Frequently Asked Questions
Just click through the questions below to find out more information about our products and services. At Adare Shutters we’re happy to help and advise you so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Its best to leave the entire installation to us
THE DIY approach is possible and we will supply you with product to your measurements and issue measure guides and fitting instructions.
There are many ways to fit shutters and there is no one way that is better than another. You may fit them inside the reveal, the most common way in Ireland, or on the edge of the reveal or outside the reveal, all are permissible methods.
Frames are used extensively these days and they do certainly offer a number of benefits. However, Ireland’s housing stock, old or new, is generally brick, block and plastered. The plastering is never straight and batten fitting may be more suitable for out of shape openings. Frames were devised for the US market where the houses are made of timber frames which normally are a lot straighter.
The main difference between frames and battens used to be the hiding of the magnetic catches that hold your shutters straight, however we now fit with hidden magnets anyway, even in the header strip battens, its just a different look.
We do offer an inside mount L frame now that can be planed to take out some curve in the walls but it may still better to use battens if it severe. Battens can hide a certain amount of out of squareness but they will never straighten out your walls entirely. Talk through the options with us.
What are Plantation Shutters?
Plantation shutters are louvred panels fixed either inside or outside windows and doors. They originated in America and the West Indies and date back to before the American Civil War. The term Ante Bellum means pre war and is used to describe a style of plantation shutters. The louvre shutters offered by Adare Shutters are Ante Bellum. What are solid shutters? These are panels that have no louvers. They were originally installed in reveal boxes in pre Edwardian houses and were used a couple of times a year only, when the owners de camped for the season. They were not designed to be opened and shut daily like our present designs and that is why so few remain today.
How much do shutters cost?
• Vancouver range €390 per sq.m.
• Phoenix range €390 per sq.m
• Seattle range €290 per sq.m
• Hollywood range €400 per sq.m
• Solid shutter €400 per sq.m
That seems a lot, how do you justify this price?
If its any help they were double this 5 years ago on average however we do owe you an explanation:
A shutter panel may look like a door or kitchen unit panel but it has to live in a totally different environment. Normally a shutter panel fixed inside a window will have to endure some quite extreme variations in heat and humidity. Quite often it may have a radiator underneath it too, to add to the fun. In Ireland the inside glass temperature reaches 55c in summer. Our shutters are tested in Arizona (69c).
The Vancouver range is made of Western Red Cedar. The timber is so durable and stable it can be left outside untreated due to its resin content. We don’t have to laminate these shutters to prevent warping as cedar has a relatively straight grain and is very stable. The Phoenix range is made from Phoenix timer, sometimes called Parasol. It is a very light hardwood and has a laminated core similar to the Seattle. The timber goes through many processes before it becomes a shutter. Our engineered Seattle Range is made from a composite of many materials and is totally maintenance free whilst our Phoenix shutters may need re painting in 10 to 15 years time. The Hollywood is made of ABS and stiffened with a cedar core. ABS is the same material most “plastic” electric kettles are made of and is more expensive that premium timber, however it is very durable and heat resistant obviously or it would not be used for kettles!
All but the Vancouver are laminated in some way in construction, this is actually more expensive to make than solid timbers. We do this to make a better product. We can only sell cedar for these prices because although the wood is relatively expensive it is also the cheapest to make in labour and machinery terms. (Cedar is considered the very best timber for shutters as it has some unique properties although with laminating technologies other materials can produce quite different looking shutters of similar quality.)
Old furniture has some of its appeal in the warped and split aged look but we don’t think you would want your shutters to do this, especially after the guarantee has run out.
Apart from our Oiled Vancouver all the other finishes are carefully developed to be UV resistant and long lasting. They look almost too perfect when we install them but tone down very quickly and gain character. The cedar finishes may darken slightly. We don’t use regular domestic paint, if we did you would have to repaint/varnish your shutters every couple of years. These materials inevitably cost more. See colour ranges.
What louver size should I choose?
When making your louvre choice, consider the size of the window and the desired effect. Generally larger windows command a larger louvre size.
The larger the louvre the more light but the less privacy. In the USA most shutters are made with 3.5 (89mm) louvres or larger but here in Europe we tend to generally choose smaller louvres such as 47mm or 64mm. 32mm (available in cedar Vancouver only) is used a lot in bathrooms but also looks very good when painted white and used on café style installations in living room windows where the street maybe very close by.
If you have Georgian style windows with small windowpanes then we would definitely advise using the largest louver possible or the windows can look very busy. See louvre styles.
Why do you use two spellings for louver?
In America the spelling is louver and here louvre. We use both to get as many hits from search engines as possible and because Microsoft Word keeps changing our spelling.
How many shutter panels do I need in my window opening?
Our smallest panel width is 200mm and widest is 750mm, although with larger louver panels we do sometimes go wider but void warp warranty with your permission. Generally a window looks best with 4 panels, two opening as pairs either way. A 3 window bay, however, will usually have 2 panels on the smaller side windows and 4 in the centre.
All panels will open away from the middle.
There are as many exceptions as there are norms. For instance, a long window with 3 panes of glass, i.e.; 1800mm wide and 1000mm high, would have 6 panels; three folding either way or if you are only going to open them to clean the windows you could easily have just 3 panels. The Americans never open the shutters, only the louvers so design with large panels.
A lot of the time you will have to consider where the panels are going to fold back to and if there is enough room for this to happen. This is also true where you are fitting inside the reveal next to the window and you will not want the shutters, when open, to protrude into the room too much.
We would not recommend hanging more than 3 panels from a single batten hinged together unless they were not going to be opened apart from window cleaning and were resting on the sill or door step. As the maximum recommended width of our panels is 750mm you may say that this equates to 4500mm maximum width but it would be asking a lot of the batten to hold panels of this width and weight without sagging at a later date. So quite a lot of common sense is needed to achieve a good installation. Openings over 2200 generally need a top track, even if not using a top track at this width try to use a light panel such as Vancouver or Phoenix.
For partitioning or for large windows where tracking is needed at the top to suspend the panels you will really need an even number of panels or they will look odd and not hang from the track properly. Ideally 8 panels or 12 panels for very large openings is best although quite often it is wise to hang even 6 panels from tracking if they are quite large. With the heavier Seattle shutter this is clearly an option to be considered. We do not charge for tracking, it comes in the square metre price for the opening.
In summary, the window will normally dictate the number of panels. If the window is split into two halves you would either have 2 or 4 panels and it follows that if it is three panes then three or six panels will suffice. The vertical dividers of the windows are where the vertical stiles of the shutters should be ideally.
What wood do you use and is it Eco friendly?
“The Vancouver Range” is made from Western Red Cedar. The timber is very durable and has a most interesting grain. It is very expensive timber but does not need to be laminated to retain stability.
We buy our cedar from The Western Red Cedar Association in Canada. It is either replanted cedar or taken from designated forest areas where it is a managed forest. Cedar is one of the most used timbers in the world, in the USA a lot of houses are built entirely of cedar and it is used extensively for roofing shingles and decking because although a softwood, it is amazingly long lasting a resistant to wet and rot. As a result it is farmed in very well managed forests. (It is also the national tree of Lebanon and on their flag.
“The Phoenix” is made from a laminated constructed Phoenix wood, sometimes called Parasol. It grows in sub tropical areas of the southern states of the USA, China and Japan. It is a very fast growing tree reaching full height in about 15 years. Ideal for farming.
It is a hardwood but very light. We treat it with a special secret process to make it that light but it still has a very hard skin. It weighs in at almost the same as Cedar, making it ideal for shutters where the lighter the better generally applies.
It has an interesting story in that it is written in ancient Chinese history, that the most famous musician of the time, lost his beautiful house in a terrible fire. In the ashes though was his harp like instrument that had survived although it lost it horns and now the national instrument of China is the Zither, designed by fire 3000 years ago. It is said that the Phoenix bird only will nest in a Phoenix tree and eat the berries from it. This is because it is the slowest burning wood on the planet, it needs a secondary heat source to burn. In Japan it is believed that it has mystical properties.
After the Hiroshima Atom Bomb blast in 1945 the phoenix trees that were only 1.3km away from the epicentre survived and the following year flowered and brought forth seeds. The Japanese saw this as a sign of re birth and sent the seeds to world leaders as a gift and signal of their intentions to bring in new life from old.
I hope this isn’t too much information but we really like this timber and hope you will too. “The Seattle Range” is our most eco friendly product because no trees at all have been cutdown to make this product at all. Made from a laminated veneered lumber core (Basswood or other strong frame materials strips that are off cuts not usable elsewhere, laminated together with epoxy making a light, strong core), LDF laid bulk and polymer sealed outer coating.
Some shutter companies websites whine on about MDF and the dangers of formaldehyde poisoning. However, these shutters are sealed with a polymer coating. The dust from MDF maybe dangerous if you work with the stuff all day long and don’t wear a mask however MDF is used very expensively all over the world and is an extremely versatile material. However we don’t recommend you eating your shutters, making sawdust of them and then breathing in large quantities over weeks, so please don’t as we won’t be held responsible!
“The Hollywood Range” is made of ABS and stiffened with Cedar strips left from our Vancouver program and then spray painted so it doesn’t look like plastic, which is what it is basically. We don’t know how eco friendly it is so sorry, can’t answer that one however:
The Adare Shutters ECO STATEMENT
We use the most material efficient methods to make shutters that are known to us. We re use whatever wood is left from a process somewhere else because we are in the timber business and know our future depends on responsible management of the earth’s natural resources.
Our packaging is made biodegradable cardboard, we even make the packing inserts from cardboard. All recycling waste facilities in the Ireland will accept our cardboard. We do not use bubblewrap, we do not use polystyrene, we spend extra money in our processes that we could turn in to more profits to avoid mucking up the planet.
Does wood warp, shrink, change colour or age in any way?
Yes it does, all of those and so it should. If it doesn’t it ain’t natural.
Cedar can warp in very rare occurrences like any wood but is less prone to do so than virtually any other timber we know of. We do give you a guarantee though against significant warping. See our terms and conditions. To date though we have had less than one in 2000 panels do this. Similarly Cedar can shrink and does but also very little and we always advise fitting tight in the first instance. Shutters can quite easily be adjusted should this occur as it is never that much but it is probably better to leave them as they can just as easily swell again should the humidity increase.
Wood is a natural material and with its inconsistencies delivers pleasure. We do make perfect shutters because the market today expects perfect manufacture. Rustic looks are so because they are products made in rustic environments with basic tools and little technology, or badly/cheaply made or specifically finished to look that way. We think buying old Levis is OK if you don’t want to wear them for long. If you want an aged look then you can add it later, order it specially or just wait until it happens naturally. In fact within a week or two they develop a more lived in look and your decor adds character by proxy too.
And finally on this subject: Valuable antique furniture looked new 100 years ago and our shutters will be valuable antiques too, in a 100 years. Your curtains won’t be. The Seattle range is a different animal altogether. Although from 3 feet (.27M) away you almost cannot tell the difference from white painted wood shutters. If you have young children still in their destructive period you should definitely consider this range. If you do break louvers or damage a panel seriously we can usually remake one exactly from our records or replace louvers in situ. We use ISO 9002 recorded process manufacture.
What colours and stains are available?
View the colours section of this site for a full list of colours and stains that are available for each shutter range.
Can shutters be installed on any window?
Shutters can be installed on virtually any window, French door or patio sliding doors. They can also be used effectively as room dividers fitted on tracks. If the window/door opens inwards they can always be mounted outside of the reveal. Bi Pass tracking allows for shutter to slid past each other and is used where there are overhangs preventing the panels from swinging out.
How do I measure my windows and doors?
For a quick quote just measure the width and height of the opening and contact us by email or telephone.
What about maintenance?
Shutters are easily cleaned using a feather duster, damp sponge/soft cloth or run a vacuum cleaner over them. The finish shouldn’t need repainting for many years, indeed the Seattle shutters are totally maintenance free and cannot be re painted anyway.
How long from order will it take to get my shutters?
Shutters are custom manufactured to fit individual openings and are ready for installation in 6 to 8 weeks from the date of the order and receipt of the deposit.
Can I fit the shutters myself?
Of course you can. Some of our customers have fitted even very complex tracked installations beautifully. If you know how to scribe, use a planer and possess a level plus a level of practical common sense then go for it. We issue comprehensive fitting instructions and are available on the phone should you get stuck to help you out. BUT if you are like most, a person who has to cut three times to get the right length, then definitely don’t.
Do you offer onsite measuring and installation services?
Yes, just ask.
What if my windows are not square?
There is no virtually such thing as a window that is perfectly square. If using battens the side battens are 25mm thick and can be scribed to square off the window. You have really about 20mm of play with these. If the window slants the shutters will emphasise this as they are square and we do not advise trimming them lengthwise as when opened will look very odd.
Frames are used a lot now and for reveal edge fixes and outside fix are really the way to go. Inside reveal fixes are possible as long as the window is reasonably square. The new L frames we use are great and are scribable should that be necessary.
You will always find an optimum position however for the shutters that looks right.
If they look right, they are right!