Plantation shutters help me choose!

(87 Posts)
takeonboard Sun 06-Nov-11 12:51:13

I want to get plantation shutters fitted to my main sitting room windows - 2 very tall windows.

I have had them before in previous properties but over 12 years ago when there weren't many companies around. I just googled and there are loads of companies now including John Lewis. I really don't know where to start and who to contact, so need advice / recommendations from wise mumsnetters who have bought them recently.

I am looking for a company to make and install them rather than the DIY option as neither DH or I are up to anything more than changing a light bulb.

I obviously want a good price, but most importantly excellent craftsmanship and customer service.

Come and tell me who to call and who to avaoid!!


LowLevelWhiiingeing Sun 06-Nov-11 12:57:47

where are you in the country?

I've just ordered some from a local company, cheaper (and better quality) than B&Q.

takeonboard Sun 06-Nov-11 13:06:06

We are in west London, and looking for a company who will provide a full service - measure, manufacture and install.
If not in London does your local company only work locally?

takeonboard Sun 06-Nov-11 20:24:38


Monty27 Sun 06-Nov-11 20:27:18

I had two companies in to quote me for a 5 pannelled bay window - 5k!! I can't afford that so I'm getting a chippie to buy them at b&q and install them for me. Haven't had a price yet though.

I love them by the way.

takeonboard Sun 06-Nov-11 20:33:27

Thanks Monty I hadn't thought of doing it that way....£5k for 1 window it sound like the price has gone up a lot over the past few years!

Monty27 Sun 06-Nov-11 21:29:43

Take its a 1930's house so not a floor to ceiling window or anything, I was astonished, it was Hillary's and someone else who's name escapes me that I had in for the quotes (a couple of years ago now too). 5k was including so called discounts etc.

I'll be watching this thread with interest. Thanks for starting it. Good luck, I'll let you know if mine progress. My next move is to go to B&Q and have a look at the quality etc but imo it would be the fitting that makes it.

takeonboard Mon 07-Nov-11 09:47:15

I will take a look at B&Q too.

In the meantime I think i will just choose 3 names from the vast array that came up when I googled and get them out to estimate - I will avoid Hilarys - thanks for the tip!

seasidesister Mon 07-Nov-11 10:32:37

Can highly recommend House of Shutters.

They were the only company I found who actually make them. Most just measure up and send details to China. They are made there and then shipped so take up to 8 weeks to arrive.

House of Shutters come and measure up, design, make in their workshop and then install. They were fantastic with our weird shaped bay and came up with lots of ideas.

Also affordable, we got 3 quotes and they were mid range in terms of pricing.

takeonboard Mon 07-Nov-11 10:36:23

Thanks so much seaside I will definetely call them, I had no idea that they were made in China, I thought that all the companies would make them themselves.

How long did it take from order to installation?

LowLevelWhiiingeing Mon 07-Nov-11 10:38:50

Soz, the company I used are just around here (NW) I'm afraid. It's costing 1K for 7 narrow shutters in a large bay window. Quite a lot less than 5K!! shock

they are also measured up then come from China.

It's actually a curtain/blind shop that are doing it, so it may be worth having a look in your local area?

takeonboard Mon 07-Nov-11 10:56:38

I will try curtain/blind shops too, John Lewis are advertsing them in their blinds section. Thanks!

seasidesister Mon 07-Nov-11 17:20:33

I think it was about 4 weeks from measuring to fitting.

Monty27 Mon 07-Nov-11 23:37:02

Low, is that NW as in England?

See I knew 5k was extortionate grrrrrr. And I suspected there was nothing special about Hillary's etc.

London here and everything is such a rip off. angry

takeonboard Tue 08-Nov-11 08:40:37

I am in rip-off London too, but was hoping to get a non London company in as I assumed that companies would be prepared to travel for a largish job. Though they will probably oik the charge up for London customers angry

LowLevelWhiiingeing Tue 08-Nov-11 09:39:52

I'm in Manchester.

I was speaking to my decorator last night, she said she was quoted £400 per square metre by Hilarys, and that was with a half price voucher!! shock there's something not right there.

LowLevelWhiiingeing Tue 08-Nov-11 09:41:56

BTW, if anyone wants to know, my shutters are coming from Fabrics of Chester in Prestwich, Manchester.

Monty27 Tue 08-Nov-11 17:44:45

Low envy

Deux Tue 08-Nov-11 17:59:31

I don't have them but a friend used a company called Affordable Shutters and was very pleased but have no idea of price.

Do avoid Hilarys like the plague, they are massively overpriced and will hope you won't haggle on the price.

We had them in to quote for roof blinds for our conservatory and the quote was ..... £12k. shock That is not a typo and our conservatory is not the size of a wedding marquee. I burst out laughing when the salewoman said that (had had DS 10 days before) and she immediately dropped the price to £9k. I said it was a ridiculous price and she must be mad, so the price dropped to £6k.

See, there's a pattern emerging, dropping it by £3k each time. I said I wasn't interested as they were way too expensive and she said she would speak to her area manager to see if there were any further discounts. I politely said don't bother. She rang back that evening offering them for £4k. Told her to get stuffed and that if she could drop to £4k then why start at £12k, that I felt ripped off and I hadn't even bought anything. <hormonal> Utter madness.

The very nice people at John Lewis did them for £2.1k inc installation and it was seemless.

takeonboard Tue 08-Nov-11 18:10:26

Thanks so much Deux I will try Affordable Shutters and have been well warned about Hillarys!

minipie Tue 08-Nov-11 18:31:55

take we have recently had several companies round to quote for half height shutters in a 5 window bay. Quotes from £900 to £1600 (and we are in London). £5k sounds extortionate!

If you're in London/SE then have a look at: Shaftesburys, Shutterly Fabulous, The New England Shutter Co (most pricey by far, but lovely quality), The Traditional Shutter Co, Plantation Shutters, OpennShut. All these got good reports on mumsnet and elsewhere.

There are quite a few slight differences in the products so if you are fussy about such details it's worth working out what you like/don't like. Eg not all companies do a completely hidden tilt rod if you want that style. Most companies put the frame outside the shutter, whereas some companies hide it behind the shutter. etc.

WhatsWrongWithYou Tue 08-Nov-11 20:07:04

We're thinking of having Shaker-style solid shutters in a couple of bedrooms. Hope op doesn't mind the hijack - but can anyone recommend a company who'll do these? Would be going for DIY option as DH refuses to pay for anything he thinks he can do himself. In SW, but I guess it doesn't matter for DIY.

takeonboard Tue 08-Nov-11 22:44:25

Thanks minipie we are in Notting Hill and I will look into all those you have mentioned. the prices you have been quoted sound about right to me. Do you mind me asking which company you prefer?

whatswrong the solid ones would be lovely in a bedroom, I would have thought most shutter companies do both styles?

WhatsWrongWithYou Tue 08-Nov-11 23:27:26

You're probably right. Will get to trawling the web asap thanks!

minipie Wed 09-Nov-11 12:10:29

Hi WhatsWrong, B&Q do these (they have a partnership with California Shutters who do both slatted and solid shutters). Yep most shutter companies do both.

take we went with the Traditional Shutter Co in the end. Mainly because they were one of the few companies (along with New England) who put the frame behind the shutter rather than round the edge, and we prefer the frame-behind look. They also seemed marginally better quality than some of the others. However we have only just placed the order so can't really express a view on the end product just yet! Leaving aside the frame design difference, there wasn't much between all the companies really, they all seemed about equal. We didn't see Shutterly Fabulous or OpennShut but both get good reviews.

PS Some of these companies have discount offers - worth doing a web trawl before you place your order. Eg Shaftesburys had a partnership with Lombok, if you ordered through Lombok you got a 10% discount - though don't know if that is still running.

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