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Plantation shutters in a family room

Plantation Shutter Myths Busted

October 10, 2017

We’ve debunked a few shutter myths in the past. On our previous myth-debunking trip, we looked at a few common misunderstandings homeowners have about plantation shutters in Washington DC.

This time, the Sunburst Shutters DC experts are back to correct the record on a few more myths we’ve been hearing from homeowners in and around Washington DC. Let’s jump right in.

Myth #1: “Plantation Shutters Are For Southern Houses.”

When some people see the name “plantation shutters,” their minds stick to the image of a giant, elegant southern house surrounded by plains. While it’s true that they owe their name to that location and time, plantation shutters were seen commonly in homes much earlier and much later than 19th Century Southern America.

Washington DC pink living room with shutters 
Plantation shutters almost definitely picked up that name because they were in just about every house in the south of the time. Because of their huge popularity in the south–with their ability to keep homes cool during hot summers, and offering excellent views for those sprawling houses–the name just stuck.

Nevertheless, plantation shutters offer those same features to any home, no matter its style or location. Craftsman style houses can utilize shutters, just as Colonial homes, Prairie houses, and even cottage houses can.

Myth#2: “My House Style Won’t Work With Shutters Is Too Distinct For Shutters.”

Because plantation shutters have been used in so many houses and for such a long time, some people may have gotten the impression that shutters seem a little stale. We’ve heard a customer say before that their space was “too distinct” for shutters, which was a tad confusing–since shutters are just about the only window treatment that can mesh with any style. 

Washington DC man cave with shutters
Shutters are versatile and can work with any type of design, from chic parlor to cozy man cave. And don’t forget, shutters have been popular for so long for a reason: they’re always in style. Buy a set of the latest and trendiest shades and they’ll look dated in a year or two. Shutters stay bright, bold and beautiful for years and years, especially when you choose patented Polywood plantation shutters.

Myth: “Blinds And Shutters Are Basically The Same Thing.”

For some reason, there’s some confusion over the difference between shutters and blinds. Perhaps it has to do with people confusing “louvers” and “slats,” or perhaps the similar basic shape causes it. Regardless, blinds and shutters couldn’t be more different. Below is a basic breakdown of both.

The difference



Can they block out the entire window?




Dangles from cord

Solid frame mounted on to window frame

How long will they last?

Can break down or fall apart after 2-3 years.

Can easily last 20+ years.

Permanent or temporary?



Increases home value



Energy Efficiency


Can block up to 50% of heat from the sun.

Specialty Windows

Can only fit rectangular windows.


What are the horizontal parts called?



Myth: “All window treatments offer basically the same energy efficiency.”

Like the “Blinds vs. Shutters” table illustrated, window treatments can differ by a wide margin on how much energy efficiency they offer. The shape, material, and finish can all make a difference in how much energy efficiency a window treatment offers.

On the lowest end of the spectrum you have no window treatment whatsoever. Offering just a tad more energy efficiency are your typical off the shelf mini blinds. Up a little further on the spectrum are draperies and heavier fabric window coverings. Getting even closer to energy efficient territory are typical wood shutters and cellular shades, made to offer UV protection and heat reduction. But far beyond all of these are Polywood plantation shutters, made to both reflect and block thermal heat from passing into your home.

No More Shutter Myths

If you feel like you’re swimming in a sea of half truths when it comes to window treatments, we can toss you a lifeline. Call Sunburst Shutters DC today at 240-339-2588 to speak to one of our pros and set up your complimentary in-home consultation to find your perfect shutter or window treatment today.