Friday, April 27, 2007

Plastic Elimination Campaign: Vinyl Shutters

Part of the reason that I haven't been blogging much this week is that the happy coincidence of time and good weather meant I have been doing a lot of painting. This week we were aiming to finish siding and trim.

Fake shutters -- meaning those vinyl plastic ones that are only decorative and don't open and shut -- are one of my pet peeves, because I have this constant desire to want things to be REAL. I would like to have real shutters on my house -- the sort that you can open and close -- but they are expensive, and not really necessary for us, since we don't live in a windy area where windows breaking in a storm would be a concern

But fake shutters serve an important function: they outline and emphasize the windows of a house. Without some kind of emphasis, windows are reduced to bland square holes-in-the-wall (to see the difference, compare the rear windows of a standard suburban development house with the front windows of the same house, which generally are outfitted with shutters or heavy trim).

So -- I wanted to have our windows emphasized, but not with something fake. My solution, since we were doing wooden siding, was wide board trim. We are trimming the house in black painted 1x4 boards. I asked the contractor to cut lengths of 1x10 boards and use them on the sides of the windows to suggest shutters. I put up a picture of the bathroom window here -- you can see that the office window to the right hasn't yet been done.

If I did it over again, I would use 1x12 boards instead, but I really do like the way it looks. Even though painting all the boards (which we did ourselves) has been a real job! I hired some teens to paint the bulk of them, but I've been doing all the touch-up work and additional painting, and it's a lot of work.

And yes, we're doing every window on the house this way (since my other pet peeve is houses that have trim in the front but not in the back, like your typical suburban development house!).


Tracy said...

I love the way that is turning out! That is a really great idea.

Abigail said...

My husband and I are in the very first steps of dismantling a farmhand's fire-gutted house so we can build a home on its ashes.

Fake shutters are a pet peeve of mine, as well, and just last week, I was wondering aloud to my husband about how we could create beautiful window trim (on a shoestring budget) without tacking on those hideous falsities. This idea of yours is one I'm tucking away for the future. Thanks.