. Be sure to prime and paint your shutters or seal them and they will serve you well for many years.

Want to learn more about our product and services? Call us today at (855) 538-8637 or visit our showroom, 1676 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010. At San Francisco Shutters, we are eager to answer your individual questions and help you out in any way we can.