Window shutter blinds look great with just about any house style or with the wide range of window shapes currently available. But, appearance isn’t everything. Usually, both exterior and interior shutters provide many benefits to the average homeowner. They keep the light out and help to insulate your home from outside temperature extremes. But, probably the most attractive feature is that window shutters cost a lot less than you might imagine. We’ll talk more about the benefits later on. But, for now, we’ll concentrate on the prices.
The average cost of installing window shutters will vary depending on the material, style, size and function. For example, the total purchase and installation costs for a solid shutter to fit a typical three casement bay window would be about £1200. Compare this with a plantation shutter for the same sized window totalling about £1000.
If you want a ballpark figure, then we are talking about £250 to £400/m2 including fitting costs and VAT. If you purchase shutters for DIY installation, then for the bay window a 2m2 shutter will be about £350. Whereas a 4m2 shutter will cost about £720.
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Different materials also have a bearing on the cost. An MDF shutter suitable only for indoors will cost about £180/m2. MDF isn’t one of the better materials to use, as it dents very easily. So, many manufacturers offer a cheap hybrid material shutter for approximately the same price, made from solid basswood, aluminium and PVC. This has the durability and appearance of solid timber but without the high prices.
Hardwood shutters are stronger and of higher quality than the cheaper variety, But, visually they look no different if you intend to paint them. Cheap hardwood window shutter prices would be around £200 to £250/m2. If you choose a pine shutter the price goes up by about £50/m2, whereas an expensive hardwood such as mahogany or cherry will be at least £350.
If you are after a shutter for a room with moisture–laden air such as a kitchen or bathroom, it’s better to choose an inherently waterproof PVC shutter. These cost from about £200/m2 upwards.
If you want to pay for installation as well, you can expect to pay up to 40% more on top of these supply only prices.
Generally, in the UK, people use outdoor shutters for appearance, rather than as a necessity, as we don’t often experience extremes such as hurricanes or blizzards. Instead, external shutters frame a window and provide a focal point to draw the eye. Because of this, most people install fixed exterior shutters in the UK, at a much cheaper installation cost. If you want functional shutters, the installation prices won’t be very much different from interior ones. But, you will need a weatherproof material and paint, and probably scaffolding for upstairs windows.
How Much Do Window Shutter Cost?
Let’s look at the table below of window shutter prices for various sizes and materials. We’ll consider those prices for ‘full height’ shutters only and exclude installation costs. Remember, they’re only indicative and will vary depending on various factors.
|Shutter size (mm x mm)||Material||Cost|
|500 x 500||MDF||£55|
|500 x 1000||MDF||£110|
|1000 x 1000||MDF||£225|
|1250 x 1000||MDF||£280|
|1500 x 1000||MDF||£335|
|2000 x 1500||MDF||£675|
As you can see, cheap window shutters start with ABS or uPVC, then become more expensive using MDF followed by hardwood as the most expensive.
Whole house packages
You can see that some of these shutters are quite expensive, especially as they become larger. Therefore, to increase sales, manufacturers often offer a discount if you choose more than two or three. Also, it’s common for manufacturers to offer made to measure sets to fit all the windows in your home for quite a reasonable price.
For example, a luxury package for an executive style house with 15 windows might cost about £7000. This would include real wood internal shutters in all living areas with blackout Roman blinds in the bedrooms, and white shutter blinds made from a waterproof material (usually uPVC) in the bathroom and kitchen.
Of course, we don’t all own homes with 15 windows. So, other discount packages will be available from manufacturers. And, the cost of blinds for your 3 bedroom house will turn out to be quite manageable and less than you thought.
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Interior / Plantation Shutters
These shutters are popular in the UK at the moment. They come in different designs and with slats or solid panels. You can even have a choice of fixed or adjustable slats or louvres, with the adjustable ones allowing more or less light into the room. These would be perfect for a bedroom as you can have as much privacy as you want, just by adjusting the tilt. Alternatively, solid panelled shutters help with insulation and you can use them in place of heavy curtains.
There are 5 main styles of interior shutters:
- Full height shutters cover the window from top to bottom and come as solid or with louvres. They have a horizontal rail halfway down with panels above and below. Sliding or patio doors often use this type. As do built-in wardrobes, where they take the place of doors.
- Half-height shutters, also known as café shutters, only cover the bottom half of the window. The upper half of the window is open and allows full natural light to enter the room. Whereas, the covered lower half provides privacy. People find these useful on front elevation windows that overlook a public footway.
- Two-tiered shutters have upper and lower parts which can open or close independently. These work well when fitted to tall narrow windows, and on houses built in the Edwardian or Victorian style.
- Solid shutters have no slats, only solid panels. These look good on older period houses and people use them in place of curtains to completely block the outside daylight.
- You can have customised shutters manufactured in any shape needed to cover the window. This means they can be circular, triangular or indeed any shape you want. Expect these to cost more than a usual rectangular framed shutter as they are more difficult to manufacture.
These are very popular in parts of the world that experience high winds and extremes in temperature. Fortunately, we don’t experience many of these in the UK. Although, many houses situated on the coast use these for protection from rough seas and flying sand. Therefore, the majority of British houses use them for aesthetic reasons only. They look good on country cottages with small windows or Victorian and Edwardian houses with tall or bay windows. These are also available in the same shapes and styles as the interior shutters.
Let’s look at the manufacturing materials for outside shutters.
Manufacturers make most exterior roller shutters from metal. And, offer them in the UK for security or fire protection. Usually, you will see them on shops fronts, warehouses, garages and many other non-domestic properties. They roll up into a protected box above the door or window to save space. These can be manually or electrically operated, or by remote control. If you decide to paint metal shutters, they’ll need regular maintenance to keep the paint looking good. Alternatively, you can buy powder coated shutters that have a fused plastic covering. This needs far less maintenance and can last for many years.
There is a growing market for exterior roller shutters to cover modern conservatories and French doors as a security device or to prevent the interior from becoming too hot. Usually, their manufacturing material complements the conservatory framing material, such as white or faux wood uPVC.
This material has many advantages for exterior surfaces.
- You can easily wipe them clean of surface contaminants.
- Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) has a smooth non-flexible surface. It’s a low–cost material, durable, doesn’t need painting, and needs very little maintenance.
- Often the uPVC shutters have an aluminium core giving greater strength.
- uPVC has soundproofing qualities and can reduce outside noise by as much as 70%.
- You can have the shutter almost any colour you want, without having to repaint.
- The shutter is lightweight and can resemble most types of wood.
Finally, uPVC shutters are generally cheaper to buy than any other material.
Typical exterior wooden shutters use cedar or pine as a construction material. You can paint them both a suitable colour, but cedar has the advantage as it’s impervious to insect, bacterial and fungal infestation and decay, and doesn’t need surface paint or varnish protection. Although cedar is very resilient, it does need a little bit of maintenance. Choose a grain sealer suitable for cedar and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will prevent seeds, grit and fungal spores from lodging in the grain. In contrast, pine wood needs regular maintenance as it’s very prone to rot and infestation.
This material is strong, durable and perfect for security purposes while being lighter than metal. However, this type of shutter is expensive. On the plus side, it will accept paint unlike uPVC and doesn’t suffer from the same thermal expansion as PVC. Fibreglass has the added advantage that it can be moulded to suit whatever profile you desire.
This material is made from recycled cedarwood grains. However, unlike solid cedar, it lacks the cedar oils that provide the anti–fungal and rot properties. As such, composite has zinc borate added to provide the resistance. Shutters made from composite have a lifespan about twice that of a natural wooden shutter.
Types of interior shutter materials
Internal window shutters don’t need to be as heavy–duty as external shutters. They won’t be exposed to weathering, wind or prospective burglars so the louvres and frames aren’t as thick. The most popular materials for interior shutters available in the UK include wood, composite and uPVC. The properties of these will be the same as for external shutters, with certain differences.
- Interior composite differs from the exterior type, by not necessarily using cedarwood dust. Manufacturers use any type of wood dust with a binder to produce a faux wood. This is then coated with PVC.
- uPVC internal shutters tend to have louvres that are thinner than external ones, but they still have the advantages of uPVC as compared to other materials. This material is perfect for kitchen and bathroom windows and any other room that expects moisture–laden air, such as a wet room or laundry room. It’s also a useful material if you enjoy opening your external doors and windows to the outside elements more often than most. However, uPVC isn’t suitable to use over a large window unless it’s provided with support rails to prevent sag.
- Internal wooden shutters can be made from almost any type of wood. But, the most common are pearwood, craftwood and basswood. These woods aren’t very durable but they look good when painted and are cheap to use.
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Shutter Blinds Installation Cost Factors
We have already mentioned that shutter blind prices will vary with size, material and style. But, there are other factors which need to be taken into account when calculating the cost.
The number of panels
Each shutter has a frame. As the dimensions increase, the frame will need a horizontal or vertical rail connected to the frame to maintain its strength. Depending on the width and height of the shutter frame there will be room for panels within the overall frame. Each small panel takes almost the same amount of time to make as one large one. So, the overall cost will increase proportionally.
In this context ‘furniture’ refers to hinges, catches, locks and handles. Usually, these will be chrome, steel, aluminium or brass metal or powder–coated aluminium to an appropriate colour. The prices depend on the style chosen as well as the material.
The sill deflects the rainwater away from the bottom of an external shutter. These will be costed extra to the shutter itself.
Fixed or variable louvres
If you choose a louvred shutter, you will have the choice of either fixed–angle louvres or ones that you can adjust. This is useful if you want to vary the amount of light entering the room. And, will operate similarly to a standard Venetian blind. As you might expect variable louvres are more expensive than fixed.
Shutters vs blinds vs curtains: Which One?
Let’s look at each one and consider the pros and cons.
This is the only option to offer you security. You also have different degrees of privacy and light control depending on whether you choose variable louvres or not. External shutters provide the most secure option, while internal shutters are the easiest to operate. The high costs of these mean that once you have chosen the style or colour, you are then stuck with them.
Curtains are probably the cosiest option especially if you have them on a living room or bedroom.window. You can have many pairs for each window depending on your colour scheme and the time of year. Usually, there are so many curtain colour schemes that you can almost choose the colour and pattern you want from the vast array available.
Depending on the type of blinds you choose, these can work out as being the cheapest option. There are many styles available with both horizontal and vertical slatted blinds being very popular. Like curtains, the vast number of different colours and styles allows you to choose the finish to the room.
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How To Measure Your Windows
Most shutter companies will insist on measuring your window opening before committing to manufacture. However, you can give an approximate size to allow them to provide a quote.
- Make sure you have a metal tape measure, pencil and a pad of paper before you start. Another pair of hands will help but isn’t essential.
- To measure the width, place one end of the tape inside the window reveal up against the window.
- Extend the tape until you reach the other reveal. Make sure that both ends measure the full width.
- Write down this measurement in millimetres.
- Repeat this method to measure the height. But, this time extend the tape measure between the head reveal and the window board.
- If you find that difficult, you can just measure the width and height of the glass. Although this isn’t accurate, it will do for an approximate quote. The manufacturer’s representative will come and measure accurately when you have signed a contract.
Remember, not all windows are as straightforward as this. For example, you might want shutters for bay windows. Or, you might want half–height shutters or internal door shutters. If this is the case, ask for advice from the manufacturer and maybe take a few quick photos to show them what you mean.
Shutter Windows FAQ
Can you install shutters yourself?
Yes, although you will probably take more time and make more mistakes than a professional, it is possible to install shutters as a DIY project. However, you might find that some manufacturers insist you use their installation team if you want to take advantage of the warranty.
Are window shutters out of style?
Not at all. Probably, you’ll find that nowadays there are more different shutter styles available at an affordable price than ever before. If you enjoy making your home look good, you should consider installing interior or exterior window shutters.
Do shutters add value to a home?
Yes, they do. Let’s have a look at the reasons why this is so.
- Shutters will make a statement about your home when it’s being valued. And, will add increased saleability. Overall your home’s value will increase and it will be easier to sell.
- Shutters increase the visual appeal of your home.
- External shutters increase your home security if this is important to you.
- Shutters are made to the exact dimensions of your windows. This means that they are an effective energy–efficient window covering, offering a more stabilised indoor temperature.
- Most shutters provide a very low maintenance window covering.
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Do shutters make a house look smaller?
That depends on the colours you use. Usually, white shutters matched to the window trim will make a small house look larger. Dark colours also help increase the apparent size if you have the appropriate colour scheme. For example, forest greens and dark blues look good in homes with a beige colour scheme. Generally, whether your home looks larger or smaller will ultimately depend on the colours and style you choose. If you are in doubt over the correct colours, ask a professional interior decorator.for advice. Often, the manufacturer will be able to give you limited advice too.
Do shutters keep out the light?
Surprisingly, shutters will prevent a lot of light from coming into the house. Usually, shutters with large louvres will keep out more light than small louvres. Remember, you can choose shutters with adjustable louvres to open fully if you want plenty of light to flood the room. While closing them will have the opposite effect.
Are window shutters easy to clean?
Plantation shutters are very easy to clean. Regularly remove dirt and dust using a vacuum cleaner and wipe them down with a mixture of white vinegar and water to remove airborne grease. Do not use proprietory liquid cleaners too much as they can damage the finish on wooden louvres.
Can you paint wooden shutters?
Yes, you can very easily paint them. Just follow these simple steps.
- Remove the shutters from their frame or the wall.
- Remove any metal furniture and place to one side.
- Wipe the shutters with white vinegar and water. Allow drying time.
- Use a fine surface filler to fill any dents or holes.
- Lightly sand the surface.
- Prime the surface with suitable primer paint.
- Use an undercoat, allow to dry. Give a light sanding.
- Paint with suitable top–coat paint. Allow drying until the surface is hard.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying paint. Always take great care with drying times.
Get Quotes From Local Shutter Installers
Installing interior or exterior shutters will give your home a character of its own. They will improve the look of your house and add value when you come to sell.
If you want to find out window shutter costs for purchase and installation, complete the form on this page. You will then receive 3 to 4 quotes from qualified and experienced shutter installers who are local to you.
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