Don’t judge a book by its cover. We have all heard this numerous times in our life and yet we still let ourselves be surprised when something is not as it seems. It is that mouth watering piece of moist, dark chocolate cake that, sadly enough, turns out to be some bizarre experiment in carob meets soy paste. Recently it was Aqua Dots, a cool looking toy and craft for small children that has since been recalled because it contains a variation of the date rape drug. Whoops!

Sometimes it is mass produced shutters, many made in China, that are finished with what we assume (and hope!) is a non toxic paint and sold on web sites and in American home centers. Granted they do look nice but then again, what wouldn’t? How many curb appeal type shows have we all seen where they stress putting on fresh coats of paint to hide poor workmanship just to make it easier to sell your home. Because it looks shiny and new doesn’t mean it was made well.

When buying shutters, whether they are for the interior or exterior of your home, spend some time “kicking the tires” so to speak.

Is the wood a solid hardwood or finger jointed drop off?
Is the joinery traditional pegged, mortise and tenon or do they cut corners by using dowels and screws?
Are the operable louver self balancing so they stay in any position you place them or do they rely on a mechanical tension screw that you need to adjust every time the humidity in your home changes?
Do the fixed louvers and panels float to allow for expansion and contraction?
Are the operable louvers attached with solid brass screw eyes that cannot fall out or do they use staples that will, sooner or later, fail?

Really, the idea is to try to learn as much as you can about your shutters before you buy them. Get samples from each company and compare. Does the shutter feel substantial in your hands or are you afraid that one good sneeze might tear it apart? Look behind that pretty white paint and golden oak stain and see for yourself whether your shutter is really a shutter, or is it just a lemon.

Kestrel Shutters & Doors

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

Kestrel Shutters & Doors, Inc. 1-800-494-4321 /