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Do you need help with finding the right design for your interior or exterior shutters and doors?  We can help.

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windows too close for exterior shuttersIt is not uncommon to have a window somewhere on your home where there is physically not enough room for exterior shutters. It could be that 2 windows are too close like in the picture shown to the left. It could also be that the window is too close to a chimney, the corner of the house or even a porch post. Whatever the reason there are usually a few ways to work around this.

Functional Exterior Shutters or Decorative Only
The first thing you need to decide is how you will use your exterior shutters. Do you plan to install your exterior shutters on hinges, so that you can open and close them for storm protection or even for routine house maintenance? Or maybe you will bolt them to your house as decorative shutters only. If your exterior shutters will be for decoration only then not having enough room is not a major issue. With decorative shutters you can always go with narrower shutters to fit the wall space that you have.

If your exterior shutters will be functional you really will need to make sure that they can open and close without hitting anything. A good way to test this is to cut out a piece of cardboard to the size of your shutters? Next, go to any widows that you think might be tight for room and just pretend it is on hinges while you “open” and “close” the cardboard a few times to check for clearance.

Bifold Shuttersexterior shutters next to a chimney
If there is not enough room for shutters on both sides of your window one way to work around this is to hinge your exterior shutters together as bifolds. So instead of having 1 shutter on either side of the window you will have 2 shutters on one side only. You can see an example of this in the picture at the top. A Bifold application is also a great way to mount exterior shutters to cover a bay window.

Leaning Shutters
Some times the exterior shutters are so close to a chimney or where a wall takes a 90° turn to lay flat. It is traditionally accepted to hinge the shutters like normal and have the shutter on one side just lean against the obstruction. If you look carefully at the picture at top you will see the base support for chimney on the left hand side. To give you a better overall view the picture to the right is of the entire side of the house.

exterior shutters on a gable windowExterior Shutters on Gable Windows
With gable windows there is often not enough wall space for the full shutter to lay flat. There are 2 straight forwards ways to handle this layout. Like the picture to the left you can hinge your shutters like normal and just accept the fact that they will hang out a little bit. The alternate way is to mount the shutters at the top with hardware designed for Bahama shutters.

If you are still unsure how best to size or mount your shutters so that they can open and close, please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help.

 

Aluminum Hurricane Shutters

Aluminum Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane Shutters
When it comes to Hurricane Shutters you need to know that they will indeed stand up to, well, a hurricane. Your Hurricane Shutters will be that first line of defense that keeps your windows, and the inside of your home, intact. To make sure that Hurricane Shutters will indeed stand up to their name the State of Florida requires independent testing and review by a Florida licensed professional engineer. Once they have verified that the shutters will indeed withstand a hurricane the product is approved.

What is the HVHZ?
While hurricanes strike all over the country, those with the highest winds hit Florida in the Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. These make up the High Velocity Hurricane Zone also known as HVHZ. Some hurricane shutters are strong enough to be approved for use within the HVHZ while others are not as durable and can only be used for hurricane protection outside the HVHZ.

I know that I need Hurricane Shutters. Now what?
When you are ready to add hurricane shutters to your home or business a good first step is to check with your insurance company. They will be able to give you any requirements for you location. When you are talking with a retailer of hurricane shutters here is some information that you will want to check.

FL# – This is the application number. It will start with “FL” and then the application numbers. When there are revisions there will be an “.R” afterwards with the revision number. Revisions can be a change in the design of the hurricane shutters or even a change in the way they are installed. It is important to note the revisions as while one might have passed another might not have.

Application Status – Just because there is an application does not mean the the shutters were approved. The Application Status will let you know whether these exterior shutters have been approved or not.

Limits of Use – This is the part to which you will need to pay special attention. This section will tell you if the shutters have been approved in the HVHZ or only approved in the rest of Florida but NOT the HVHZ. It will also give you the design pressure and let you know if they are impact resistant. You can sometimes also find size restrictions here.

Description – Here you can also find size restrictions for the hurricane shutters.

Installation Instructions – On the application report there will be a link to a PDF that gives the approved installation instructions. This is a very important section to read through. Even if your exterior shutters are approved for hurricane protection they will only perform properly if you install them as shown in the instructions.

When you are looking at a retailer for hurricane shutters make sure that they can provide you with all of this information, for the safety of your home and family.

You can follow this link for more information on our HVHZ approved Hurricane Shutters.

Bahama shutters

Bahama shutters

What exactly are Bahama Shutters?
Simply put, Bahama Shutters, also referred to as Bermuda Shutters, are shutters that are mounted at the top and propped out like an awning over a window. While mainly an exterior style of shutter they are some times used inside to give a more tropical feel to a room.  Bahama Shutter Hardware consist of hinges at the top and an arm to prop the shutter open.

Hinges for Bahama Shutters
There are 2 main types of hinges for Bahama Shutters, both of which are mounted at the top. There are continuous hinges (figure 1) running the width of the shutter and single knuckle hinges (figure 2) similar to a door hinge. The continuous hinges are stronger and more often used where the shutters will be fully functioning. The extruded continuous hinges we offer are the same ones supplied with Aluminum Hurricane Shutters. The single knuckle hinges can also be used on functioning exterior Bahama Shutters but are best situated where the shutters are propped open permanently like an awning.

Extruded Hinges for Bahamas Shutters

figure 1 - Extruded Hinges for Bahamas Shutters

Knuckle Hinges for Bahama Shutters

figure 2 - Knuckle Hinges for Bahama Shutters

Arms for Bahama Shutters
There are also 2 types of arms that are used to prop Bahama Shutters open. You have adjustable arms (figure 3) and stationary arms (figure 4). The adjustable arms are telescoping so that you can adjust the angle at which you prop open your Bahama Shutters. This is very helpful in getting your exterior shutters positioned just right so that you have a view to the outside while blocking the sun and afternoon showers. The stationary arms are used usually to prop open Bahama Shutters like an awning. These come in a few different lengths and are less expensive than the adjustable arms.

Keep in mind that depending on how wide your Bahama Shutters are you may need more than 2 arms per shutter.

Adjustable Arms on Bahama Shutters

figure 3 - Adjustable Arms on Bahama Shutters

Stationary Arms on Bahama Shutters

figure 4 - Stationary Arms on Bahama Shutters

What do I need if I am using them on Hurricane Shutters?
If you are using your Bahama Shutters for hurricane protection then I would strongly recommend our continuous hinges. They are not only much stronger than a knuckle hinges but are fastened more securely to your home to insure the best protection. As far as the arms go, since both are removed during a hurricane there is no real benefit one way or the other.

If you are not sure which type of hardware for Bahama shutters is best for you please ask us. Give us a call, send us an email or start an online chat. We are happy to help

Click here to order your Bahama Shutters Hardware.

Kestrel Shutters & Doors was recommended for our interior and exterior shutters in a recent article on the Martha Stewart website. You can read the article here – Inspiration: Shutters – Home Design with Kevin Sharkey.

Thank you Mr Sharkey!

Interior Faux Plantation ShuttersFaux Plantation Shutters?

At first it sounds like some sort of fake, decorative only shutter. While they are certainly decorative they are anything but fake. The “faux” in Faux Plantation Shutters simply means that they are not made from wood.

What are Faux Plantation Shutters made out of?

There are different materials that can be used but in our case we use an exterior grade, closed cell PVC. It will not rot, fade, chip or crack. They even come with a 25 year unconditional guarantee. An added benefit is that using this high density PVC allows for the frame and louver blades to be designed with air pockets that help insulate your home. kitchen faux plantation shutters

How safe are they?

Our Faux Plantation Shutters have GREENGUARD® certification for Microbial Resistance as well as Indoor Air Quality. This means they are approved for use in hospitals and schools and safe to use in your home. They also meet and exceed the NFPA 701 flammability testing for commercial and hospitality applications.

How do they compare to composite shutters?

The main difference is that composite shutters need to be painted. So even though a composite shutter may be somewhat maintenance free you will need to repaint it every few years. More if you live in a coastal region. With our Faux Plantation Shutters the color is blended right in so they never need maintenance. The 25 year unconditional guarantee even covers the color from fading or chipping.

What are good applications for Faux Plantation Shutters?

Our Faux Plantation Shutters can be used any where Wood Plantation Shutters can be used, both inside and out. The pictures below show only a few different ways. Call, email or chat with us to discuss how our Faux Plantation Shutters will work for you.

Hotel Faux Plantation Shutters

Faux Plantation Shutters for the private verandas of a Hotel

Faux Plantation Shutters Shading around a pool

Shading around a pool

Hospital Faux Plantation Shutters

Resists the growth of mold within Hospitals

Porch Faux Plantation Shutters

Enclosing a porch

Bathroom Faux Plantation Shutters

Inside a bathroom

Faux Plantation Shutters for an outdoor café

Faux Plantation Shutters for an outdoor café

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