Dressing Up Your New Zen Windows: Shutters And Blinds

If you’ve just done a tremendous favor for your home and its occupants by investing in a top-quality replacement window or glass door installation by Zen Windows Austin, then congratulations! But now you’re probably wondering what you can do to further enhance and show off these beautiful products. For that, you may need an introduction to the fascinating world of shutters and blinds. Yes, we know you’ve seen them everywhere, but actually selecting and installing them involves a few basic considerations.

Shutters, blinds, or both? Centuries ago, the words “shutters” and “blinds” were used interchangeably, sort of: Solid-panel shutters were called shutters, while louvered shutters were called blinds. These days we reserve the term “blinds” for interior structures that can be pulled up or down with a cord, as opposed to interior shutters which are fixed to a frame. Both shutters and blinds have slats that can be rotated by a control rod, letting you determine how much light you let in (or how many prying eyes you keep out). Swinging glass doors can also be fitted with interior shutters in a variety of colors.

If you’re just concerned about light control and privacy, then blinds may be all you need to enhance your windows or glass doors. But if you also want to beautify your windows while protecting them against the elements, then you should purchase exterior shutters as well.

Measurements matter. Proper fit is critical if you want good-looking, functional shutters and blinds. For starters, shutters must be measured so that they’ll fit inside the window frame perfectly when closed. But you also need to consider the “throw“, or swing angle, of the shutters when they open. Ideally, the shutter’s edge should line up slightly outside the inner edge of the casing when open – not on the casement’s inner edge or outer edge. The inner edge of the shutter should also have approximately 1.5 inches of standoff from the casement, instead of leaning flush against it.

Measuring your blinds is equally important, otherwise you’ll end up with part of your window uncovered, or with a ridiculous-looking blind that hangs loosely beyond the bottom of the window frame. But cutting blinds to fit is a tricky business because your window dimensions might not be perfectly even, or the house may have settled imperfectly. You may need to make multiple measurements, followed up with a bit of final trimming after the blinds are installed.

Appearance matters too. Many homes have non-functional exterior shutters attached purely for aesthetic value. That’s fine as long as they actually look like shutters – but if you tack them up at uneven distances, or in an unrealistic relationship to the frame, they’ll just look goofy. Additionally, make sure the shape of the shutters matches that of the window (take note, arched-window owners). Why advertise the fact that your shutters are just for show?

With a little thought and planning, you can give your terrific new Zen Windows the stylish setting they – and you – deserve. Have fun!