Choosing between roller shutters and plantation shutters for your home

By Our Reporter
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Representational Photo by ducminh nguyen on Unsplash

Like curtains, blinds, and shades, window shutters are treatments that keep windows covered while providing light, noise, privacy, and temperature control. They come in different variants, but roller and plantation shutters are the two most popular types.

Roller Shutters

Roller shutters are characterised by interlocked horizontal slats that roll up to open and down to close, hence the name. The slats do not tilt open like they do on plantation shutters.

When closing a rolling shutter, the slats descend from the header box attached to the wall on top of the assembly. As they do so, the vertical guide rails on the sides keep them perfectly aligned and flush to the sides. A bottom sill locks the shutters in place, providing a barrier against ingress through the bottom slat.

Why Roller Shutters?

While roller shutters provide light, temperature, noise, and privacy control like other window treatments, they are particularly effective as security and protective window treatments.

Most roller shutters are made of metal (e.g., aluminium, steel). Metal roller shutters are strong enough to deter forced entry attempts. They can help protect your home from vandals and burglars.

Roller shutters are also usually weather-proof. They can protect a home from wind, rain, intense ultraviolet rays from the sun, hail, and even flying debris in a storm.

There are also roller shutters rated to withstand the extreme heat of bushfires. You need this if you live in places particularly vulnerable to wildfires, such as Queensland and Western Australia.

These fire-grade roller shutters can help prevent flying embers from getting inside the house and starting a fire.

Finally, roller shutters provide superior light and noise control. Roll them all the way down to prevent outside light and noise from seeping in. Additionally, they can help trap the cool air from the air-conditioner or the warm air from the heater, and this can help reduce your energy bills.

Types of Roller Shutters

Roller shutters are typically installed outside or on the building exterior. However, there are also interior roller shutters.

Like other types of shutters, roller shutters can be recess-fit or face-fit. Recess-fit shutters are installed inside the window frame and right on top of the window panes. Face-fit shutters are installed in front of the window frame; thus, they’re also called front-mounted roller shutters.

Finally, roller shutters can be motorised or manually operated. Motorised shutters are powered by a battery, while manual roller shutters are operated using a crank handle or a pull strap.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are characterised by horizontal slats or louvres arranged on a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. There are two vertical stiles– one on the left and another on the right – and two, possibly three rails – a top rail, a bottom rail and, possibly, a divider rail. They may have a tilt rod for opening and closing the slats.

Plantation shutters look similar to blinds. Like blinds, the slats can open and close. However, the slats on plantation shutters are framed by the stiles and rails, and the assembly cannot roll up or down like blinds.

Why Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters look timeless, elegant and charming. Put them on your windows, and they will immediately infuse your space with classic charm.

Incidentally, plantation shutters are not only suitable for traditional and farmhouse aesthetics. They can also be used with contemporary and coastal interiors.

Plantation shutters can also be made to specifications, so you can install plantation shutters even on arched and irregularly shaped windows.

Plantation shutters are not only aesthetic but also functional. The slats that tilt to open or close provide granular light control, something that roller shutters cannot.

Tilt the slats slightly open to let in some natural light. Such diffuse light can make your space look striking. Tilt them all the way open to let in the maximum amount of natural light. You can even keep some sections open and others closed; it’s up to you.

Plantation shutters can provide absolute privacy when all the slats are closed completely. When fully shut, they also help keep noise out and improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Types of Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters can be made from organic or synthetic materials. A popular natural material is wood. Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is also used in manufacturing plantation shutters.

There are also engineered polymers that look and feel like a cross between wood and PVC. They look and last better than PVC but are more affordable and easier to maintain than wood.

Plantation shutters can vary in structure or construction. They can be fixed, or they can swing, fold or slide out of the way. Like roller shutters, plantation shutters can be installed inside the window recess or mounted outside the frame.

Roller Shutters or Plantation Shutters?

Roller shutters are highly functional window furnishings. Use them to completely block light, noise and prying eyes and protect your home from intruders. Plantation shutters are highly aesthetic but also functional. They offer more options and granular control.

Let your needs and preferences dictate your choice of shutters.


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