Full Height MDF Shutters With A 76mm Louvre On A Three Sided Bay Window With Hidden Splits

Plantation Shutters on a Budget

Plantation shutters will always be one of the more expensive options for dressing your window, but unfortunately the time, materials and labour involved in installing shutters mean it’s worth getting them done properly. Shutters are more hardwearing than other types of window dressing, and the classic white style means they can easily be paired with blinds or curtains at a later date as tastes change. However, there are ways to make plantation shutters more budget friendly, especially if you’re looking for a more classic shutter style.

Budget Shutter Materials

Full height MDF shutters with a midrail and hidden split
The easiest way to save money on your shutters is to change the material. At The Shutter Studio we offer four different types of hardwood, as well as a waterproof PVC material, each with its own pros and cons. However, for most people looking for white shutters either MDF or basswood shutters will be more than suitable. MDF is a heavy, hard wearing material and is also the cheapest material in our range. Over time the weight of MDF can cause wear on the shutter hinges, and for windows of a certain size or style we wouldn’t recommend them. But if you haven’t yet found your ‘forever home’ there’s nothing wrong with choosing MDF shutters.

Want to know more? Try our guide to the difference between MDF and hardwood shutters.

Budget Shutter Styles

Basswood cafe style shutters in a sash window with a 76mm louvre

There are two changes to the style of your shutters that will help you with the cost. The first is to have a centre tilt rod. This is the more traditional plantation shutter style and also the more cost effective. The louvres are stapled on to the tilt rod in the middle of the shutter, so you tilt the rod instead of the louvres. A hidden tilt rod means the mechanism controlling the shutters is built into the frame of the shutter – a more labour intensive process that will be apparent in your quote. Alternatively, you can try for the best of both worlds with an offset tilt rod – cheaper than a hidden tilt mechanism but with nothing running down the centre of your shutter panel.

For a more drastic solution consider half height or café style shutters. These shutters are especially suited to overlooked rooms where you want to add more privacy without compromising on the amount of light coming into the room. They look classy without overwhelming your windows and as you’re using less material in your window it also costs you less!

Tight Shutter Budgets

Ian fitting shutters into a nursery

As a very drastic measure you may want to consider supply only shutters. If you have very square, simple windows and you’re the handy sort there is some money to be saved by fitting them yourselves. Some companies will give you more guidance on measuring for the shutters yourself but at The Shutter Studio we offer a free consultation and measure to many areas. We can come and survey the property for you, advise on how difficult it would be to fit yourself and provide a supply only quote.

However, if you’re not so handy think twice before selecting this option! If you find yourself unable to fit them we can happily supply a separate fee for fitting at a later date. Just be wary that if we’re busy you may be waiting a while. And while you’re free to collect your supply only shutter from our showroom, you may end up paying both a delivery fee and a fitting fee if you haven’t thought things through.

Finally, if shutters are well and truly out of your budget look into venetian blinds with tapes. Although not as long lasting or easy to handle, from the outside you can achieve a similar look to shutters with wide slats on a venetian blind along with matching decorate tapes along the panels.