The question "What do you think you could do with these shutters?" or "Do you think you can make these old shutters work?" are some of the hardest questions to answer. For people who own a Georgian, Regency or Victorian home, a set of original smoothly operating shutters are something that naturally most people want. Sadly it's not always too easy to achieve. It is always possible to have fully functioning shutters, but it can be hard work to get there. The sheer amount of time required can kill off the project before it begins. My advise to those who do want the ideal, is to accept a very rough estimate of cost, know that you can afford to spend more if required and then work with us to get the measure of success you want.
Also, don't assume that just because shutters were there that they ever did work properly. Often shutter reveals are to small to of ever proved effective, shutter leafs have often shrunk, twisted, split or all three and ironmongery may never of been up to the task. It's a case of "how long's a piece of string" as to the woe's. However, don't let that deter you, we've successfully been able to have old shutters back and working. In addition there are other ways around the problem. The photos in this blog post show a pragmatic solution to the problem. Fix the shutters and use them as decorative paneling.
Although this sounds a short cut, it's pretty common to find original shutters nailed into the reveals, covered by layers of paint. Suggestive that people got frustrated by them pretty quickly. In the project photoed, we had a series of five windows to set up and a pile of old shutters. The shutters were original to the house but no longer fitted due to the internal walls being dry lined. In addition the dry lining had reduced the depth of the shutter reveals so our only option was to create fixes panels. To do this we made small face frames to set the shutters in with a scratch bead detail. In addition we made new architraves to reflect existing designs within the house. On site it was a case of assembling the whole thing to give the look of authentic shutters. We were happy with the outcome and so was the client who then employed a painter and decorator to bring the whole thing together.
So if you want fully functioning shutters, have deep pockets and an open mind. If you don't, shutters fixed in position work well too.