One trend in modern window treatments especially for homeowners looking to upgrade from curtains or draperies is the use of plantation shutters. These shutters are also known as louver blinds or California blinds. They are generally able to be custom sized for your windows and can be constructed of many different materials. They are very good at blocking out the sunlight while allowing a modest air flow into the home. Like most other window treatments, there is a large variety of styles and materials to choose from when ordering online. Along with that, the cost of these plantation shutters usually is based on what material they are made from.
When originally invented, plantation shutters were made from nearby grown hardwood, and they were crafted by hand by plantation workers themselves. Today some of the better, more expensive types of blinds are made from premium hardwood, such as Cedar or Alder wood. Alder wood is a favorite material, as the wood texture and grain is tight and smooth. Because of this the shutters are easily painted or stained. Other models and types of plantation shutters are available also and are made from materials such as plastic, vinyl, faux wood or fiber chip board. Many home designers prefer vinyl or faux wood as they don't warp easily from sun or moisture, and in the case of vinyl or plastic they're very easy to clean. Of course the price of the non-wood material shutters is also quite a bit less expensive.
For the best shopping options online, you will want to make sure to pick out your style, material, and have your measurements handy. Tax and shipping usually is not a factor from online companies, so you will be able to save money on your shutters for sure in that way. If you are ordering blinds online, make sure you are capable of installing them yourself, or even possibly know of someone who would be willing to help you to do so. Inside or outside mounting is an important factor when you're taking measurements as well as the style and look that will result. Factor that into your decision making process too. One other note about online purchasing; if possible, make sure to order your plantation blinds with pre-drilled frames, and be sure to double check with the company that they are providing the appropriate mounting hardware such as screws, mounts, and hinges.
The prices on line will most likely be more favorable than your local big box retailer, but you may want to consider talking to a local blind installation company in your home town if you are considering having the shutters professionally installed. Many times these local businesses will be able to meet or come very close in material costs to online retailers, and you'll only end up paying the difference in installation labor. A professional installation is very much worth the money when it comes to keeping your homes warmth and style in tact.