Blinds vs. Shades vs. Shutters: What Does Each Offer?
In the debate between blinds vs. shades vs. shutters, we’ve broken down the features that each type of window treatment offers. However, when choosing the solution that works best for your space, there are some important factors to consider.
Appearance & Style
Blinds are considered to be the most basic window covering. When it comes to blinds, the most obvious difference in appearance and style is in the choice between wood and faux wood. Each choice comes with options for paint and stain colors, and the thickness of the slats can also alter the look and feel of blinds. Some homeowners prefer to go cordless, as it provides a cleaner look.
Because there are so many different types of fabrics and softer materials for shades, this window treatment can easily mesh with a home’s decor and style. Shades offer a variety of looks, from simple to elegant. Options like transitional zebra shades pair softer fabric with solid pieces to create an appearance and a style that looks stunning and truly highlights the space these shades are installed in.
Plantation shutters are custom-manufactured to fit any size or type of window in your home. Your choice between Ovation®, Polywood® Shutters, or our other brands is just the beginning. Choose between a selection of color options, three different louver sizes, traditional or hidden tilt, split tilt or divider rail, and a variety of frame styles. Our customization options allow for a truly personal feel that lets homeowners make plantation shutters their own.
Functionality & Light Control
When it comes to functionality and light control, shades are ideal for rooms where limited light is preferable. While shades can open and let the light in, they don’t offer the more precise light control offered in blinds and plantation shutters.
When it comes to functionality, both blinds and plantation shutters allow users to adjust slats and louvers. Whereas blinds can be raised to allow a full view of a window, the design of plantation shutters allows for it to be opened, giving homeowners the best visibility. Plantation shutters also offer the best light control, as they are custom-fitted to your windows, providing the ability to block the most light from entering through the louvers and also around the sides of the treatment. The long-lasting durability of plantation shutters also means that, over time, these window treatments won’t lose their effectiveness. Many types of shutters have lifetime warranties on the craftsmanship. For that reason, plantation shutters work best in permanent residences.
Alternatively, the life expectancy of blinds is 5-6 years and shades is 7-10 years. Blinds are an ideal window treatment for apartments and rental properties. Shades and interior window shutters are great for permanent residences.
Energy Efficiency & Insulation
While all window treatments block out sunlight and varying degrees of heat, no shade or blind offers the incredible energy efficiency of Polywood® Shutters. Because of the way they are mounted, plantation shutters like Polywood® are incredibly effective at reducing heat transfer. Third-party testing confirms what we already knew — Polywood® Shutters are 70% more energy-efficient than traditional wood shutters and 1600% more energy-efficient than aluminum blinds.
Though plantation shutters are more expensive treatments than blinds and most shades, some of that expense is earned back in money saved on lower heating and cooling costs. To that end, the investment in a more permanent fixture like plantation shutters is offset by savings on a long-term basis coupled with the fact that shutters won’t need to be replaced.
Maintenance & Durability
Because they’re fabric, shades can be difficult to clean. More often than not, you’ll find it’s more effective to spot-clean shades to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Some shades, however, can be removed for deeper cleaning.
Depending on how small your slats are, cleaning and maintaining blinds can be time-intensive. The smaller the slats, the more cleaning homeowners find themselves doing. Plus, with the cords in most blinds, cleaning between each slat requires patience and a steady hand.
Our plantation shutters offer easy cleaning. Plantation shutters have no cords to fit dusting cloths around, and the space between each louver is wider. This makes the process of cleaning your interior shutters a breeze! Simply wipe with a cloth and move on. With regular maintenance and care, they’ll also look as new as the day they were first installed.
How Do I Select The Right Window Treatment?
We get it; depending on which window treatment you choose, it can be an investment. There are so many factors to consider when installing a window treatment–budget included–and it’s difficult to decide which one will offer the best look, feel, and longevity for your space. When it comes to budget concerns, there’s also the matter of immediate costs versus prolonged costs.
Budget vs. Need
It’s easy to get caught up in the lower cost of blinds. Many blinds are easy to install and can be purchased for cheap. However, improper installation, lower-quality materials, and poor functionality can result in long-term costs many don’t consider when weighing the cost-effectiveness of store-bought vs. custom window treatments. At Sunburst Shutters, our wood and faux-wood custom blinds are made of high-quality materials, and our expert installation ensures the longevity of your treatment.
Generally speaking, custom shades, while more expensive than blinds, tend to last longer. Because of their variety, shades also offer more stylish appeal and some types, like cellular shades, can offer more energy efficiency to your window treatments.
The best long-term window coverings are Sunburst’s plantation shutters. Our commitment to the best materials, manufacturing, and precise custom-fitting to your windows, as well as our incredible lifetime warranties, ensures the longevity of your window treatment. The higher cost of plantation shutters may seem like an investment, but it’s a permanent solution that can provide your home with style, increased resale value, and energy-efficient gains for life. Our satisfied Sunburst Shutters customers agree.
Schedule Your Free Design Consultation Today!
Upgrade your windows with a custom window treatment that enhances your home’s decor and lowers your energy costs. Schedule a free in-home design consultation today, and our local Sunburst Shutters representative will bring our showroom to you!