A Closer Look at Australian Plantation Shutters: Materials, Cost, and Maintenance

If you want to elevate the beauty of your living space, you can never go wrong with Australian plantation shutters. These versatile window treatments are very popular all around the world because of their timeless appeal and their ability to seamlessly blend with various interior styles. For many homeowners, it’s their go-to solution if they’re aiming to enhance comfort and aesthetics.

Let’s take a closer look at these shutters and explore what materials give them life, and also understand the installation costs as well as gather some maintenance and care tips.

Understanding the Materials

Timber: The Timeless Classic

Timber shutters are quite popular because of their aesthetic appeal. Some owners love it because of the natural warmth it provides to their living spaces. They’re usually crafted using basswood, cedar, or oak. Each of these types of wood have their own patterns and finishes. Timber shutters are preferred by many homeowners because of its advantages. Firstly, it adds elegance to any room. Secondly, it helps regulate indoor temperatures. It’s a natural insulator for homes as well as offices. Additionally, they provide great noise reduction, making them a good option for homes or offices in noisy areas.

When selecting timber shutters, it’s important to consider the type of wood. For example, cedars have a significantly better ability to retain or resist temperature changes compared to other types of softwood. This quality helps cedar keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter months, making it ideal for bathrooms and coastal homes. Oak is a robust and long-lasting hardwood recognized for its unique grain pattern, making it a favored option for traditional and rustic-style homes. Basswood shutters are an excellent choice for locations that demand added durability, whether it’s in residential settings or commercial spaces.

PVC: The Practical Alternative

PVC shutters are widely preferred in many Australian homes, particularly in places like bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas. This material serves as an ideal, low-maintenance, and long-lasting shutter solution. This sturdy and weather-resistant material remains unaffected by moisture and humidity, ensuring it won’t warp or fade. It’s simple to maintain and offers excellent cost-effectiveness, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to wooden or aluminum shutters.

Aluminum: The Modern and Durable Option

Aluminum shutters provide a chic, modern, and enduring window treatment option, making them a wise investment. They are robust and long-lasting, requiring minimal maintenance apart from a routine wipe with a soft, damp cloth to keep them clean. Their resistance to water corrosion makes them suitable for use in both interior and exterior wet areas. 

The primary benefit of aluminum shutters is protection. These shutters can be installed on windows in living spaces to provide effective protection against excessive heat and cold. They are robust enough to endure storms and deter intrusion attempts, which is why they are a common sight in many commercial establishments.

Cost Considerations

Material Costs

The choice of material plays a pivotal role in determining the overall cost of plantation shutters. Timber shutters, known for their natural beauty and elegance, often come at a higher price point due to the cost of quality wood. In contrast, PVC shutters, while still offering aesthetic appeal, tend to be more affordable, making them a budget-friendly alternative. Aluminum shutters typically fall in the mid to high price range, owing to their durability and resistance to environmental factors.

The cost of shutter installation is predominantly influenced by factors such as their size, quantity, and the chosen material. Shutter pricing is commonly calculated based on the square footage. Larger windows necessitate larger and more expensive shutters. Additionally, covering more windows will increase the overall project cost. Costs can vary based on location, brand, and additional features chosen by the homeowner.

Size and Configuration

The dimensions of your windows and the quantity of panels required have a substantial impact on the cost of installing plantation shutters. Larger windows and those necessitating more panels will naturally result in higher expenses for both materials and labor. Consequently, homeowners with expansive windows or multiple openings should budget accordingly for their plantation shutter installation.

To optimize your shutter configuration and manage costs effectively, opt for standard louver sizes as they are often more cost-effective than custom sizes. Use single panels instead of multiple ones for larger windows to reduce the number of shutter components required. Prioritize high-visibility areas like living rooms and bedrooms for plantation shutters, and use alternative window furnishings in less prominent spaces to balance costs.

Installation Costs

Professional installation of plantation shutters often incurs additional expenses, which can fluctuate based on project complexity and local labor rates. While professional installation guarantees precise and expert work, some homeowners choose the DIY route to save money. Nevertheless, DIY installation demands meticulous attention to detail and may consume more time, so it’s crucial to evaluate your skills and comfort level before making a decision.

Maintenance and Care

  1. Regular cleaning: Dust the shutters with a soft cloth or duster to prevent buildup. For deeper cleaning, use a damp cloth with mild detergent and wipe gently.
  2. Avoid harsh chemicals: Steer clear of abrasive cleaners or chemicals that could damage the finish or material.
  3. Inspect for damage: Periodically check for loose or damaged components, such as hinges or louvers, and promptly address any issues.
  4. Maintain hardware: Lubricate hinges and other moving parts as needed to ensure smooth operation.
  5. Protect from moisture: Minimize exposure to excessive moisture, especially for timber shutters, to prevent warping or rotting.
  6. Consider UV protection: Install window film or curtains to reduce direct sunlight, which can fade finishes and materials over time.