Sliding Shutters For Sliding Doors: A not-so-standard installation

We  frequently get  questions from homeowners about how to add shutters to sliding doors.

The typical installation requires a 3 sided frame that surrounds the window casing  The frame header contains a track that allows the shutters to slide back and forth and the legs on each side of the casing support the header and prevent the shutter from sliding off the track.

It looks like this…

standard plantation slider

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How to install shutters in windows with wainscoting and chair rails

This post addresses one of the more complicated installations of shutters in rooms with wainscoting, since the wainscoting and chair rail actually wrap into the window jamb itself. Although a gorgeous look overall, this millwork package does nothing to compliment most inside mount window treatment installation.

Plantation window before

Here is a before photo of the window

How did we arrive at shutters, and could we have done other window treatments?

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A traditional take on plantation shutters + installation with corner block trim

This project shows the Kirtz Custom Shutter in a very traditional application.  The panels are small, the louvers a 2 1/2″ wide.   The shutter were built of Red Oak and custom stained to match the homeowners mill work.

The home, colonial in style, has corner blocks in window mill work.   The windows were double hung and had about 1″ of mounting space.  Although many shutter professionals will tell you the obvious choice was an outside mount, perhaps around the casing- that unnecessarily increases your cost by making the shutter unit larger, not to mention covers up what, in this instance, was very nice mill work.

 Our solution?

An L frame that sits inside the window jamb, and protrudes out slightly past the casing.  This allows the shutter to be inside the window, showing off the mill work, and yet allow enough room for the louvers to tilt without hitting the glass.

Then, to help make the transition, we sent our standard trim.  The installer then cut a groove into the trim onsite so that it would miter  flush around the corner blocks.

The result? 

Shutters that look like they were part of the homes design, not an after thought.

Securing a Shutter: Magnets and Ball Catches

A common question from a shutter customer is “How are these shutters secured?”   In the early days of shutters, (especially small, cafe style shutters) it was common to see a small latch on the front of the shutter panels where they join together.  Although popular, it was a poor method of securing the shutters.  A breeze from the window could easily strain the latch.

Today, plantation shutters typically fill up an entire window opening, not just half, and are often the size of the window itself.  This makes for a substantial shutter panel and a different method of securing it is necessary.

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A Case Study in Customization of Kirtz Plantation Shutters

Yesterday we finished a plantation shutter installation at a new branch of SNB, a local bank, with national presence.     Just like many of our jobs, this was a “one off” of Kirtz custom shutters.   Let me explain, with some photos to help.

Designer Request:

Make each window opening appear as one seamless unit, and provide a finished casing around the opening. Build the custom shutters out of oak and custom stain them to match the flooring.

Sounds simple, right?

The Challenge

When the windows arrived from the manufacturer the transom portion that seamed to the lower window did not line up uniformly.  This is because both outside and inside jambs of the upper unit were different widths than the jambs of the lower unit.

The Solution

Kirtz mounted the oak shutter and frame inside the window jamb with custom width framing around each unit.  This allowed us to align the stiles (vertical part of the shutter) so that each shutter panel is the same width and provides a continuitous vertical line.

One issue solved, one to go…….

The Challenge

Standard work of applying casing onto a frame at the factory would not provide a cased look to the opening since this opening had to be installed as four separate shutter units due to the window jamb issues mentioned above.

The Solution

Custom width casing was milled to be applied in the field around the entire window unit.  These trim pieces not only surround the outside of the opening, but run along all vertical and horizontal window mullions to provide a uniform cased appearance, eliminating any hint of the window’s irregularity.

The windows before hardwood shutters

The windows before hardwood shutters

This illustrates the different jamb widths of the window pre-shutter installation

This illustrates the different jamb widths of the window pre-shutter installation

This close up illustrates how we unified the upper and lower units to look cohesive

This close up illustrates how we unified the upper and lower units to look cohesive

Thefinished unit

Thefinished unit