General information about Kirtz.

Being Choosy with Window Treatments Matters

Does it matter where you buy your window treatments??  Absolutely, more than you may realize.   An article posted on MSN revealed many blinds sold at places like Ikea, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, ect. are being recalled due to child deaths and strangulation’s.

You can view the article here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32561933/ns/today-today_home_and_garden/

In my mind, this emphasizes the value of using a professional salesperson when you are choosing window treatments.

Most of us have a lot on our plate today, we don’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of every product we may want or need to purchase.  

Enter the experienced window covering industry professional.   

They provide such a critical service for consumers in terms of education and narrowing down products to options best suited for a homeowners needs. 

In addition to knowledge, they typically represent industry leading brands that base their reputation and existence on long term customer satisfaction.  This includes using manufacturers who make child safety a top concern in the construction of their products. 

Your window covering professional is a business person who likely lives in your community.  They aren’t a divison of a corporate conglomerate, they aren’t  a big box store with an ever changing staff, or a website with an automated customer service line.    

They provide in home service, offer quality products with stringent safety standards,  and  provide you customer service that can’t be beat,  Sounds pretty good, right?  …… Give us a call and decide for yourself!

For Oklahoma and Kansas, click here

For Nationwide Service, click here

Distressed Shutters, and Specialty Finishes on Plantation Shutters

Recently we have worked on a number of projects that have required specialty multi-step finishes.  Distressed Shutters have been especially popular lately.   This is one of my favorite things that we do, because we do it very well.    Lots of kudos must be given to the head of our finish department, Allen.   He has both the skill and the willingness to do this type of work.

How does this process work?

Any time we match a finish we request a physical sample.  This is incredibly important in specialty finishes because each finish is unique.   Did the original finisher have a heavy hand, or a light hand when he wiped off the glaze?  What tool was used to do the distressing?  A wire brush?  Chains?  A wheel?  There are an incredible number of variables, and since these shutters are often going up against millwork or paneling, it is critical to get a good match.

So we bring a sample that shows the finished look,  and the stain department does a strike-off (or sample) of their ability to replicate the finish on your plantation shutters.  This is then provided to the homeowner/designer for their approval.  Once approved, we proceed with the finish work.  Distressed, glazed, antiqued and sand thru finishes are going to have a longer than average lead time, due to the complexity of the finish.  But just like fine wine, it’s worth the wait.

Here are just a couple of photos of specialty finishes that have gone through our factory lately.

stained, distressed red oak shutters

stained, distressed red oak shutters

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

As nice as these distressed and specialty finished shutters look, they are all an effort to duplicate an old world look.  And the best way to get an authentic old work look is to use old wood.

Enter wormy chestnut……

For a history of this wood, see this link to our site http://kirtz.preview.interworks.com/hardwoods/wormy-chestnut.html
The short version of the story is its old, like 100 years old.  So all that patina and distressing was actually earned by the wood through years of use.  Pretty cool, huh?   The picture below shows wormy chestnut shutters with a tobacco hued stain.  It looks great with a clear finish too, but this stain really gives it some nice warmth.  This wood, more than any other wood, is one that people gravitate towards when we put it on display.
wormy chestnut with a tobacco finish
Another wood that gives a nice authentic decayed look is Pecky Cypress. This wood has been attacked by a fungus that eats the wood.  This in turn makes lens shaped pockets throughout the tree.  The result is a very attractive multi-dimensional wood.   We treated this pecky cypress hardwood shutter with a heavy black glaze, thus intensifying the appearance of variation of the surface.
Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

This is just a sampling of our work that I could pull up quickly this afternoon to show the variety in finishing techniques we use.  If you don’t see what you are after, that is only because you haven’t asked us to build (and finish) it yet.  Give us a call and lets see what we can do for you!

Kirtz Plantation Shutters in the Wichita Parade of Homes

Come check out Kirtz Plantation Shutters in the Wichita Parade of Homes going on now through May 3rd.  We can be seen in one of the newest premier developments by Ritchtie Development called the Waterfront, located just east of Webb road off 13th Street.  We are in model #1 (also the sales office) in the master bedroom, dining and living area.

Susan Kromer, the fantastic designer who is responsible for this homes design, specified 4 1/2″  louvers with hidden tilt, custom painted to match the trim.  You will be amazed at the view through the shutters, and at what an amazing house it is.  So, check it out!

Tulsa Home Show — Mar 12 thru 15 2009

Shutters of Tulsa, the Kirtz representation in the Tulsa area for many years, will have a booth during the Greater Tulsa Home and Garden Show Mar 12-15  in the Quicktrip Center at Expo Square.  Come by, say hello to Don and see the quality that Kirtz has to offer!

Company Lunch at Kirtz

Last Thursday, Feb 12th, we had a company lunch at Kirtz.    It was a special lunch because everyone was treated to steak by Click’s Steakhouse in Pawnee.   If you live in the area and you haven’t been to Click’s, you are missing out.  Between the homemade rolls, steaks marinated to perfection and awesome desserts (I recommend the tollhouse pie) you will be amazed.    However, I digress.

The reason for this meal is workplace safety.  Every month The Shutter Mill is accident free, all employees are treated to a lunch.    That’s always great, but when we go 3 or more months with out an accident everyone is treated to steak for lunch.  Not bad, huh?

After the lunch we have a safety meeting, and also an update on what’s going on with the company.  This month we recognized two employees for five years of service at Kirtz.   We have an every increasing maturity in our work force.  More employees have been with us 5+ years than we can ever remember.    This seasoned group of employees greatly helps contribute to maintaining, and continually increasing, our quality standards and efficiency.    You can see it in every shutter that leaves here.

I guess that’s why we get the opportunity to install our shutters all over.  Last year we went to St. Lucia,  and the Bahamas for shutter jobs.  Right now I have jobs in process for Frisco TX, and Kansas City, MO — all because these people want the quality that Kirtz has to offer.

If you have a project, give us a call.  Have car (or plane ticket) —will travel.

Guys from stain, specialty shapes and shipping

Guys from stain, specialty shapes and shippingour assembly team leader enjoying his dinner