Homeowners Across America Prefer Plantation Shutters
JUNE 2004: In a society where “home redecorating” is one of the most-searched terms on the Internet and television programming regularly features home makeover shows, more Americans are taking on home remodeling projects and replicating the elegance and practicality introduced by celebrity interior designers.
The windows of a home are receiving significant attention from homeowners and designers, not only because they are a major visual element on both the inside and the outside of the home, but because they control the lighting and mood for each room. Homeowners often spend a great deal of money to make sure their windows and window treatments look just right.
According to a recent survey of Draperies & Window Coverings Magazine (DWC) readers, when compared with all window treatments, shutters have risen to a prominence never before seen. Shutter sales are increasing nationwide. Nearly twice as many respondents in 2003 vs. 2001 reported that shutters generated 81 to 100 percent of their total window covering sales (see www.dwcdesignet.com for complete survey results). At a rate faster than ever before, consumers are choosing shutters as their #1 window covering.
“Nothing compares to the look of plantation shutters,” says Erika Mitchellette, a Sunburst Shutters customer in Minnesota.
Mitchellette had Sunburst shutters custom built and installed at a home she and her husband Mark recently purchased and remodeled in Deephaven, Minnesota.
“We have some very large and complex windows, and we’re looking for window treatments that would add detail to the architectural beauty of our home,” says Mitchellette. “We looked at blinds and drapes, but we found that the traditional look of plantation style shutters complimented the décor perfectly.”
Style is a key selling point, but shutters also offer homeowners value and good looks. More than fifty percent of the DWC survey respondents said that the number one reason people buy indoor shutters is aesthetics. Thirty percent said their customers are buying shutters as investments in their homes. That’s because most shutters outlast every other type of window covering. It seems that consumers understand the added beauty and value shutters can bring to their homes.
“I just didn’t like the look of drapes when we were decorating our condo in Sun City, Arizona,” says Jeanne Nelson. “We saw the Polywood shutters and we liked the clean, classic look they created. Plus they are easier than blinds or drapes to keep clean. Several years later, it’s clear they were worth the investment.”
As homeowners’ demand for shutters increase, new shutter companies continue to enter the market. “We’ve seen the shutter market grow substantially over the past few years,” says Dix Jarman, co-owner of Sunburst Shutters, the nation’s largest shutter manufacturer founded more than 25 years ago. “While aluminum blinds have been known to sag over the years and draperies fade from exposure to the sun, custom-built shutters, especially those made from Polywood, are becoming the window treatment of choice.”
When it comes to shutters, Jarman’s products are among the hottest sellers. His company developed the Polywood shutter that uses an engineered wood substitute made from solid resin with a patented baked-on paint finish. “Years ago, all we sold were wood shutters, and those sales inevitably ended in follow-up maintenance calls,” Jarman said. “So we looked for something better, more durable. The end result was Polywood, and now the only reason we go back to a customer’s home is to install more shutters.”
Polywood shutters have the appearance of a quality wood shutter without the problems often associated with wood shutters, including warping, cracking, and splitting as a result of age and exposure to heat and cold. This provides homeowners with the classic plantation styling, without the expensive upkeep.
“Polywood Shutters are growing in popularity because home owners want durable, low-maintenance window treatments,” says Jarman.
According to Jarman, another advantage of Polywood shutters, especially with today’s rising energy costs, is their ability to reduce monthly heating and cooling bills. While blinds and drapes can block out some of the cold and heat, the Polywood shutter’s inner core is made from materials that act as an insulator, helping block out extreme temperatures and damaging sun rays.
“What other window treatment offers homeowners so many advantages?” asks Jarman. “With high-quality products on the market, and thousands of satisfied customers, we expect the popularity of shutters to continue to grow.”
Erika Mitchellette agrees. “Having shutters installed is one of the best investments we’ve made for our home,” she says. “And, every home we will own in the future will have Sunburst Shutters.”
With this type of endorsement, it is no wonder that shutters are the last window coverings most homeowners will ever have to buy.
For more information on plantation shutters, visit www.sunburstshutters.com.
# # #
Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions offers a variety of window treatments, including its signature product, the Polywood Shutter®. Customers are invited to visit the Sunburst showroom at 6480 W. Flamingo, Suite D, call 367-1600, or visit www.sunburstshutters.com. Sunburst offers a complimentary in-home design consultation can now boast the best customer service in town.
About Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions
Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions is headquartered in Las Vegas and has retail stores and dealers in approximately 75 cities across the country. It has been in business since 1978 and has sold more than six million shutters. In addition to shutters, the company offers a full line of window treatments, including blinds, shades, draperies and window films.