Choosing Window Treatments: Blinds Vs. Shutters

Home & Garden Blog

When looking for a permanent window treatment, blinds and shutters top the list for longevity and appearance. Understanding the benefits of each can help you make an informed decision before you make the investment.

Durability

Interior shutters have few moving parts and no cords to become tangled, so they are much more durable than most blind options. Shutter hardware is fairly simple – wooden pivoting slats and hinges are the only moving parts. If you have small children in the home, the lack of cords on shutters is also an important safety benefit. Blind cords can pose a hazard if they hang down into a child's reach. If you do go with blinds, those with wooden slats are more durable.

Ease of Use

The minimal hardware on shutters makes them easy to use. A simple twist opens them to let in the desired amount of light. Blinds may require cords, which can become tangled. One benefit of blinds compared to shutters is you can raise and lower the entire window treatment without taking up any space in the room. If you want to partially open shutters, you must fold them open along their hinges. The shutters will protrude into the room unless you fold them back completely so they are flush to the wall.

Energy Efficiency

Both blinds and shutters can increase the energy efficiency of your windows. Custom-fit shutters completely enclose a window when the slats are closed, sealing off any drafts in winter and completely blocking out the hot sun in summer. Although blinds offer similar sealing abilities, there are usually gaps around the edges that will still let in some drafts and light.

Maintenance

Cleaning blinds and shutters primarily consists of weekly dusting and periodic deep cleaning. Shutters are usually easier to clean, because there are no strings to work around. It's usually necessary to completely remove wooden blind slats to ensure there is no dust trapped around the holes where the strings pass. For shutters, simply close them and wipe the slats down with your favorite wood cleaner.

As for maintaining the window, shutters fold open completely on their hinges so you can easily wash your windows and sills. Blinds pull up, so the top portion of the window is still blocked. You will also need to periodically remove the valance, which hides the blind's hardware, for periodic dusting and cleaning.

Although similar, custom shutters are often easier to maintain than blinds and they provide a classic look that can evolve with the changing décor in your home.

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19 December 2014

Wasted Basement? Renovate It and Rent It

My husband and I have a large basement we've never really used. We started storing items in it, and it seemed like such a waste of a large area of our home. We also have a nephew in college in the area who we knew was paying a high price for an apartment he could barely afford. We came up with the idea of turning our basement into a mini-apartment and offering it to him for less than his current rent. He loved the idea, and the renovation was faster than we imagined it would be. We are all so happy it all worked out, and that we had a great basement to help my nephew through college at the same time. I created this blog to encourage others to use their basement for more than just holding boxes.