We have a holiday home in 83 quite close to the sea.
We have wooden shutters on the outside of the windows and over the last 30 years have spent a lot of energy painting and repainting them to keep them safe,
I see that some people have replaced these wooden shutters with “plastic” versions.
Some suggest these are bespoke as they have to fit on the existing male/female hinges.
Does anyone have experience of this that could me some guidance and advise.
We have a holiday home in 83 quite close to the sea.
Yes, if you want to use the existing hinges I’d say they need to be individually measured and fitted. I don’t think alu or plastic has the same flexibility as wooden shutters that can be planed and tweaked. We live in the mid Var so don’t have salt issues you probbaly have but I’m fed up with maintaining wooden shutters. I think alu is more robust than plastic so I have just ordered new alu shutters (doors and windows) from these guys.
I got quotes from Lapeyre who I have bought lots of stuff from over the years and Monsieur Store who seem a reputable bunch with, unlike Lapeyre, their own fitters. I went with Art et Fenêtres (who were the most expensive) because I think the product is superior and I won’t have to worry about it again. If I was considering selling the house I would have gone for Lapeyre (the cheapest) which seem perfectly adequate.
Lapeyre do ‘renovation’ type shutters which can be cut down within certain tolerances, reasonable quality and easy to fit to the existing metalwork.
We looked at these but they were thin compared to our original ones approx 25mm v 35mm thick.
We have renovated our louvred shutters and will be replacing the timber shutters with like for like as is the requirement of our Mairie (very close to Church).
We have seen some very impressive composite plastic ones which look & feel identical to wood in texture & weight but they were very expensive (wood + 50%). These were not acceptable to our Mairie.
The chap who is replacing our windows is making like for like shutters for us and will be reusing the metalwork from the old shutters. Compared to the windows the shutters were cheap.
I do like wood. I’ve had very good results using alu clad Scandinavian softwood windows, patio doors etc. Twenty years without maintenance and counting. But that wasn’t here in France.
I did a big job on the existing wooden shutters in 2013. I bought a few appropriate power tools and spent ages taking them back to wood, filling, priming and painting. Two high ones had been damaged by woodpeckers drilling very precise holes in them to nest before we bought the house. All repaired and they all looked great but they need the same treatment again now. We don’t have too many, five windows (three with awkward access) and four double doors, the other windows are barred. but I just can’t face the repaint again and even if I could motivate myself now I’ll only be worse in five years. So we decided to bite the bullet. The A&F shutters are very “wood like” unless examined very closely and have excellent insulation, alu, plastic expansion layer and a core. The company has excellent reviews and it seem the sensible thing to do now. They’re scheduled for installation in October.
I must find a good home for the ironmongery, that mustn’t end up in landfill.
No one above has really addressed the criterion of what sort of shutter is aesthetically appropriate for the age of your property ( regardless of what the mairie insists or doesn’t insist upon). I quite like metal shutters on earlier C20th houses. But of course, in rural France anything can go and this approach does have a certain charm (if only providing it’s sufficiently dilapidated).
However, I can’t go there - I’ve qualms about using Posidrive cross-headed screws in really old buildings and instead if working on our place, tend to combine scrounged floorboards with fairly inexpensive hand-forged nails
or if you’re in the UK
It’s not so much a matter of fidelity of restoration as being sympathetic to the age and ambience of the property. Cross-headed screws are great, but I wince when I see them in earlier contexts.
Like you, I tired of constantly re-painting our shutters. I had new ones produced, like for like, by Lapeyre. We took the old shutters, five pairs, to one of their stores where they took them from us and later returned the new shutters complete with the original ironwork. All we had to do was rehang them on the existing hinge supports.
I need 22 pairs of shutters for my house, thank goodness some windows just have bars, and am dreading replacing them, not so much the making of the shutters though that is bad enough, but the subsequent painting. I was stupid enough to have my paint mixed the colour of my favourite shirt and that obviously makes replacing and/or repainting a couple every couple of years, which is the sensible option, much more difficult. I’ll go off the peg next time.
Thank you everyone that is very helpful. I have time as the shutters were painted very recently.
No one has mentioned the actual cost, any one willing to give an indication.
Graham… if you’re in no rush…
I know that some major enterprises do have annual “special offers”. … for their products…
If you check out general prices with them now … and wait for the moment to strike… it can save you lots of money.
We are about to have 4 pairs of shutters made, the window opening is 2m tall x 1 m wide. The cost is approx 400 euro + vat per pair of shutters.
You can get them more cheaply at places such as Lapeyre but they were thinner than the originals and felt cheap.
Lapeyre is one of those places which have special offers…
We have found their products and after sales to be very good…over the years… but you do need to be sure of what you want and take your time.
A belated extra thank you.
Lots to think about.
While Covid is around it may take some time.