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14 things to consider when purchasing shutters and 2 extra that can set your shutters apart from the rest.

1.Function- Shutters are one of the easiest treatments to use. There are no cords to fumble with nor tangle up. A simple grab and tilt of a louver and you have instant light, vision and privacy. If you have beautiful views and you desire to open up the shutters regularly to maximize your view, a shutter may not be the best treatment for that window. There are other window treatments that accomplish maximizing glass view without jeopardizing the possibility of damaging the treatment. 

2. Energy efficient and insulation - When louvers are closed they are more efficient than most window coverings and are rivaled only by a cellular/honeycomb shade. However, when you open the louvers all bets are off. 

3. Cost - Shutters will have a significantly higher cost than the typical window blind.  If your budget allows the expense and investment can easily be justified. Shutters aren’t simply fine furniture for your windows. They are durable and if cared for, they will offer a lifetime of beauty to your home. Shutters are the only window treatments that will add value to your home.  

4. Production Time Frame – Shutters for the most part are on the higher end of production time. We offer Graber Shutters which by current standards run 4-6 weeks for production.  Production for Norman Shutters is approximately 6-12 weeks.  This timeline could be frustrating for an impatient homeowner. While there may quicker options available, I would argue that in the grand scheme of things Norman’s 6-12 week timeline is definitely worth the wait especially considering these shutters will be the last treatment the windows will ever need. 

5. Aesthetic - Shutters will elevate any space. Depending on the options you choose they can have a traditional or modern look. They are a hard treatment, so if you prefer fabric or soft treatments shutters may not suit you. Shutters can be anchored with stationary panels to add a soft dimension. 

6.  Material - We offer composite and wood shutters. Wood shutters are lighter in weight and elegant stains are available. Most customers choose a white shutter which then tips the scale towards a composite shutter. This makes for more of an economical and durable decision.

7. Paint or Stain - Composite shutters are typically offered in white colors, although Norman does offer some choices in Black, Browns and Grays. Most shutter manufactures will offer an array of beautiful wood stains.The stains can offer a warmth to the home, but proceed with caution. The darker stains and paints can darken a space as well as make it look smaller. I find that the white offers a brightness as well as a neutrality that will allow the shutter to bring a lifetime of beauty to your home. 

8. Frame - There are a multitude of frame choices depending on inside or outside mount. I have found that the 2 biggest reasons a home owner will choose an OM-outside mount frame are lack of sill space or they want to maximize window glass view. In Tucson we lean towards having the Inside mount Z frame. It gives the window an elegant framing without protruding too far into the room. There are a few other unique frame options, but they are a rarity in So. Arizona.

9. Louver size - Common louver sizes are 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inch louvers. Norman does offer a 1 7/8 and 3 as well. If you drive around chances are the shutters you see in homes would be the 3 1/2.  Louvers are very much like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.  Too small, too big and just right. The larger louver allows more light and will increase your view. Also, IMHO, the larger louvers offer a grander looking treatment. We are seeing an uptick in the 4 1/2 lately and I do attribute this to home builders utilizing larger windows. 

10. Tilt system - The two most common tilt systems are standard tilt and hidden/invisible tilt. Standard tilt has the bar down the middle connected to the louver by staples. Hidden/Invisible tilt usually means a metal bar on the back side of the shutters that connects the louvers. This removes the visual obstruction of the standard tilt bar. It gives a modern look and makes the louvers easier to clean.  Norman’s Hidden tilt is unique in the sense that there is no bar in the back. It is integrated into the shutters through a gear and pinion system. The third option is an off set standard tilt rod where they put the standard tilt rod at the side of the panel instead of the middle. 

11. Split system/Divider Rails - Dividing Rails are necessary for windows over 6ft high and will offer strength to the panel. In the past it was also a way to offer the flexibility to close bottom louvers and leave the upper louvers open giving you privacy but allowing light in. Now we utilize Split tilt which does the same thing without the obstruction of a divider rail.

12. Opening - Shutters have panels that open so you can let in a breeze or clean the windows. Each panel has a frame and rails which are solid, so fewer panels means more light and more vision. Windows up to 36” will typically be 1 panel (Normandy Wood can do a panel up to 42” wide with a single panel) . Windows up to 72” will typically be 2 panels (Normandy Wood can do 2 panels up to 84” wide). 

13. T-post - On larger windows you may need to utilize T-posts. A T-post can go vertically or horizontally, but add integrity and support to the frame to split up the weight of your shutter panels. Your designer will discuss the configuration that will work best for you. 

14. Warranty - Both Norman and Graber carry Limited Lifetime Warranties for the original homeowner. In business we have seen companies come and go. This is why we have stuck by these established companies. They both have had an excellent track record in taking care of legitimate warranty issues because of defects in materials and workmanship.

Everything above will give you the knowledge to decide if shutters are right for you and how to configure them for your home. The next two options have the capability of putting us above our competitors and making your shutters more unique. 

15. Invisible Hinge - Norman has invisible hinge on Woodlore Plus and Normandy Shutters. This provides a clean and modern look and smooth operation. 

16. Motorization - Norman Perfect-Tilt available on Woodlore Plus and Normandy Shutters. 

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