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Plantation shutters are the perfect addition for any window. The incredibly versatility of plantation shutters allow for complete control of the privacy and lighting of your room, while also providing energy use and sound reduction through insulation. Some homes have large expanses of windows, from ‘folding glass walls’ down to a simple set of French doors. Many homes in the UK are fitted with French doors, especially suburban homes with a garden. It can at first appear to be a difficulty to install plantation shutters to French doors, however there are many methods to ensure that this is achievable.
The obstacle to overcome when attaching window shutters to external French doors is that the wide expanse and the requirements to use the doorway mean that the width of the panels away from their anchoring points is notably further than that of a normal window shutter. The most common method of attaching plantation shutters to French doors is simply making the panels a lesser width. By lessening the width of the panels, it puts less stress on the hinges which avoids shutters dropping over time. However, a favoured method by many is to create the shutters on a track system.
Using a track system for your plantation shutters can change the method in which they are operated. Instead of freely swinging to concertina shut, the shutters are attached to metal rails. Either at the top of the shutter, the bottom of the shutter or in some cases both. This is achieved by attaching a small metal risen disk on to the top of the shutter panel, this then locks in to a clasping metal rail holding the shutters in perfect position. This is essential for shutters over a certain width to ensure they function properly and do not drag.
Shutterly Fabulous provide two different variations of tracked shutters for your French doors or wide windows. The first option of tracked plantation shutter, is bifold tracked shutters. These shutters, as previously mentioned, work in the same way as a normal shutter, they are hinged and concertina together to fully open and close. Of course the slats in these must be closed before they can concertina away to ensure the panels lay flat against each other. These shutters are connected by certain points at the top or top and bottom of the shutter along a rail, so they smoothly hold position as they fold. This tends to be the more commonly used form of tracked shutter.
The second method of tracked plantation shutters is known as a bypass tracked shutter. These shutters work with the panels always holding a position parallel to the window and fixed at two points into a top and bottom track. These shutters, locked in their parallel position would be on two rails of track allowing them to ‘bypass’ the other panel as it passes. This design is less commonly used as, depending on the quantity of panels, you will always have a number of plantation shutter panels covering your window. Saying this, there are certain situations where this is the only design possible, such as compact apartments or areas with a protrusion.
Due to the obvious need to connect your shutters to the tracked shutter system, the only design of window shutter available for track is full height plantation shutters. These shutters cover the entire height of your window with one panel, unlike café style shutters or tier on tier shutters – which are unsuitable due to their mid height splits or breaks. Of course full height shutters can have their slats separated by utilising a midrail. This is a beam of solid wood that goes across the panel allowing two groups of slats to be operated independently of each other. This would typically be incorporated into the design by matching any existing bars or transom in your window to ensure the minimum amount of natural light blockage when the slats are in their open position.
Our expert consultants will always advise the positive and negative points of tracked window shutters and ensure that this decision is based with you in a knowledgeable position. We are completely open with our discussion of your windows and do not force any certain design – ensuring our customers are completely confident and happy with how their shutters will look. Shutterly Fabulous pride ourselves on not having ‘salesman’ to come and push any amount of shutters on our clients and instead your initial point of contact is with your fully trained plantation shutter consultant, all with multiple years of experience in the shutter industry.
If you have any questions on tracked shutters, or any issues with plantation shutters for your French doors you want addressed before you consider purchasing please contact the office where our support team are happy to advise or explain in non-complex, simple language.