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Archive for the ‘Exterior Doors’ Category

Using Exterior Shutters & Doors on your Outdoor Living Space

Something that we have been seeing more of in the last couple of years has been the use of shutters and doors to create more usable living space.   We see shutters and doors being used as windbreaks on decks and around pools, forming the walls of gazebos, cabanas, outdoor showers and even fully enclosing porches.

Plantion shutters used to block the sun on the outdoor lobby of this Dude Ranch

Here operable louver shutters are combined with roman shades to control the light on the porch lobby of this Dude Ranch.

Exterior Shutters as Windbreaks and Sun Screens

Louvered shutters, both operable and fixed, do an excellent job of blocking the wind and Sun.  These are usually mounted with hinges or fixed in frames.  Another common installation method is to make a simple wood frame with a groove to allow the louvered shutters to slide back and forth.  The benefit of the hinges or slide are that you can easily move the shutters out of the way if you want an unobstructed view.

If you are looking to drastically reduce the amount of wind or sun consider alternating between louvered shutters and a solid style shutter like a raised panel or tongue & groove.  Alternatively if you are looking to block the sun or wind in only a single place on your porch you can always create a mini frame to hold the shutters in that spot and leave the rest open.

Gazebos and Cabanas

Plantation shutters areused to enclose this Gazebo overlooking Puget Sound.

Plantation Shutters on a Gazebo overlooking Puget Sound

 

Just like louvered shutters can be used as windbreaks and sun screens on a porch they can be adapted to stand alone structures like gazebos and cabanas.  There they can be used to create walls between the posts and roof supports and even provide security.  If hinged they can be opened up to create “windows”.  We often see louvered doors added to cabanas to provide privacy as a changing room or outdoor shower.

If only a little bit of ventilation is needed choose a style like our louver over tongue & groove.  This gives the extra protection and sound insulation from the true tongue & groove boards while still providing some air flow.

 

Operable Louvers v.s. Fixed Louvers

  • Operable louvers allow you to adjust how much of the wind and sun is blocked so that you can completely shut out the Sun, wind or rain and then open it up for more gentle breezes.   If you have particularly strong winds you may need to attach a simple latch to keep the louvers open or closed during blustery days.
  • Fixed louvers will deflect the Sun, wind and rain but still allow a steady flow of air.  This is helpful where there is a concern for overheating and a need for constant circulation.  Since the louvers are fixed these are best hinged or in sliding frames.  That way they can be opened up when you want.

The best thing to do is to go where you plan to add exterior shutters and doors and think about what you want to block.  Is it the sunlight, wind, your neighbors house or just the outdoors in general?  Do you want to the shutters to cover the entire area or just a part?  Will you want to be able to remove or open the shutters or do you prefer them to be fixed in place.  Going through these questions will help to narrow down what will work best for your home.  If you are still not sure what will work best give us a call, an email or use our online chat.

Exterior shutters and doors on a pool-side cabana

Exterior shutters enclose this pool-side bar and cabana.

operable louvered door on an outdoor changing room

An operable louvered door is used to close of this outdoor changing room.

operable louvered shutters act as a windbreak on this second story porch

Operable louvered shutters act as a windbreak and privacy screen on this second story porch.

arched shutters block the wind in this breezeway

Arched, fixed louvered exterior shutters were used to block off one side of this breezeway between buildings.

Closet & Door Openings Not SquareFramed opening for a closet door
It is not uncommon to have the openings for interior doors or closet doors be out of square. The reasons could be anything from the house settling to an uneven floor to stud walls and header being twisted. The good news is that in most cases it is easy to work around these issues.

Rough Openings vs Finished Openings
If the opening for your doors is still rough (not framed out) then it really does not matter if your opening is square or not. When you frame out the opening you will have a chance to square everything up. This is also the case if you are installing pocket doors. If you are not sure if your door openings are rough or not here is an earlier post that explains the difference. Interior Doors: A Rough Opening vs. A Finished Opening

Measuring for your Doors
The first thing you will want to do is measure the framed opening where you want your doors. It is a good idea to measure the width and height in a few different places. This will help to show you where, if at all, your framed opening is out of square. Another check is to measure diagonally across the opening. If the measurement from the top left corner to the bottom right corner is the same as the measurement from the bottom left corner to the top right corner then your framed opening is square. Here is a link to our site on How to Measure for Doors which will help. If you do find that your framed opening is not square there are ways to work around this.

Uneven Header
If you the header dips to one side or another, or if it has a “bump” in the middle there are a few things you can do. You can try and correct it be removing and re-installing the header. Most likely this will be more difficult and time consuming than the alternative. If you are installing sliding closet doors or bifold doors you can simply shim out the track to make it level. Any resulting gap can be easily covered with a valence or corner moulding. If you are installing hinged doors you have a choice. If the header only dips an 1/8″ or so you may just want to leave it be. However, if the gap is more noticeable you should consider removing the door casing and straightening the door jamb.

Uneven Floor
If your floor is uneven there is not too much that you can do other than rip up and lay down a new floor. Thankfully an uneven floor will not affect the way your doors work. It will just mean that you have more of a gap at one end of the bottom than at the other.

Side Jambs not Plumb
If your house has settled you will mostly likely find that the side jambs will not be plumb. You will treat this similar to how it was explained with the uneven header above; let it be if the gap is small or remove the casing and re-plumb the jamb. If you installing sliding closet doors or bifold doors the simplest thing to do is to let the gap stay and then apply a simple quarter round or corner moulding right in front of the doors along the side jambs. This will hide the gap and not interfere with the way the doors open and close.

Hopefully this post has been helpful. If you still have questions on how to work with your non-square openings for your doors just ask. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help. quote form for custom sized panel doors

 

 

Here is another terrific outdoor project. This customer made great use of Kestrel Exterior Shutters and Louvered Doors when designing their outdoor dining area and kitchen for their coastal home.

To allow for both air flow and privacy an Operable Plantation Louvered Door (style 6212) was used for the bathroom. All of the outer windows were fitted with awning style Bahama Shutters. Operable Plantation Louvered Bahama shutters (style 1010) were used where privacy was needed while the other windows had Plantation Fixed Louvered Bahama Shutters (style 2010) to provide constant air flow. The exterior shutters and door were custom sized and built from Spanish Cedar using traditional pegged, mortise and tenon joinery.

Beach house with operable louvered doors and operable louvered bahama shutters

Below you can see the Operable Louvered Doors and the exterior view of the Bahama Shutters.

Bermuda Shutters overlooking the beach




Here from the inside you can see how the Bahama Shutter Hardware is mounted to prop the shutter open creating an awning which is quite effective at screening the sun. We installed Bahama Shutters on the exterior of our Southerly facing office last year. The temperature inside was significantly reduced and the shutters also provided our Geranium packed window boxes just under each shutter a bit of sunscreen.

This project turned out great!

A naturally beautiful and renewable choice- Wood shutters and doors by

Kestrel Shutters & Doors, Inc.   www.DIYShutters.com   1-800-494-4321 / sales@diyshutters.com

cedar cabana doors

Time to make your wish list of outdoor projects happen and we can help!

Our Custom-made exterior doors and exterior shutters find a variety of uses outside such as for this terrific poolside cabana. These cabana doors are Kestrel style 6161 – Fixed Traditional Louvered over Tongue & Groove. The customer also installed our 3.1/2″ fixed California Louvered exterior shutters to close over the bar counter window when not in use.

cedar poolhouse doors

exterior cabana shutters

Kestrel Shutters & Doors

A naturally beautiful and renewable choice – Wood shutters and doors by

Kestrel Shutters & Doors, Inc. www.DIYShutters.com 1-800-494-4321 / sales@diyshutters.com

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