8 Questions Other Shutter Companies Hope You Won’t Ask
1. Plastic, Jell-O, or Basswood?
Polyvinylchloride (PVC/plastic) and Polyurethane (PU/plastic Jell-O) makers use labels like Woodlite, FlexWood, and Thermawhite, but they’re all just synthetic petroleum products trying to look like wood. Unfortunately, they’re also weak, heavy, non-recyclable and emit toxic fumes in a fire. Most plastic shutters are built to sag and must be lifted in place to open or close. Whole Basswood is much lighter and stronger than plastic. Basswood’s strength and rigidity enables elegant designs, tighter tolerances, and little or no sagging in panels and louvers. Elizabeth Shutters is the only major manufacturer to use 100% whole Basswood for all painted and stained shutters.
2. Don’t Plastic Shutters Insulate Better?
They would if they weren’t made so poorly. Plastic material has a high R or insulation value, but it sags over time. So, plastic shutters are built with wide gaps between moving pieces to keep them from rubbing as they droop. Air moves through these gaps and reduces insulation. Basswood shutters are light and rigid, avoiding most or all the sagging seen in PVC and Polyurethane shutters. Elizabeth Shutters’ products have some of the tightest tolerances and best insulation in the window coverings industry.
3. Finger-Joint/Plywood/MDF is Great, Why Not Use It for Shutters?
The engineered woods inside walls and discount furniture are protected from weather, but shutters face daily temperature swings, direct sun, and the occasional rain, fog, or sprinkler. In finger-jointed, edge-glued, laminated, plywood, and MDF (fiberboard) every cut and glue joint is another opportunity for sun or moisture to get in and ruin your shutters. These wood and glue mixtures have 10 to 1,000 more joints and cross cuts causing finish and water damage problems. Elizabeth Shutters is the only major manufacturer to use 100% whole Basswood for all our painted and stained shutters.
4. What About Shutters in High Moisture Areas?
Wood shutters can last a lifetime in beach, snow, and foggy areas, but even whole Basswood will fail over time if it’s hit repeatedly with water under high pressure. This can occur if there are regular jets of moisture from showers, sinks, and closed windows with broken window seals. (Open windows allow normal passage of air. Normal air flow won’t impact shutters unless there’s rain or misdirected sprinklers). Elizabeth Shutters recommends and sells shades, blinds and plastic shutters for bathrooms, kitchens, and windows next to water.
5. Sub-Contractors or Employees?
Many companies use independent contractors for manufacturing, installation, re-measure, even sales, so you could be dealing with up to 3 or 4 sub-contractors on your order. California employment laws require sub-contractors to work independently as contractors to the property owner. This means their personal and money claims for accidents and financial losses are secured against the homeowner’s property – even if the homeowner is blameless. Elizabeth Shutters takes 100% responsibility for your shutters and our employees. Elizabeth Shutters’ manufacturing, installation, re-measure technicians, and salespeople are employees of Elizabeth Shutters. None of them can independently place a lien on your property.
6. Will My Shutters Last? If There’s a Problem, Will the Manufacturer Fix It?
Offshore and discount manufacturers typically build “disposable” shutters, meant to last a few years until they’re replaced. Unfortunately, over the past 10 years several hundred of these companies have gone out of business. Those that remain generally warranty shutters for two to five years, depending on whether they agree there is a problem. Elizabeth Shutters builds shutters to last a lifetime. We’ve been building shutters for over 30 years and our warranties and standards are printed right your contract:
- Wear Items (staples and louver tension screws): Free replacement for one year. Free parts for life (we send them to you).
- Finish: 10 years
- Structure: Lifetime and transferable to the next homeowner.
7. Are Sales and Trades People Competent? Professional? Clean? Safe?
From no shows, bad advice and delays to unexpected fees, shoddy work and leaving a mess, home improvement contracting is full of horror stories. It’s hard to trust anyone with a onetime project in your home, much less if they’re new or their reputation with customers is mixed. Elizabeth Shutters employs some of the most capable and dedicated professionals in the window coverings industry. Installers and Technical Personnel’s average tenure with Elizabeth Shutters is nearly 16 years and Salespeople average over 10 years with Elizabeth Shutters and 20 – 25 years in shutters. Our experience and professionalism has made Elizabeth Shutters the highest rated shutter manufacturer in California and one of the best in the world. Elizabeth Shutters’ personnel have earned the highest awards for “Best Shutter Company” and “Best Window Coverings Company” from Angie’s List, TrustLink, Customer Lobby, The Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, and Orange County Register every year for the past six years. In addition to our D-52 Contractors License, Contractor’s Bond, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance we carry $2 million General Liability Insurance.
8. How Long Do I Have to Wait?
Discount and blinds companies’ shutters usually come from Mexico or China and take weeks or months to arrive. And, if there’s a problem, the cycle starts over. Elizabeth Shutters manufactures shutters and doors in Colton, California. We guarantee custom deliveries in Northern California and proudly offer our industry-best 28 working day delivery in Southern California. Depending on availability, California rush orders may be delivered in as little as 3-5 days.