Plantation Shutters Common Repair Issues

Because plantation shutters can last for years and years they are obviously going to require some maintenance and the odd repair here and there during their life time. Plantation shutters can go from looking beautiful and stately to that rundown derelict abandoned house look in just a minute. All it takes is just a missing Louver staple or damaged Louver to turn your plantation shutters into an eyesore. Its a great shame that a lot of home owners just live with the eyesore not realizing that in most cases it is often a simply cured problem most likely well within the repertoire of their own DIY skill set to fix.

Missing Staples
One of the most commonly encountered problems concerning plantation shutters is that the shutter staples that connect the tilt rod to the shutter louver fall out. The Staples keep the louvers in place, without staples the louvers can rotate in all directions obviously not a desirable effect this is a fairly easy repair that can be undertaken by any average home owner.

Usually its just a matter of ordering replacement staples, so long as the wood around to the staple holes has not been damaged. If the wood around the staple holes in either the Tilt Rod or Louver are broken, then it may be necessary to order replacement parts .Plantation shutter replacement parts are commonly available online and may even be sold by your local home depot.

Check the remaining staples still in the panel to determine the size of staples you will need you must ensure that the new replacement staples are the same size as the staples currently remaining in the plantation shutters. The staples should all extend through the louver by the same amount to ensure your shutters function as they should Manipulate the tilt rod so that the louvers are open, and maneuver the louver that is missing a staple so that the staple holes are facing the tilt rod. Roll the tilt rod gently from side to side, until you get to it to a position that allows you to access the staple holes with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.

Grab a replacement staple with the pliers dab some Super glue on to the ends of the staple then gently push the staple through the original staple holes in the tilt rod and in the louver. Make sure that the staple is straight as you thread it through. Open the plantation shutters shutter panel so you can get access to its back. Position the louver so that the staple holes in it are no longer facing the tilt rod. Grab another staple with the pliers add some super glue; gently maneuver the staple into the holes .Check if your plantation shutters have metal strips attached to the tilt rod (not all do). If the strip is twisted or broken or the eyelet is missing, you will need to replace the tilt rod. If the eyelet portion is just a little bent, then gently grasp it with the pliers, and firmly but gently bend it away from the tilt rod, and put it back into the correct position. Manipulate the louver back towards the tilt rod and close the eyelet with the pliers.

Louvers on Plantation Shutters Will Not Remain open
Another common issue often encountered with plantation shutters is that the louvers will not stay open A very simple problem that you can fix yourself with just a screw driver and a utility knife and a few tension washers if you know how.

When the louvers of a plantation shutter are moved, in to a particular selected position you expect and desire that they stay there . But sometimes this is not the case because of the combined effect of the weight of the guide or tilt rod coupled with the natural effects of gravity what naturally occurs would be for the louvers to rotate downward and close. But To prevent this, shutter manufacturers utilize several different ways of placing tension on the louvers. If your louvers will not stay open then what ever method was employed on your particular shutters has ceased to function and needs maintenance,

1) Check your shutters to see if they were constructed using tension adjustment screws. If your shutter was made with tension screws, you will find them located on the outside of each stile housed in a small recess. Turn the screws clockwise, by doing this you pull the louvers closer in towards the stile. This creates friction between the stile and louver the plantation shutters louvers should now stay where they are positioned.

2) If your plantation shutters were not manufactured with tension screws then inspect the joints between the Rails and Stiles. Improper joint connections can cause the panel to fall apart losing the built in tension with which it was first constructed If you discover the Rails and Stiles are separating at their joints, then you need to add panel screws that will facilitate the reattachment of the Rails and Stiles.

Clamp the Rail and Stiles into the correct position, making certain that the shutter panel is square, and that all louvers function as they should .Holes should be pre-drilled, using a very small drill bit approx 1/8″ should do. The holes should be made on the out side of each stile adjacent to the Rail, keep the drill parallel with the Rail and square with the Stile. Screw the rail and stile firmly together. At least two panel screws should be used for each corner that appears to be coming adrift. The second screw should be situated below the first, not side by side with it.

3) If the joints appear to be in good shape, then the next thing you can check is the gap between all the louvers and the two stiles. By inserting tension washers into this gap, you can increase the amount of tension in the shutter panel, and your louvers should now stay open. First cut a notch in one of the tension washers as indicated below then choose a shutter louver that has a gap just a little smaller than the thickness of the washer. Push the tension washer over the Louver Pin to fill the gap between the Louver and Stile. Keep adding tension washers to other louvers until sufficient tension is created so that the louvers falling down.

There are several repair kits available for plantation shutters on line that come with all the necessary bits and pieces particular to what ever shutter repair issue you are dealing with , in most cases with easy to follow instructions , containing photographs and or diagrams ,detailing how the repair is carried out These kits are designed for the average homeowner to use , no special tools or knowledge is required. The average home owner can effect all repairs that plantation shutters will ever need without having to hire an expensive repair guy.

Measuring for Plantation Shutters

Measuring for Correctly Fitting Plantation Shutters
Considering purchasing plantation shutters from either an on line store or a high street location either way you need to know how to correctly measure your window openings to end up with properly fitting plantation shutters ,particularly if you are investing in custom made shutters ,accurate measuring is paramount but you are not sure how to measure for wooden window shutters? Don’t worry; measuring for plantation shutters is fairly straightforward.

The first rule when measuring for plantation shutters or any kind of window covering. Even if all your windows openings look and appear the same size they may in reality not be. A couple of years ago we bought a old colonial style house that needed all new windows 14 in total we were surprised to find although they all looked exactly the same to the naked eye when measured there were variances between them, by as much as 3 inches between some .We wondered at the time if this was due to the fact that this was 165 year old ex school house, if this was anyway due to the era of the property the window company informed us this was not the case and that between 14 windows this was hardly any variance at all, he had seen much bigger differences when measuring brand new houses for replacement windows. So you can see I hope the absolute necessity of measuring each window individually for plantation shutters as variances do definitely occur, even if to the naked eye all windows appear the same size. it is imperative you measure every window that you are going to fit shutters on.

How to Measure for Recessed or Non-Recessed Plantation Shutters
For an inside (recessed) plantation shutter installation it will be necessary for your window opening measurement to be square. By “square”, I mean that the opposite corners of the window recess need to be equidistant from each other i.e. when the window recess openings are measured from corner to corner diagonally the measurements you end up with have to be exactly the same if not your window recesses are not exactly symmetrical and plantation shutters without an extreme amount of effort can not be mounted inside a recess that is not absolutely square. You can get away with differences between the two measurements so long as the difference is no bigger than ½”,or you will have no alternative except to go with the outside mount.

Check Minimum Clearance for Plantation Shutters
In side recess installations require a minimum clearance depth of 1 ½” from the back of the plantation shutters to the window or window hardware, in other words you need to leave one and a half inches of room between the back of the plantation shutter and the window it is covering for the window fitments such as locks, and handles, to have enough space to operate properly. To more accurately determine this measurement you should measure from the front of the window recess to the object that protrudes to ensure you have adequate clearance for an inside recessed plantation shutters.

Deciding Mounting Style for Plantation Shutters

Inside (Recessed) Mount for Plantation Shutters
Situating your plantation shutters entirely within the window opening is considered an inside mount or recessed mount. Your window opening or recess must have a clearance depth of 1 ½” from the back of the plantation shutter to the window or window hardware for proper operation of window hardware’s and the window opening or recess must be square. Your window jambs (depth of recess) must be at least 2 ¾” (not including hardware space) for the plantation shutter to properly fit.

Outside (None Recessed) Mount of Plantation Shutters
The mounting of plantation shutters directly on the wall around the window is called an outside (none recessed) mount. The hanging strips are mounted directly on to the wall be side the window opening, or onto the wood of the window frame molding if you so desire, and the plantation shutters position can be altered so that the shutters align in the middle perfectly.

Make accurate measurements of all windows on which you are planning to fit your plantation shutters. You should measure across the top, bottom and middle of window see diagram. Once you have these measurements, select the biggest one. You must then measure from the top molding of the window to the top of the window sill.

Home Decor New Years Resoulutions

Home Decor Related Resolutions for New Years
When you’re contemplating your New Year’s resolutions, this year rather than make them all personal goals that you probably won’t keep why not make a couple that will help your home decor or individual room decor become more how you envision it, more stylish , more organized or more colorful your goal for 2010. These less personal more home decor related resolutions you might just be able to keep . So allow me to share my decorating resolutions with you in the hope they may inspire or encourage you to make some of your own home decor or home related resolutions .

CREATE A HOME OFFICE/CRAFT ROOM A DUAL PURPOSE SPACE FOR 2010
My first home decor related resolution for 2010 is to change my home office/ computer room into a dual purpose room in that it will now share its space to become a home office/craft room.

DE-CLUTTER AND REORGANIZE FOR THE NEW YEAR
My second resolution like probably thousands of others is to lose weight, this is a first time resolution for me, possibly an often repeated and never kept new years resolution for some, but for me its a new one for 2010, its also a must do rather than a we’ll see how it goes resolution ,because as a newly diagnosed diabetic its something that I must do. As a self encouragement or inspiration or just for the exercise it will give me ,for 2010 I have resolved that I will de-clutter my house from top to bottom leaving no room untouched,with this, not only hopefully will I myself be rid of excess weight so too will my home.

A BEDROOM FACE LIFT
So when everywhere is suitably de-cluttered and reorganized my next plan is to spruce up the decor of our master bedroom and redecorate the small guest bedroom now this room sees very little use as a guest bedroom , except on my mother in laws annual visit, so hasn’t been touched in years its well over due. As it is such a small room I ‘ve always felt there’s not much to be done with it besides repaint it .I have always wanted to do something more, to try to discover items of home decor that can be used as focal features for a small bedroom that won’t over power it, so that is going to be a new years resolution to redecorate my small guest bedroom and somehow provide a focal point in some respect either furniture or attractive home decor accents before Nov, as mother in law is coming from GB later this year in time for hubbies big 5-0 so lets see what I can come up with.

FRESHEN UP PAINTWORK AND REFRESH ROOM DECOR
I want to repaint door trims a base boards and window casings along main hallways particularly the kitchen door which the cat has used as a scratching post while we have not been looking. I would also like to refresh or change up my home decor without spending money or at least much money perhaps undertake some DIY home decor accents projects for 2010 ,find alternative ways of displaying or grouping my items of home decor whether it be accent pieces or pieces of furniture just want to give my rooms a fresh look for 2010 .

GREENER HOME DECOR
I Resolve to be more earth friendly this year reuse, re-purpose and recycle, if appliances need to be replaced to purchase ones that are more environmentally responsible products. More and more home decor products are being made “green”,And as they become more popular they also become more affordable, there is now much less excuse for decorators on a budget to ignore the use of environmentally friendly products.

ENCOURAGE WILDLIFE TO THE YARD
Even for the most avid of gardeners its not always possible to be outside even when the weather is wonderful, sometimes we are forced to stay indoors and take care of more urgent tasks on these occasions its particularly pleasant to glance outside and see and hear birds in the garden. Ever since a new sub division was built behind my home there seems to be fewer birds visiting my yard than there used to be, I want to add more bird feeders, bird houses and nesting boxes to my garden space to entice them back .

HOME DECOR ON A BUDGET
Like many of you out there, we are feeling the pinch of the recession so everything has to be done within a budget so I am going to make sure all my home decor alterations and improvements and what ever changes I bring about in my home fall within my tight budget. This year money is not to be spent on unnecessary items of home decor and will definitely not be borrowed. (Thrift shops and flea markets here I come)

Christmas Table Decorations

I am not an adept or even claim to a semi accomplished handcrafter I have positively no skills in the handmade homemade department of life but even I thought this year I might attempt to create my own centerpiece for the the Christmas table decorations this year as times are tough all over and the sixty or seventy dollars I usually fork out for a floral festive creation of candles and poinsettia and various other greenery could be much better spent in other areas this year.

But what to make creating my own Christmas floral display is definitely out of the question I am less skilled in this particular niche than in any other I have tried on numerous Christmas’s past to create Christmas table decorations to add yuletide cheer to hallway stands and end tables but despite hours of arranging and rearranging they always look like something the cat dragged in I recall my final effort a couple of years ago I had trimmed and tweaked and positioned and re re arranged the same elements of floral decor that come with the professionally created Christmas arrangements but mine no matter how hard I tried my own self created displays of Christmas table decorations just always looked a little off as if they had just not quite made the grade I recall the exact instant at which I vowed to myself I would never undertake the task again. I had bits of pine tree boughs laurel leaves and fresh poinsettia blooms and holly berries strewn haphazardly across the table when hubby walked in and said extremely sincerely “oh that one looks so much better than the last” I was cut to the quick and felt mortified beyond belief and vowed to myself there and then never ever to attempt my own floral Christmas table decorations ever again.

There are many simple basic ideas that could substitute such as candles and Christmas balls in various formations in dishes and vases or or stacked in neat pyramids or just strewn around the place settings as informal Christmas table decorations. But these although they may be on par with my skill level they are not of the same decorative quality or artistic ability as my purchased focal points so are not and adequate replacement. A more creatively inclined friend has generously offered to personally build a centerpiece to form part of my Christmas table decorations , but I selfishly declined her offer even though her creations are legend within our circle as I would feel honor bound when compliments are being dished out to own to the fact that someone other than myself created the beautiful display of Christmas table decorations and that she sat right there at the table across from me that is way too humiliating an experience for any hostess to endure and quite a different horse entirely from claiming the kudos of having searched out and hand picked and personally and carefully selected your own special items of purchased Christmas table decorations .

I found from the net these ideas for Christmas table decorations using branches I particularly like the one using the little yellow mushroom birds I think that I would prefer to make the branch either white or dark green or even gold with red birds perhaps cardinals as they are a christmas birds well they are on an awful lot of Christmas card designs. I have both a white and a green table cloths so could go with red accents (napkins place mats etc) to compliment the birds .

Although I like this idea for the foundation of my Christmas table decorations this year and it appears simple enough for me to make even with my very limited repertoire of craft skills it needs that little something to take it up a notch that tiny extra just to make it that little bit more festive and Christmasy . I may not be accomplished enough to be able to hand create my own wondrous items of Christmas table decor but I do recognize it when I see it . All the above needs is a little further embellishment the keyword being “little” as adding too much would quickly overwhelm the simplicity of the design which is the most salient factor of its charm.

My version of these Christmas table decorations would have to be repeated several times as the table when both
leaves are added seats sixteen twenty at a squeeze . My first impulse to upgrade its Christmas content just a little is to add very tiny Christmas balls to the end of each twig possibly a tiny birds nest or two containing the same small glass Christmas balls or little beads in Christmas colors. A few more miniature Christmas balls could be scattered beneath the branches giving the impression that they have just fallen there from the branches above.

Either that or I could choose to hang various small Christmas tree ornaments either purchased or handcrafted from the boughs . There are certainly many small handmade tree ornaments on the net with full instructions or are so simple just seeing an example of the finished piece is inspiration enough, many of which even I could successfully complete. I could chose to hang several different styles of ornament just adhering to the same color scheme or make them all completely the same. I particularly favor the red and white tree ornaments from the top row above.

I also very much like the first two ornaments from the second row above which are a Christmas cone and a Victorian fan tree ornament both I think would add that little extra something to my birds and branches Christmas table decorations the cones I like because they can be hung from the branches with Christmas treats inside like candy canes or nuts or even the straight pretzel sticks. The fan I like because it is unusual although once very common place as tree decor its hardly ever seen on modern Christmas trees apart from its unique shape and novelty value I can make similar styled free standing fans as place markers adding another element to my Christmas table decorations.