Shutters are old and a bit forgot way of shading windows, more expensive than blinds and shutters. Thanks to the shutter, you gain a beautiful home decoration. Maybe it’s worth it then? See how shutter is built and how they are mounted.
Shutters are the essence of the classic curtain. They have been known since ancient times and are still popular. Models are sold that are faithful reproductions of shutter known from folk architecture, matching, of course, houses with architecture referring to the regional style, but also more modern ones, which modernist houses will not be ashamed of. Shutters are more than just a decorative accent. They effectively protect against heat and cold, and against the prying eyes of neighbors. Some also from thieves. Currently, the shutter is more common in summer houses, much less – in new all-year houses. It is a pity because the shutters – apart from their decorative appearance – have many advantages.
Which shutters to choose?
Shutters come in a variety of shapes and finishes. There can be single-leaf or multi-leaf shutters – these are mounted in wider windows and usually folded into an accordion. Thanks to various designs, the shutters can be adapted not only to the façade but also to the shape of the window – there are shutters with a straight or rounded upper edge. Shutters are attached to the side of the frame or to the wall – depending on the type of fittings. The fittings are usually oxidized metal and painted with anti-corrosion paints.
If the shutters are to be only decoration, their dummy devices can be installed. Such shutters cannot be closed – they are permanently attached to the wall of the house. Wooden shutters – usually made of pine wood – are painted in various colors. Plastic – they are often colored in the mass, thanks to which they do not fade when exposed to the sun. Some of them can successfully imitate wooden shutters because there is a pattern of wood on their surface. Plastic shutters are stiffened with steel inserts, which makes them heavier and more durable.
Hinged shutters are the most common. Their wings have attached hinges to keep them in place and allow movement. They open outwards, of course. The hinge mechanism often has special latches that prevent the shutter from moving during strong winds. The shutter is usually closed with metal staples with a blockade that prevents them from being opened from the outside.
Another solution is a rod closure – a metal rod runs through the entire height of the shutter sash, which is lowered by-catches and special handles attached to the sill or window frame. The leaves of the swinging shutter are usually framed and filled with lamellas. These can be permanently mounted diagonally, but are usually movable, so they function like blinds, except that they cannot be pulled up and down. Both are called louvers. Full blackout is possible thanks to the panel shutter. Made of a frame filled with a board made of boards or slats or only boards. The surface of such shutter is additionally divided by vertical or horizontal reinforcing elements in the form of boards or steel fittings.
Sliding shutters have sashes identically constructed as in the case of the hinged shutter, but they move along guides – upper and lower – attached to the wall. Movement is allowed by trolleys equipped with small wheels sliding on the guides. For large balcony windows, a folding shutter is used, made of several narrow and high sashes connected with hinges, but moving thanks to trolleys with wheels.
The material from which the shutters can be made
When analyzing the market offer, you will notice that over 70% of shutters are made of wood, most often pine or oak. Meranti and teak dominate the exotic. The rest are metal shutters – made of light aluminum or heavier but more solid steel – or the lightest of all, made of PVC profiles.
How to install shutters
Shutters can be attached in different ways, depending on their weight and the type of wall. Solid wood shutter weigh up to 20 kg / m 2. Most often, shutter are attached to the wall, but it is also possible to mount the shutter to the window frame (in this case, the sashes, when closed, completely hide in the window opening, thus they are less exposed to rain and wind, the advantage of such mounting of the shutter is the possibility of installing them without disturbing the window frame. thermal insulation layer) or with a special band around the jamb.
In order to fix the shutter in the wall, holes 10-20 cm long are drilled in it, depending on the material from which it is erected. In walls with external thermal insulation, the fastening must be so deep that it is anchored in the load-bearing layer. Pins are placed in the holes, on which the hinges will be attached. The latter may have special latches that prevent the shutter from moving during strong winds.
Attention! The hinges must be selected in such a way as to support the weight of the shutter and keep it vertical. The hinge mechanism often has special latches that prevent the shutters from moving during strong winds.
Shutter are usually opened and closed manually – after opening the window. However, there are also solutions that allow you to close and open the shutter from the inside without having to open the window – with a crank, which is located in the room. The crank is then connected to the shutter with special gear. If the gear is connected to the motor, opening the shutter can be controlled by remote control or a button located on the wall right next to the window.
External shutter protect against the sun
It is worth installing a shutter on the walls of those rooms with large windows facing east, south, or west. In summer, it is especially hot in such rooms. The temperature in them can rise even by several degrees: in the rooms from the east – in the morning, from the west – in the afternoon.
It will be the hottest in those interiors with windows facing south – the sun is the longest there. By closing the shutter at the right time, we protect the interior of the house from excessive heating. If we install an openwork shutter with adjustable horizontal slats (rungs), we do not have to completely darken the room. Thanks to this, we can dose the amount of light entering the house, and with the window open, fresh air will flow freely through the gaps between the rungs.
External shutter protect against cold and noise
In winter, the shutter protects against the cold. Depending on the material they are made of – PVC or wood – they improve the thermal insulation properties of windows by 30-50%. The best effect is achieved by using an insulated shutter in which a layer of polystyrene or mineral wool is placed between two layers of wooden slats or plastic profiles. 5 cm of such insulation is enough to reduce heat loss through windows by up to 60%. If an electric machine is installed, it can be locked from inside the house and the window does not need to be opened. It is worth remembering that a closed shutter also protects against noise.
Another article on this blog that may interests you: