Plantation Shutter Buying Advice
We all want to get the best value for our money but determining what is truly a value and not simply less of a product can be difficult. Plantation shutters are no exception, there are various levels of quality, options and price. However, one thing often overlooked is service; service by the company you purchase the shutters from and serviceability of the shutters themselves.
If a company offers no warranty walk away regardless of the price. If they offer a warranty but outsourced the installation, you may run into difficulties. The install company make decent money installing, but they make relatively little on repairs and therefore it is not something they prioritize. A company that sells the product and have their own installers is the best choice.
Then there are the shutters themselves. Side by side shutters may appear almost identical, but the materials used in their construction, and how they are made determine if quality repairs can be made. Solid hardwood and quality faux-wood PVC (poly) shutters can be repaired to a like new appearance. Hollow plastic, inferior faux-wood, and especially Chinese made MDF wrapped with PVC (also called hybrid) are difficult to repair or, in some cases, cannot be repaired. These are the low-cost shutters you commonly hear advertised at extremely low prices. But be warned... Backing a true warranty is costly. To keep pricing low, discount shutters companies do not factor warranty cost into their price. If they offer a warranty, they either will not honor, or worse, they simply replace the shutter with a new one. Why would I call this worse? Think about it. The product they sold you allows them to buy a replace shutter, have it shipped from China, pay an installer to install and they still made money?? Cheap shutters break. Discount shutters retailers replace shutters all the time, so it is not an infrequent expense they simply absorb. They are selling a cheap product at exorbitant prices even if appears more affordable than a quality product.
In the end you may not have paid much, but that doesn't necessarily translate into value. Work with a reputable shutter company selling a quality product, back by a real warranty, selling at a fair price. It is a win-win for everyone, and you'll be far happier a few years down the road.