High Quality vs. Low Quality Fiberglass Window Shutters: What Differentiates Them?
Discussing the Differences Between Low and High Quality Fiberglass Window Shutters
Reputation and a solid warranty are two things high-end manufacturers have in common. They’re skilled at designing high quality products so they stand behind them with long-term warranties. If you can’t afford high-end manufacturers like Pella or Marvin, you’re not alone! The bad news is, when you choose low quality products, they can end up costing more in repair and replacement costs. So before buying from a lesser-known source, consider construction, design, and thickness.
Fiberglass is one of the top building materials. It doesn’t warp or twist, and it’s so strong that it’s approved for use in hurricane-prone areas. Combine fiberglass with a high quality shutter design, and it will last at least 20 years. A poorly designed shutter can rob fiberglass of all its benefits, so beware.
Low quality fiberglass shutters use a number of money-saving techniques. They typically use weaker non-mortise hinges, which are easy to fasten and remove, rather than butt hinges, which offer a stronger hold. They’re made with one coat of paint instead of two and the panels are joined by glue rather than rabbeting, which is a more effective method of joining two pieces of material.
Low quality fiberglass shutters will also have thin louvers instead of thick ones. This type of fiberglass shutter is more likely to peel and the components won’t stand the test of time.
High quality fiberglass shutters typically have five louvers or more. Low quality shutters have four or less, meaning they’re cut-to-fit (made in multiple sizes that can be cut to fit your window) rather that custom. Cut-to-fit designs are less expensive to make because they’re made to predetermined sizes with fewer louvers. Restricted views, less light, and a low quality look are just a few problems with low quality cut-to-fit designs.
High quality fiberglass shutters are never cut-to fit. They’re made to fit the dimensions of a specific window and to be in proportion with the shutter rails and louver area. The result is a balanced shutter that allows more air and light to enter.
Another way to determine quality is by determining stile thickness. Stiles are the vertical pieces on the sides of each panel. The stile thickness on a high quality fiberglass window shutter is from 1 to 1 1/16 inches thick. Stiles on a low quality shutter are around 15/16 inches thick. Thicker stiles are more stable, sag-proof, and less likely to warp over time.