Image credit: California Shutters
If you’re considering whether to commit to installing your own full height shutters, then Oli from Brighton has some good news for you: it’s cost-effective and surprisingly easy!
Hi Oli, thanks for joining us today. Before you tell us about your installation, can you give us a bit of background detail about yourself and your Brighton home?
What made you decide on full height shutters for your windows?
I work in marketing in (sometimes) sunny Brighton and bought a 2 bedroom flat with my girlfriend in January 2019 in the North East of the city. It’s a Victorian end-of-terrace property with our flat residing on the first floor. We have two large street-facing windows with a Juliet balcony door sandwiched in between. We loved the fact that it was on a quiet street and had a small outside space, not to mention the fact that it didn’t need much doing to it. The only thing we had in mind immediately was to create a bit of style and kerb appeal with shutters
on the front windows and balcony door.
Shutters in Brighton. The exterior of Oli's home
Having lived in Hove before our move to our current property, we knew all too well how good shutters looked from the outside. They’re so popular in that part of town and we always aspired to have them on our own windows. In fact, we were fortunate enough to have our landlady install full height shutters on our rented property shortly before we moved out. We loved how they looked on classic sash windows and vowed to get them as soon as possible when we moved into our own place.
Would you consider yourself a DIYer?
I have minimal DIY experience apart from putting together flatpack furniture, so I was a little hesitant to give it a go myself. However, a good friend of mine works in carpentry so was able to measure the windows accurately for us – the most important part of installing shutters yourself. However, he showed me how easy it is to do yourself and I soon felt confident to measure up the remaining windows.
How easy were the shutters to install?
Much easier than I thought they would be! All the frames and panels came clearly labelled in separate boxes so there’s no guesswork on what goes where. All I needed was a spirit level, crosshead screwdriver and drill. The frames were a doddle to snap together with clear labelling and the aid of the bow tie fixing elements that were included. Once the frames were in place with the help of said spirit level it was simply a case of fixing them into the window recess with the screws provided. The holes in the frame came pre-drilled so again, zero guess work, I just needed to drill through them and into the window frame. Within five minutes the shutter frame was fixed in position and then it was a case of attaching the shutter panels with the aid of a simple pin dropped into the hinges. I repeated the process for the other windows and within about an hour, two windows plus Juliet balcony were covered in beautiful shutters!
Knowing the drill: Oli installed his own full height shutters.
How does your living room feel now that you have full height shutters?
It feels stylish and modern and rather sleek, as the shutters take up zero space, having been fixed directly into the window recess. It matches the contemporary look and feel we were trying to achieve perfectly. The windows are north facing so we get light streaming through in the mornings, which we can lessen by closing the slats.
What benefits have you received from fitting shutters to your balcony doors?
It’s great for when we want to have the Juliet balcony doors open to let in air and light, but still retain that privacy and security with the shutters closed (but slats open). The tall and thin look complements the more standard appearance of the window shutters nicely.
What would you say to someone who wants shutters but is unsure about installing them?
To be honest, now we’ve got them, I wouldn’t want any other window dressing! They’re really easy to install, even for DIY novices. With a spirit level, drill and screwdriver you’re good to go. We saved a lot of money by installing ourselves rather than getting someone in to do it for us. It felt really empowering to sit back and admire my handiwork. Trust me, you’ll be admiring them for days after you’ve installed them – they really do transform a room!
Finally, what would you say your favourite thing is about your full height shutters
We get plenty of compliments on them from visitors. I love how versatile they are in terms of being able to adjust the slats on either side of the mid rail independently, so you can have light coming in from the open top section and the bottom section closed for privacy. Most of all though, I just love how stylish and timeless they look. I can’t imagine ever needing to replace them.
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