Shutters? Any experience and who to use?
CashewNuts · 24/12/2012 16:00
just calling around really, as usual different sales approach! I've had one company in but for mdf made in china I hoping to get something made in the uk and wood for not much more. Mdf seems to me to be a risky option as I do have condensation.
Read lots of bad reviews about Thomas sanderson, they also wont give me a rough estimare. New England seems to be very £££££ and shutterly fabulous have quite long lead times.
Looking at traditional shutter company and one I found on a search here? Any ideas for the SE?
Anyone had good experience at a reasonable price? Also we would like them fitted.
maxmillie · 25/12/2012 13:27
AVOID Thomas Sanderson like the plague. Also Hilarys.
We used www.lifestyleshutters.co.uk/ (we are in Surrey, they are in Sussex and do all of SE) and were very pleased with them. I was recommended by a friend and have recommended my SIL. (in fact let me recommend you if you decide to use them as I will get 25 quid again and you get money off fitting : ) )
We went for MDF in a modern house, modern windows, but they do wood as well. We've had ours since the summer, no problems and they look fantastic. Great practicality as well. They are very flexible about fittings, rods etc.
CashewNuts · 25/12/2012 23:51
Oh thanks maxmillie I know to avoid the big hard sellers now! Will look up the one you suggested.
Were you happy with the pricing also? Did it seem reasonable?
Also are you happy with privacy/insulation/keeping light in with yours etc?
maxmillie · 26/12/2012 00:17
Seriously - do not call Thomas Sanderson - I had to threaten them with legal action to get them to stop phoning me night and day for months afterwards - and they were 3 or 4 times more expensive than anyone else I got a quote from.
Lifestyle shutters were the most reasonable I think. Not cheap but not extortionate (though we got MDF to keep the price down and so we could do the whole house)
Privacy and insulation are amazing. Modern house with modern windows, when it is cold I often keep them closed during the day when I'm at work, barely need to have the heating on and when you open them there is a blast of cold air from between the shutter and the window so they must be keeping the cold air out.
I think they look fantastic - we went for the large louvre size and no tilt rod which looked better on a modern house (period might be different?) - and we also got split height ones on the longer windows which is great - you can open the top bit and keep bottom closed etc for great privacy plus light.
No negatives really - only that they are not 100% blackout if that bothers you - but not far off. I got them put near the front of the window frames so that you could put a blackout roller blind behind but we have never bothered as it is fine for us.
whistlestopcafe · 26/12/2012 00:42
I was surprised at the level of contact from Thomas Sanderson after I foolishly expressed an interest online. They won't give a rough estimate so I won't use them. Most of the companies won't quote without an appointment, I'm not wasting my time with them. All I wanted to know is whether we are talking hundreds or thousands. Thomas Sanderson are very polite but they are emailing and phoning me a couple of times a week. Smacks of desperation.
RyleDup · 26/12/2012 00:49
No don't use thomas sanderson. I rang them for a quote and they refused to visit unless my husband was present! Considering I was going to be the one paying for blinds, that really fucked me off. Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment, but they still stalked me via email and phone for quite a long time after.
JingleBel · 26/12/2012 17:46
The house of shutters were brilliant and good value too.
JingleBel · 26/12/2012 17:47
They also manufacture in uk.
muststopeatingchocolate · 26/12/2012 17:58
We used Shutterly Fabulous and were really happy with them. They measured and fitted. Did have to wait a few weeks as made in China though. their sister company is the California Shutter company. You have to measure and fit yourself but few hundred quid cheaper. Wasn't an option for us as had a big bay window to do.
I love love love our shutters. The room is south facing so we can shut bits of the shutters as the sun goes round. We also have split shutters with no tilt rods which look lovely.
splintersinmebum · 26/12/2012 18:15
Do they paint the shutters to match window frames?
maxmillie · 26/12/2012 18:31
Agree with absolutely everyone here about Thomas Sanderson - they are a terrible company. Do the usual "let me phone my manager to get the price down but you have to decide today" bullshit. Worse was the constant harrassment after the appointment. What angered me even more is that when I phoned up initially to make the appointment, I found out later that they had tried their scams right from the offset: I was told the person you need to speak to is not available, give me your mobile number and they will call you right back. Which they did. And then of course had my mobile number which they immediately passed it to their Indian call centre who then phoned and texted me night and day until I phoned back and threatened them (this is with TPS and every "do not call me" box checked). Oldest trick in the book apparently. Here is a thread I posted on about it at the time at Money Saving Expert I was so angry: forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=190532&page=7, I am Fabhead, third from bottom.
Any hoo - don't let thi sput you off. The shutters are fantastic - look great and so, so practical (I have had curtains, blinds, Venetians etc and now would never have anything else). Just go with a small local company like Lifestyle Shutters of similar and you will be fine. Do not go anywhere near Thomas Sandersons (and let me know if you want a recommendation as it makes the fitting a bit cheaper :)).
Ball park figure I reckon ours were around £320-30 per window (MDF, largish windows) including fitting (this figure is almost impossible to get when you are thinking of getting them!). I was worried about the whole MDF from China thing too but ours are great, no compliants (6 week wait though but didnt really bother me as we had temporary curtains etc up)
CashewNuts · 26/12/2012 20:33
I cancelled Thomas Sanderson as I regretted it as soon as I spoke to them. They are the only company that didn't give me an online quote. Everyone else has!
Mdf is not an option as they will get damaged with our condensation problem. Will also have the tilt rod in the bedroom i think as im going for the the smallest size and have been told tilt rod comes with it. Hope it looks ok.
I called lifestyle but I think they'll prob re open tomorrow
Any other recommendations? So I can compare.
Splinters lots of companies do match paint work if that's what you want.
ShotgunNotDoingThePans · 26/12/2012 20:55
We've used California Shutter Company. DH is handy so we did the diy option but they were really helpful on the phone, and let us have loads of samples of the different woods and paint shades. I thought they had an at-home service as well, but maybe that is a sister company.
We went for large slats to make them easier to clean (less slats), but I precer the look of the smaller ones I think.
I also prefer the look of more sections iyswim, but that does block out more light which can be an issue.
viktoria · 26/12/2012 21:02
We did use Hilary's and have had good experiences with them.
Was amazed at how much the shutter help keeping the cold out.
We did have shutters fitted in what used to be our bedroom (now living room /study) and I was disappointed in how much light they let in. I really like sleeping in a totally dark room, and shutters do not keep the room totally dark.
CashewNuts · 26/12/2012 22:37
Ooh that's worrying Viktoria. As I need to sleep in total darkness. I thought they'd be good for insulation but privacy and no light are also priorities. How big were your slats?
PoppyAmex · 28/12/2012 12:57
Cashew, good question.
I'm also looking at shutters but main objective is to block out light in all the bedrooms, so it would be really disappointing to pay a significant amount of money and still get chinks of light!
RatherNot · 28/12/2012 16:44
I have the larger slats in my bedroom and they let in loads of light. Most companies offer blackout blinds as an optional extra but it means a bigger frame - Unfortunately I failed to include them. In desperation we used Duo blinds from Blinds 2 Go and fitted them behind the plantation shutters, having begged the local DIY shop to cut down the fittings. This actually worked out loads cheaper although was a bit fiddly. Might be worth looking into, Viktoria, if the light is still bothering you. OP - we used The Shutter Shop - they were OK but long lead as made in China - can colour match most paints and will pricematch. In my research, I also thought OpennShut sounded good - lots of options - based in Chichester.
jomolone · 28/12/2012 17:34
We used The Traditional Shutter Company
Good service and nice people.
They delivered wright on time think it was around 4 weeks
We had real pricing not Thomas Sanderson technique up and down 50% off real waste of time are this people.
Also waiting three months was not an option for us and knowing that it will be MDF no no no.
Company is based in SW London.
maraisfrance · 29/12/2012 22:56
We used Hilary's. Love the shutters: gorgeous, subtle colours; elegant proportions that fit well inside the Edwardian sash windows we've got (others look kind of boxy - they just lump a very square frame onto the window frame, whereas Hilary's offer a choice of angled frames so the shutters look more natural, IYSWIM); very good insulation and light blocking in bedroom. I'll go for shutters always in future - you get privacy and light during the day and you don't have dust gathering around curtains and endless fussing about how they're hanging!
viktoria · 06/01/2013 20:40
We have the medium sized shutter slats. I do think it doesn't really matter what size slats you have - there will be some light coming in even with the biggest slats.
I do love shutters, we had some fitted recently in our living room, but if it's total darkness you're after, they might not be right for you. (we now sleep in a much smaller bedroom, with three velux windows with velux black out blinds and do have a dark bedroom - sorry, I suppose that isn't very helpful)
Biscuit357 · 06/01/2013 23:30
We used traditional shutter company and they were fab. The turnaround is 4 weeks (all others who quoted wre 12) because the shutters are made in Bulgaria, not china.
If you keep an eye on website napoyvalleynet they often do 15% off promotions
Hope that helps
Monty27 · 06/01/2013 23:51
Had Thomas Sanderson round here, oh the sales spill and dropping the prices just to get a sale because they know you're not 'buying' their patter. I got price dropped from 3k to 1.4k for one bay window in half an hour, it was a war of personalities because I made my mind up the minute he gave me the first quote that I wasn't doing it.
Waiting for another 'made in china' I'm afraid company to come in and give me a quote.
aarmacollo · 15/07/2013 11:22
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MummytoMog · 15/07/2013 11:42
I used Thomas Sanderson - we needed to do them on tick, so was one of the few options we had. It was expensive. Very expensive. And we ended up with a couple of blinds as well that we didn't really need.
However, three years later the wooden shutters are still exquisitely beautiful, sturdy and really well functioning (even though my toddlers regularly hang off them). We had two massive bays, a small parapet bay, the bathroom windows in UPVC and two motorised blinds for about 7K. So they were pricey. The UPVC ones have not lasted brilliantly, and I'm going to try and call the buggers out to fix them up a bit as they have a ten year guarantee. The wooden ones have 25 years.
We got them because it was cheaper than replacing the double glazing at the front of the house, which was our other option for the freezing house. If we have shutters done again, we'll probably look elsewhere, but the fitters were great, had them all done in a day. The hard sell is vexing.
TheBakers258 · 20/11/2015 17:47
We used the New England Shutter Company who are based by Wandsworth Common Station. This proved to be a big mistake and one we now very much regret.
Initially the service seemed friendly and of reasonable quality, particularly at the sales and measuring stage and the samples looked great. The after sales service however was appalling and they had no respect for us once the order was made. They were extremely rude and have no idea how to behave professionally and don't seem to care about customers at all.
We certainly wouldn't recommend them to anybody and I note other bad reviews online now we have investigated further. A mistake on our part in choosing them in the first place, but you live and learn I suppose!
Lollipopgirl8 · 22/11/2015 23:19
I used shuttercraft in birmingham but it is a franchise so should have a rep in most parts of the country
They were excellent took 8 weeks for them to arrive but really professional and reliable service very friendly.
Paid £1047 for a bay window (it's big!) the shutters are 1.5 m high as window is about 2 metres high and 3.5 meters wide so a lot of shutter!
They look beautiful... at first I was really apprehensive because they were not full height which would have been even more plus I wanted some insulation as I have old wooden windows that I don't want to rip out and overall house could do with some insulation
Overall I'd recommend
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