Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why choose shutters? Shutters bring style & sophistication to any window & are equally at home in both traditional & modern interiors. They last longer than curtains, as fabrics begin to break down as soon as they are exposed to sunlight, require periodic washing & harbour dust mites. Shutters offer a level of light control unmatched by any blind, as the louvres within each panel can be independently adjusted to temper the degree of light entering the room. If the sun is in your eye, you can simply close the louvres on one panel & let the light flood into the room though the others. On dark days, the panels can be folded back to expose the window & maximise the light.
2. Why choose Made for Shade? We're the Midlands' longest established, most trusted shutter company & have been fitting shutters since 1999, so we know shutters inside out. Experience has taught us that clients generally want three things - the best product, at the best price, with the best service. (John Ruskin famously said that this combination was not achievable & that one of the three had to give - We prove otherwise!). Additionally, for your added peace of mind, we're full members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen (membership number A121256) - your guarantee of a top-quality product & installation.
3. How does the quality of your
shutters compare to that of your competitors? Our shutters are manufactured by the world-leader in shutter
production, utilising a combination of state of the art manufacturing & hand-crafted finishing touches. The wood
used for our hardwood shutters is stored for six months before kiln drying to allow the wood to settle before being
treated. UNLIKE the majority of shutter manufacturers our wood is kiln dried twice in a computer controlled drying
facility. The wood is specifically dried to take into account the climate of the country to which the shutters will
be exported. This is very important as these shutters are manufactured for installation in climates as varied as
Alaska & Australia. By utilising these methods, frame warping is greatly reduced. UNLIKE many other
manufacturers we engineer our stiles (the vertical, side bars of the shutter panels), rather than producing these as
solid profiles. We cut the wood into strips which are then bonded back together in opposing layers for greater
strength. This has the effect of breaking the capillaries that run through the wood, through which moisture travels.
This, together with the strength of the bonding agent, ensures our panels are unlikely to warp & will give
customers years of enjoyment. UNLIKE many other manufacturers we use mortise & tenon joints between the cross
rails and the side stiles. These are far stronger than dowel joints & minimise movement between profiles.
Movement can result in cracking of the paint or stain finish, which will spoil the aesthetic appearance of the
shutters. Again, just in case there is some movement, we engineer the panels with an additional grooved overlap that
ensures any movement is handled by this expansion joint. UNLIKE many other manufacturers, we use a high quality,
proprietary paint system developed specifically for our shutters. Cheaper shutters use cheaper paints & stains
and have fewer coats. We apply six coats of paint or stain, the final layer of which is a clear lacquer with a UV
additive to ensure that the shutters are less susceptible to fading and yellowing. UNLIKE other manufacturers we
don't compromise on the thickness of our louvres as we believe thinner louvres, although less costly to produce,
are much more susceptible to warping. UNLIKE other manufacturers, we use the best quality, marine-grade stainless
steel staples to attach our tilt rods to our shutters. In addition, the tips of the staples are coated in a bonding
agent to make sure they remain secure for years to come. UNLIKE many other manufacturers, we supply our shutters
with a large choice of frames rather than attaching them to battens. Not only does this give you the choice of
framing your window by selecting a frame design to co-ordinate with your decor, but it also offers a practical
solution for awkward windows (inward opening, etc). UNLIKE many other manufacturers, we assemble our shutters prior
to shipping to ensure that all the components fit together perfectly. Once photographed, the shutters are
disassembled & packed into custom made packaging to ensure they arrive in perfect condition. When shipping by
airfreight, we double pack the shutters for additional security. All this means we are able to provide a three-year
warranty on all shutters built within our published specifications. There are inferior quality shutters available on
the market, but why would you pay more to get less?
4. Which areas do you cover? We're based in Sutton Coldfield & cover the West Midlands, East Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Herefordshire regions. We also cover the 'M1 corridor' (the area between the M1 & the M40 between London & Birmingham).
5. Do you actually make the shutters? Like 99% of UK shutter companies, the answer is 'no'. Made for Shade shutters are manufactured by Nine-Made, who are the shutter world's market leaders in terms of quality, choice & product innovation. Our expertise is in designing, surveying, specifying & installing shutters, not making them. This enables us to offer a far greater choice of materials, colours, louvre widths & framing options & guarantees clients a constant timeframe from ordering to installation. That said, we have joinery workshop facilities for customising special shutters & have been regular visitors to the factory where the shutters are manufactured. This means we can talk in detail about the production process & answer any questions you may have.
6. Who will measure & fit my shutters? Made for Shade is a family business & as such, we don't employ sales people or believe in pressure selling. Ellie with visit you initially to offer advise & an e-mail quotation. When you place your order, I (Mike) will undertake your survey & also your installation. Our aim is to make your process of acquiring shutters a pleasure from start to finish & our testimonials certainly bare this out as you may have already seen.
7. How long do I have to wait? Standard delivery time is around 9 weeks. Special shapes take an additional two weeks, as CAD drawings need to be created & signed off before manufacture can commence. Custom coloured shutters also take an additional two weeks. However, if you need your shutters fitted sooner, we also offer an express service, which reduces the waiting time to between three & four weeks, but naturally costs a little more.
8. How long do they take to fit? This really depends upon the size & quantity of the shutters & what they're being fitted to (wooden window frames are quicker to fit to than plastered reveals), however most jobs are completed within half a day. Naturally, we can give you an accurate time frame before you place your order.
9. How are they fitted? All Made for Shade shutters are fitted using a three-sided or four-sided perimeter frame, from which the panels are then hinged. Frames can be fitted inside the recess, outside the recess or around the front edge of the recess, depending on how & where you want your panels to fold when open. Needless to say, there are different frame profiles for every eventuality. (The latter option is perfect for uneven recesses, as the run-out is hidden behind the frame moulding). Whichever framing option you choose, all screw-heads will be either hidden with insert strips or cap covers & in the case of stained finishes, screws will be fitted using brass or silver mounting cups. For wider installations such as patio doors & room dividers, tracking systems are used as they give constant support to the panels as they move. All panels are fitted within their frames using hinges with removable pins, which are perfect when it comes to decorating, as the panels can be simply removed & re-fitted in a matter of minutes.
10. How & when do I pay? Payment is made in two parts, 20% when the order is placed & the remaining 80% on completion of installation. Payment can be made by bank transfer, cash, cheque, debit card or credit card (all major cards accepted).
11. What are shutters made from? Made for Shade offer 5 different shutter materials. The most economical option is Seattle, which is a Polymer coated MDF product available in the 9 best selling white, cream & grey shades & comes in a choice of 5 louvre widths. It's perfect for small to average sized installations & looked just like a wooden, painted shutter when fitted. We then have a variety of real timbers shutters, each of which have their own unique grain patterns & characteristics. Using lighter weight timbers allows us to hinge more panels together to span greater widths with a single, conventional bi-folding shutter. Real timbers can have painted or stained finishes, but our Western Red Cedarwood can also be oiled to give it a beautifully natural finish, which brings out the individually different grain structure in each profile to give a truly rustic charm.
12. How much light do they cut out? There are no technical figures to quote here but we estimate that a shutter will cut out 85 - 90% of incoming light. Whilst there are no gaps to let in direct light, there will always be light glow around the edges of the panels, between the louvres & between the louvre edges where they meet the stile uprights. If actual blackout is required for bedrooms, we have the perfect solution whereby a cellular pleated blackout blind is built into the shutter frame & positioned behind the panels. The blind is raised / lowered by a simple cord mechanism & cannot be seen through the panels. The blinds are available in several, equally effective colours, the most popular being white.
13. Can they be fitted to any window? It's a rare day when we come across a window to which we can't fit shutters, but "never say never" as the saying goes. We need to ensure that the shutter will not inhibit the opening operation of the window & that we have suitably substantial fixing points to bare the weight, but this is all taken care of during the survey.
14. What if my window is out of square? This is usually no problem as most windows vary in width & height across the window. If you want your shutters fitted inside the recess, the tolerance gap between the outside edge of the shutter frame & the recess itself, will usually be filled with decorating caulk as this can be painted to match the walls or window frame when dry. It takes approximately half an hour to caulk an average sizes shutter to a high standard, but makes all the difference in the world to the final result. If the window it drastically out of square, we would fill the gaps by scribing insert strips (finished in the same colour as the shutters) to the desired shape & then caulking around them as described earlier. Alternatively, we have framing options which can either be surface mounted outside the recess or fitted to the front edge of the recess with a lip feature that disguises / hides the recess variance. It's simply a case of using the right frame for the right job, which is where our expertise comes into play.
15. What about shaped windows? No problem. We design & fit round shutters, arched shutters & angled shutters in various materials with either painted or stained finishes. The great thing about shaped shutters is that unlike blinds or curtains, they maintain the true shape of the window rather than "squaring it off" & the panels will still hinge open to give access to the window.
16. What about high-level windows? If shutters are fitted to an out-of-reach window, the tilting of the louvers can be done by remote control (both battery & solar powered units are available). Alternatively, if the shutter is simply to dress the window, the louvers can be simply set in the desired position & left.
17. How do I clean them? The easiest way is with either a feather duster or using a vacuum upholstery brush (the one with the bristles on). Marks can be removed using a damp cloth with, if necessary, a suitable soap solution.
18. What if they get damaged? We offer a full repair service whereby, for example, damaged louvers can simply be removed & replaced with new ones.
19. Does fitting make a mess? This depends on what we're fitting to as drilling into plaster / brick creates dust which drilling into wood doesn't. Whatever the case, we will always dust sheet the fitting area first & clean up thoroughly when we've finished. Installers also wear slippers in carpeted rooms. We are always mindful that we are in your home. We therefore treat your home as we would our own, with respect.
20. What's the most popular colour? About 75% of our orders are for a white painted finished & there are good reasons for this. (1) White reflects light in a way no other colour will. This means light within the room is maximised as it reflects off the louvres (tip ~ using the medium 64mm or larger 89mm wide louvres also creates more light as the gaps between each louvre increase with louvre size & larger louvre surfaces reflect more light. Food for thought if you have a North facing room with a big tree outside!) (2) White never dates & always looks fresh. (3) White offers endless colour possibilities when it's time to decorate, as white will work with any colour. (4) White will always be relevant as there will always be something else white in the room (window frames, doors, radiators, coving, ceilings, etc). (5) Shutters are an investment in your home & will appeal to prospective, aspirational home buyers if you decide to move on. Buyers can always visualise working their design schemes around white shutters, as it gives them an open book decoratively speaking in addition to the wow factor.
21. Are they guaranteed? Absolutely! All Made for Shade shutters are guarantee for a minimum of 3 years. This includes all aspect of the shutters (colour fastness & joinery) as well as the installation itself.
22. Are they suitable for bathrooms & swimming pool areas? This really depends on the level of moisture within the air. In a large, well-ventilated bathroom with no shower, a conventional painted or stain finished shutter will be fine. However, in high moisture rooms such as shower rooms, wet-rooms & swimming pools, we have a purpose made waterproof product called Permawood, which an ABS coated hardwood. Permawood shutters are fitted with marine-grade stainless steel hinges to resist moisture & prevent rusting.
23. How do I measure? To obtain an initial estimate, firstly decide whether you want your shutters to be fitted inside of outside the recess. Remember if they're fitted inside the recess, the panels will only fold back as far as the recess returns will allow (usually 90 degrees). If they're fitted outside the recess, the panels will fold back onto the walls (provided there is sufficient space for them to do so of course). For inside recess shutters, measure the width & drop in 3 places & tell us the largest dimension in each case. For outside recess shutters, take the same measurements & add 150mm to the recess width to allow for the overlap. If your window has a sill, add 75mm to the recess height or 150mm if it doesn't have a sill, to allow for the overlap. If you're looking to buy CafÃ© Style shutters (to cover the lower part of the window only), take the width dimension in the same way, but then measure from the sill up to where you'd like the top of the shutters to be. For inside recess shutters or outside recess shutters where the window has a sill, that's the height you need to give. For outside recess, CafÃ© Style shutters where the window has no sill, add 75mm to the recorded height. Naturally, we will take accurate dimensions at the point of survey but following this procedure will ensure there are no nasty surprises price-wise!
24. What are "Solid" shutters? These are simply shutters, which have solid panels rather than louvred panels. They were originally fitted into period homes, folding back into purpose made side-recesses when the owners were in residence. When the owners were overseas, the shutters were closed for privacy & security as part of the "closing up" of the house. These days, we tend to only install solid shutters when either a greater degree of darkness is required or when replacing original solid shutters in period properties. Naturally, the amount of light entering the room can't be adjusted in the way it can with louvred shutters.
25. Can I measure & fit my own shutters? Yes. We can measure & fit your shutters for you, we can measure but you can fit or you can measure & fit yourself. It really comes down to the complexity of the particular job & the surface to which the shutters will be fixed. If you're self-measuring, we suggest you e-mail a photograph of the window prior to finalising your order so we can try to spot any potential problems & help you overcome them.
26. Do operate a 'price promise' pledge? Whilst our aim is to provide shutters at the most competitive price & we constantly monitor the market to check price levels, there may be times when, due to a limited or special promotion, a competitor's price is lower. In such an eventuality, we guarantee to price match any like-for-like, written quotation.
If you have a question other than those above, please either call us on 0121-352-0747 or e-mail it to us via our contact page & we'll answer your question by return.
GET 20% DISCOUNT, FREE SURVEY & FREE INSTALLATION ON ALL MADE TO MEASURE SHUTTERS RIGHT NOW ..................
e.g. 'Seattle' classic white shutters from only Â£227 per square metre (120cm x 120cm window = Â£326 (inc survey, installation & vat)
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0121 352 0747