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Get Your House Summer Ready

Summer is around the corner. Along with a new season comes a change in weather, harmful UV rays that can damage wooden surfaces and sweltering heat that can drive your utility bill through the roof. But don’t fear, we’ve got you covered. Here are 4 ways to get your house ready for the Summer:

1. Clean and declutter

It’s time to for a spot of last-minute ‘Spring cleaning’ and chuck out everything you no longer need. If there is anything that needs fixing or replacing, it’s the perfect time to start the new season with new or refreshed things. As the weather gets warmer it’s a great time to make your home safe again by getting rid of all the mould, dust and dirt.

2. Tend your garden

During the winter months, your garden can often get a little neglected. It’s time to dust off your lawn mower and give your grass a cut, remove the weeds and trim back the trees. It’s also the perfect time to clean off your barbecue and freshen up your outdoor space.

3. Clean the gutters

During the winter month’s the weather can be harsh. It’s important to clean out your gutter from the Autumn leaves. Cleaning the gutter can be a tough job but it ensures the water in the downpipes aren’t blocked and are flowing nicely preventing any water build up.

4. Install shutters

Shutters are a great way to cool your home and cut down your air-con bill. Plantation shutters reduce the heat coming through your windows while adding characters to your window and your home. With shutters, you can keep your windows open and keep the airflow coming through while maintaining privacy levels.

 

For more information on installing made-to-measure shutters in your home this Summer, or to book your free no obligation in-house survey, contact Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963. All shutters from Totally Shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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3 Home Improvements to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly

We all want to do our bit in saving the environment, so if you’re embarking on a home renovation soon, here are a few environment-friendly home improvement ideas to take into consideration:

1. Low VOC paint

Painting green doesn’t mean painting the walls in lime or emerald but choosing paints with a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) that don’t emit toxic chemicals into the air that are bad the environment.

These low-chemical paints are not only significantly better for the environment, but are better for your health too and won’t give you that sickly, dizzy feeling that is coming when working with VOC paints.

2. Solar panels

Solar panel installation can be costly, but the return on investment is substantial in an economic climate where traditional energy consumption is becoming more expensive.

The main benefit of solar panels is the long-term gains for the environment but if you ever choose to sell your home, solar panels add to your property’s market value considerably.

3. Window shutters

Window shutters improve your home’s value as well as adding to its aesthetical appeal. They’re also kinder to the environment as they are proven to be an effective form of heat insulation helping to save on your annual bills.

It is thought that we lose ten times more heat through glass than a typical wall, making windows one of the most porous parts of the home. Shutters act as a barrier and prevent heat loss.

 

To discuss your shutter options and the benefits of shutter blinds, or to book your free no obligation in-house survey, contact Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963. All shutters from Totally Shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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Before and After Plantation Shutters

Made-to-measure plantation shutters are a big commitment. Although attractive, they can come with a hefty price tag which can make you want to consider other window covering options.

However, there are a number of compelling reasons to opt for shutter blinds over drapes or blinds. They have a clean contemporary look, enhancing your home and kerb appeal. And many homeowners find shutters a plus when comparing potential homes which can make your investment pay off in the long run.

If you’re still on the fence on shutters, here are a few of our favourite before and after pictures from the archives:

Full height shutters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full height shutters installed in London.

Full height shutters cover the whole window providing both privacy and elegance. They are ideal for almost any room and can be used to cover doors as well as windows.

Cafe style shutters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ash white cafe style shutters installed in London.

Cafe style shutters cover the bottom portion of the window, leaving the top open for maximum light. They are a great choice for scenic rooms which require privacy over light reduction.

Shutters installed in a bay window

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey shutters installed in a bay window in Kent.

Plantation shutters lend themselves to bay windows, adapting to the shape in a way no other furnishing can. Whether you have a curved, angled or box bay, made-to-measure shutters will beautifully fit the window and enhance its features.

 

If you want to transform the look of your home, look no further than plantation shutters. For more information on shutters or to book your free no obligation in-house survey, call Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963. All shutters from Totally Shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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A Guide to Shutter Repair

Plantation shutters are one of the best investments you can make for your home. Not only do they look fantastic, they’re built to last and add value to your property. And at Totally Shutters they’re made-to-measure and installed by a professional, ensuring minimal problems in years to come.

It’s rare when problems arise, but when they do, you need to know how to fix them. Shutter repair can be daunting, often raising more questions than solutions. This guide aims to simplify shutter repair, addressing solutions to some of the most common shutter problems:

Broken louvre

Although wooden louvres are strong and sturdy, there’s always a chance that one may break. And not only is a broken louvre unsightly, but it can reduce the functionality of the entire shutter.

Broken louvres are best replaced by professionals who will measure the louvre and install a new one easily without removing the entire set of shutters.

Dislodged louvre

Even when installed by a professional, louvres can slip out of place. A dislodged louvre makes the shutter aesthetically unattractive and can reduce light and cold protection.

Louvres are held in place by louvre pins. If the louvre pin is still intact and in place, you can use a flathead screwdriver to hold down the pin while you reinsert the louvre. If the louvre pin is missing, you will need to get a replacement before reinstalling the louvre. Although you can do this repair yourself, it can be tricky so you might want to call a professional to do the job.

Louvres won’t stay open

Over time, shutters with louvres can have a problem staying open due to the tension of the louvres. Located on the outside of your shutter panels, tension screws are used to keep the louvres open and can be adjusted if the louvres keep closing. Simply use a screwdriver to tighten the tension screws.

Wood rot

Wood rot is a fungus that thrives in damp environments, often affecting bathroom and kitchen shutters. If not treated quickly, wood rot can spread, damaging the entire set of shutters and causing a costly problem.

If wood rot has damaged a small section of your shutter, you can fix it yourself by using a screwdriver to chip away the rotten area before adding some auto body filler to the damaged area and repainting. If the wood rot is widespread, you will need a professional’s advice.

 

For more information on shutter repair, call Totally Shutters on 0203 960 6963. If you have a set of made-to-measure shutters from Totally Shutters and one of the above issues has occurred, get in touch today and we will amend your shutters as part of our 5-year guarantee.

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Shutters for Loft Windows

Converting the loft is a great way to add space and a new lease of life to your home. If you’re in the process of planning to convert your loft to create a new bedroom, home office or extra living space, it’s important to finish the new room off with the best window treatment available.

Here’s why shutters are the best treatment for loft windows:

Loft windows often aren’t the easiest of windows to dress. With a dormer conversion, you may find great difficulty in hanging curtains. The way curtains have to be hung with a pole could end up blocking some of the light, making your new room dark and gloomy.

If you’ve opted for skylights instead of dormer windows, you may wonder whether you need to leave the windows uncovered, resulting in a room that feels exposed. Or you may feel blinds are the only option for skylights. And just like curtains, blinds can make your room feel dull.

The solution to dressing loft windows isn’t struggling with a bulky curtain or dull blind but rather made-to-measure shutter blinds. Custom made for each window, shutters fit perfectly and with easily adjustable slats, allow for maximum light and privacy control.

Shutters are great for creating comfort in loft space. In winter, they help keep the space snug as they provide extra insulation. Meanwhile, in summer, when a loft space can become overheated, it’s simple to open the window and manoeuvre the slats to prevent direct sunlight while maintaining air flow.

 

From period houses to modern properties, shutters look great in all types of loft conversions and styles of homes and help improve your kerb appeal. For more information on shutters for lofts, call us on 0203 960 6963 to book your free no obligation in-house survey. All shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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Visible Tilt Rod vs Hidden Tilt Rod

When choosing your dream shutters, there are several factors to consider. As well as deciding what type of shutter will best suit your home, colour and size of louvres, you must decide whether or not you want the tilt rod to be visible.

Tilt rods are essentially the material and mechanism that are used to angle your slats and dictate the natural lighting of your home. They are also vital for the overall aesthetics of the shutter and can be a standout feature.

Tilt rods can be either visible or hidden. Here’s all you need to know before making your decision:

Visible Tilt Rod

Pros:

  • Throughout the history of shutters, the tilt rod has been on show. So if you have a traditional interior, a visible tilt rod may suit the needs of your home.
  • Visible tilt rods are not just restricted to the centre of your shutters and can be positioned to the left or right – opening up your shutters to a variety of different looks.
  • Visible tilt rods are easy to access and intuitive to use. Hidden tilt rods may confuse guests or family members who aren’t used to the mechanism.

Cons:

  • Can make your shutter look too ‘busy’ especially if you have lots of ornamentation on your windows such as leading or grills.
  • As a conspicuous feature, the visible tilt rod may be tempting for young children to mess around with which could leave to damage over time.

Hidden Tilt Rod

Pros:

  • Hidden tilt rods are disguised within the stiles of your shutters and can be opened and closed easily by rolling the tilt rod with the palm of your hand or by physically moving the individual louvres.
  • Many think shutters appear more streamlined without a tilt rod, making a hidden tilt rod perfect for minimalists.
  • The hidden tilt rod can prevent excessive lines from dividing form of your shutters, especially when coupled with full height shutters and wide louvres.

Cons:

  • Hidden tilt rods may not be ideal for those who would prefer a more traditional design of shutter.
  • The hidden tilt rod may come at an extra cost compared to the standard visible tilt rod.

For more information on visible rods and hidden rods for shutters, or to book your no obligation in-house survey, call Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963. All shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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How to Pair Shutters With Curtains

Shutters and curtains are a match made in heaven. Curtains on their own can leave a window looking unfinished, and pairing with blinds isn’t a great solution as blinds block light, but pairing with shutters and you receive all the benefits (light control, tons of privacy, an insulated window and plenty of kerb appeal) while achieving a luxurious layered look.

Here are a few benefits of layering window dressings for maximum style and performance:

Contrast textures

One of the best things about pairing made-to-measure shutters and curtains is the contrast in textures that it brings to your interior. The soft folds of the curtain fabric against the sleek lines of the shutter blinds helps to create a boutique look.

Tranquillity

Pairing shutters with curtains in your bedroom can help you enjoy a better night’s sleep. Shutters block the amount of unwanted noise coming through your windows while curtains can create a relaxed and romantic feel.

Energy efficient

Both shutters and curtains are great at preventing draughts and locking in the heat. Doubling up and you have the ultimate energy efficient pairing, helping to maintain a cosy temperature all year round.

More choice

Once you’ve decided on the layered look, you’ve got a wide range of shutter styles to choose from including tier-on-tier, cafe style, full height and solid panels. You will also be able to accessorise your shutters and curtains to suit your interior preferences.

 

For more information on layering your shutters with curtains, or would like to book your free no obligation in-house survey, get in touch with Totally Shutter on 0203 960 6963. All shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.

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Tracked Shutters for Larger Windows

Do you have a large window in your home, a feature window or patio door? Are you looking for a window covering solution that will fit that window seamlessly? Look no further as tracked shutters from Totally Shutters are the perfect solution!

What are tracked shutters?

Tracked shutters are a stylish covering option for larger windows, helping you to control your light and privacy levels while stilling allowing light to stream in while the louvres are open. Easy to open and close, tracked shutters come in two styles depending on your needs: a by-pass system and a bi-fold system.

The by-pass system allows each panel to effortlessly slide past the other on smooth-running tracks, making this option ideal for wardrobes and room dividers. Whereas the bi-fold system simply folds out of the way against the adjoining wall.

Are tracked shutters for me?

The maximum width of a shutter panel is 91cm. If your window is wider than 91cm, you will need multiple panels. However, if your window is wider than 250cm, you will need tracked shutters.

Tracked shutters can be made to measure any space and fit seamlessly with any colour or interior design. Beyond larger windows and sliding doors, tracked shutters work well dividing up space in open plan homes, creating flexible contemporary living spaces without obstructing the light.

 

For more information on tracked shutters for larger windows, or to book your free, no obligation in-house survey, contact Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963.

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Plantation Shutter Myths Exposed

The Totally Shutters team spend a lot of time talking to homeowners about plantation shutters, and we hear the same myths about shutter blinds over again. So we wanted to set the record straight and expose the most common myths about plantation shutters so you can make the best window covering choice for your home:

MYTH: shutters are expensive

It’s true, shutters are not the cheapest window covering option on the market but unlike blinds and drapes that have a short life-cycle, shutters are a permanent addition to your home. Shutters add value to your property and come with multiple benefits; they’re energy efficient and proven to lower your energy bills. Taking these benefits into consideration, shutters are an investment rather than an expense.

MYTH: shutters are easy to DIY

There are several home projects that you can complete in a single weekend, but installing shutters may not be one of them. Putting in new shutters can be tricky, and if the process isn’t done right, you could end up with crooked shutters and frequent draughts. At Totally Shutters we do offer a DIY discount, however, we only recommend this to experts.

MYTH: shutters are for older homes

Maybe the name “plantation shutters” lead people to believe that shutters are for period properties but this certainly isn’t true. While shutters were used in homes stretching back decades, their crisp, versatile and stylish appeal allow them to fit in with all types of properties.

MYTH: shutters and blinds are the same

For some reason, some people believe shutters and blinds are the same. Blinds and shutters couldn’t be further apart. Shutters are a solid structure that attaches to the window whereas blinds dangle from a cord. Blinds are temporary and can deteriorate after 3-5 years while shutters are permanent and can easily last 20+ years.

 

If you have a few questions about plantation shutters that you would like answering, or would like to book your free, no obligation in-house survey, contact Totally Shutters today on 0203 960 6963.

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How to Use Light in Your Home

Does your home have beautiful furnishings but appear to feel flat and sterile, and you’re unsure why? Chances are, it’s the lighting.

Light is a powerful element of your home design which can influence your home space and mood, and should never be overlooked. There are two types of lighting that can affect your home and feeling: natural light and artificial light.

Natural light

Homes with larger windows allow a lot of light in, helping spaces look larger. Homes with smaller windows tend to rely on artificial light, but even with smaller windows, there are ways to amplify natural light.

Window treatments like drapes either block the light or let all light through. Unlike other window treatments, plantation shutters let as much light in as possible without sacrificing privacy.

Another trick is to strategically place mirrors around the room to amplify the natural light to make the room appear more spacious. And using lighter colours will reflect more natural light.

Artificial light

Artificial light can create a really cosy feel. Rooms with one main overhead light can feel sterile. Whereas multiple sources of light can create pockets of light and soften shadows, creating a balance and making the room feel cosier.

Choosing the right bulbs for your home is important. Dimmer lights can make low ceilings appear higher. Daylight bulbs are bright and best saved for offices and commercial settings. Warm-toned light bulbs are best for residential spaces.

 

If you’re ready to brighten up your home with the right window treatments, call us today on 0203 960 6963 to book your free no obligation in-house survey. All shutters come with a 5-year guarantee.