Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, La. in 2005, leaving many lives and houses in shambles. However, the area is making a big comeback – and innovative, hurricane-resistant housing designs are essential to successfully re-populating the area. Exterior shutters make handsome additions to newly built homes – and one type of exterior shutter in particular, the Bahama (or Bermuda) shutter, is especially suited for high-hurricane-risk areas.
Well before the Gulf Coast was settled, Bahama wooden shutters were commonly found on British colonial-era architecture. Today, these exterior shutters are featured on homes from many different periods. Unlike most other types of exterior shutters, the Bahama style is top-hinged; the window coverings swing up and away from the house. These shutters have an advantage over side-hinged styles: they can be swung shut and fastened quickly before a hurricane hits the area.
The rebuilding of New Orleans offers architects a unique opportunity to improve upon home designs for this hurricane-prone area. Brad Pitt made headlines in 2007 when he oversaw a competition among architectural firms – each firm’s goal was to create the most innovative, hurricane-belt-appropriate home design possible. This competition, called the “Make it Right” project, introduced some great new architectural ideas to the people of New Orleans. As the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans is rebuilt, it is likely that these architectural features will be considered in new home designs. Bahama –style exterior shutters were found in many of the design concepts and the real houses being built are likely to feature Bahama wood shutters, as well.
For hurricane-prone areas, wood is superior to other materials commonly used for shutters. Our exterior wood shutters are longer-lasting than the vinyl competition. More importantly, the Bahama-style exterior shutters are designed to close tightly against windows. The tight fit, which is a result of our hand-crafted mortise-and-tenon joinery designs and custom milling to fit your home perfectly, protects windows from heavy rains, blustery winds, and flying debris. Unlike cheaper vinyl designs, our wood shutters are long-lasting. They are made of durable, high-quality woods, and with proper care, can last for many decades.
Green building is another key component of re-building New Orleans. Fuel and electricity costs are skyrocketing – and homes in Louisiana, a state where summer temperatures in the 90s are not uncommon, require serious air-conditioning power to be cooled effectively. Too much A/C is hard on the environment and on the wallet! Estate Millwork Bahama wood shutters are great choices for home owners who want to go green.
Because Bahama shutters are top hinged, individuals have complete control over the angles at which the shutters sit. Are you enjoying a nice, breezy day? Open your shutters halfway, and take advantage of natural air circulation to cool your home. Is it hot and unbearably muggy? Shut those shutters tight – you’ll prevent the sun from beating down through your windows. The angle at which your shutters sit determines how much air is circulating through your home. When combined with an attic fan, Bahama wooden shutters are a green and cost-effective option for home temperature control.
Estate Millwork shutter sets are completely customizable. You can provide us with your own sketches or AutoCAD drawings, and our talented team of craftsmen will render your wooden shutter designs to suit your tastes. Some people like natural, varnished shutters; others want their window coverings to be custom-painted to match their homes. It’s all up to you – Estate Millwork’s team wants you to enjoy your exterior shutters for years to come.
Whether new homes feature stilt-based foundations, customized Bahama exterior shutters, or segmented, pre-assembled sections, the second coming of New Orleans is sure to feature innovative green architecture. The re-building of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans has been slow, but steady. Thanks to architects’ “green building” innovations, the people of New Orleans will have places to call home once more.
A crucial element of this revitalization is actually the installation of exterior shutters. As a cost effective form of green construction and an excellent way to recapture the French Colonial style of construction that is popular in the area, exterior wood shutters are being implemented on new homes and home repairs in New Orleans at a record rate.
Starting with top grades of rough hardwood stock, we hand-select each board. That is the only way you get durable and distinctive exterior shutters for your home. You work with the best! We keep waste to a bare minimum, improve quality, and provide our customers with durable, solid exterior shutters that outlast cheap vinyl or low-grade veneer exterior shutters. We also work with cypress, mahogany, and teak, distinguishing us from the competition.
We are always proud to make the best possible custom wood shutters for your home. Estate Millwork uses a combination of modern ingenuity and timeless craftsmanship. Our shutters feature:
Whether it's a new house, renovation, home improvement, or historic reconstruction, our exterior shutters are the right choice for your home project.
Any questions? Call 412.641.0177 – our expert customer service representatives are glad to help.
To order shutters for your home, call or e-mail our customer service team today.
Although our Louvered shutters can be ordered in a variety of materials, for use we recommend Spanish Cedar, the only Cedar that is an actual hardwood. Known for its durability, strength, and resistance to rot, fungus and insects, this premium material is used both in the rail and stile frames of the louvered shutters, as well as the actual Poplar louvers. Estate Millwork uses domestic and imported hardwoods from sustainable forests, and has invested heavily in technology and software to maximize the yield and quality of our rough Poplar lumber. Our Spanish Cedar is kiln dried to an exacting 6% moisture content, and the process of converting the rough lumber into finished dimensional stock is executed by Estate Millwork craftsmen, giving us the maximum control over the quality of our shutters.
Once our rough Poplar lumber has been processed to the correct dimensions for the final shutter, our craftsmen begin the machining or milling processes that are involved in the high quality construction technique that we use, moritse and tenon joinery. The ends of each rail are machined with a beefy 2" tenon, and the stiles are machined with mortises to receive the tenons, as well as the deep set hardwood louvers. After the computer controlled machining is completed, each louvered shutter is assembled, by hand. The tenons are fit into the mortises with 1/64" accuracy, the louvers are set in the deep louver mortises on the stiles, and everything is held fast with premium wood glues and our special, house made hardwood pegs. The hardwood cedar pegs hold the frame together, and are the strongest, oldest, longest lasting wood joint known to the art of joinery.
Our website is a starting point to quickly design and price Poplar louvered shutters. In addition to specifying the dimensions, style and material, customers can request radius tops, operable louvers, custom rail placements and frame designs. We are able to achieve a premium quality product at a very affordable price, usually less than any of our competitors, by our investment in technology, craftsmanship, and scale of operations. You can browse the online Shutters designs in the catalog, or interact with our shutter designer to get instant pricing, including discounts, on line. There are many other applications for louvered shutters, including room partitions, toilet room doors, closets, awnings and others, so please contact Estate Millwork with any questions or design ideas that you have.
Our premium quality shutters are carefully constructed using a time consuming and precise operation. Whereas other lower quality shutters are made using screws, nails, dowels or biscuit joints, each of our exterior wooden shutters has a minimum of 4 hardwood tenons. The end of each rail is painstakingly machined to have a 1/2" X 1 7/8" tenon by a custom built tenoning machine that Estate Millwork developed so that we could continue to provide the best quality joinery in the industry, at an attractive price. We gave up the cost, but not the quality.
Each stile is precision machined with a minimum of two deep pocket mortises, and these mortises perfectly fit the associated tenon. Again, Estate Millwork has used precision automation to preserve the quality of our products, while reducing the cost. We have software that connects our website directly to the machines in the plant, and when a customer places an order with us, all of the precision programs for machining the mortises into the stiles are sent to the plant for automatic execution. The mortise tenon joint, is the strongest joint in millwork, and adds tremendous strength, even without the use of glue.
Once the tenon and mortise have been machined, the parts are put together and a hole is drilled through the mortise and the tenon. A slightly oversized hardwood dowel is driven into the hole, locking the tenon into the mortise for the life of the shutter. Even though glue is not required, Estate Millwork takes the added step of gluing the tenon into the mortise, and gluing the hardwood dowel into the stile.
In our commitment to preserving the best of quality millwork traditions in each wood shutter, we have automated much of the drudgery of some of the operations, but assembling a shutter is still something very much in the realm of craftsmanship. After all the parts of each wooden shutter are manufactured, one of our skilled craftsmen fits them together in a specialized jig for dry fitting and final assembly. We do not use pneumatic or hydraulic clamps as they can damage or over-stress the wood. The craftsman uses his innate feel for the materials to set the appropriate clamping pressure prior to drilling and doweling. Each wooden shutter receives the individual attention of craftsmen all along the way, but the final assembly is where the shutter comes together the first time, ready for years of service on your home.
Each louver in our louvered shutters is precision machined in a 5 head moulder that can be configured to mould any of our 3 standard production profiles, or custom profiles as specified by the customer. We offer 1/2" X 2 1/4", 3/8" X 1 3/4", and 1/4" X 1 1/4" bullnose profiles, but also have tooling for chevron, beveled, and other louver profiles. Whether the louvered shutter is to use fixed louver or operable louvers, we can even create custom tooling to match existing millwork, or to provide the ultimate in personalization and detailing.
Each louver in a fixed louvered shutter is seated in a 7/16" deep mortise in the shutter stile. Our CNC machining equipment be instantly programmed to program any variation of louver size, profile, pitch, and spacing, that gives us unlimited flexibility to match historic millwork, or to create custom louvered shutters to a precise specification in terms of louver count, rail placement, and air flow. In the same pass as the louver mortises are being created, our equipment also creates the larger mortises for each rail in the shutter. Unlike many custom shutter manufacturers today, Estate Millwork does not use cheap dowels, veneers, screws, or biscuits. Instead we use old fashioned mortise and tenon joints, even though they are considered by other custom shutter manufacturers as too expensive. Because we have invested heavily in automation, our cost to produce highly custom louvered shutters using solid materials and premium joinery is much lower than other manufacturers, hence: higher quality, lower price.
The tenons on both ends of each rail are engineered to give maximum stability to the louvered shutter frame, and when combined with our hardwood dowling, the shutter frame will stay together and be extremely stable, even without glue. But of course we use glue for added strength. For larger louvered shutters, we use a 10 inch baserail that has two tenons and a third feather tenon for additional strength that connects the two main tenons. These tenons are precision machined on a propriety tenon machine that Estate Millwork designed and custom built. Our sophisticated mortise and tenon joinery preserves 100% of the quality of traditional mortise and tenon joinery at a fraction of the cost.
The "slab dimensions" are the size of the actual exterior shutter from top to bottom, left to right, and the thickness. Our default standard thickness is 1 5/16", but that can be varied from 7/8" to 2 1/4" to match existing exterior shutters. The length and height can be specified to the nearest 1/16" inch. Depending upon the style of the shutter, we have made widths up to 20 feet wide, and heights up 30 feet.
Because all of our exterior wooden shutters are custom built from true rail and stile construction, we have the ability to replicate any component dimension on existing shutters, including rail height, placement, width, thickness, and stile width and thickness. Typically, the bottom rail of our custom shutters is 4. high, and all other rails are 2 1/2" inches. Stile widths are usually 2 1/2" but we have the ability to make them of virtually any width, including different widths for left and right stiles -- sometimes used for pairs of shutters.
Out standard products are S4S, or square shoulder sticking, but we have the capability to mould any feasible profile to the inner or outer frame fields. Common choices are ogee, cove and bead, bevel, cove etc. In addition to our stock sticking profiles, we can also custom grind tooling to achieve any desired profile to either match historical wood shutters, or to meet an architects or home owner.s specifications and preferences.
For operable shutters, or for decoration, our wood shutters can be machined with a bead on one face of the inside edge of the shutter, and with a ship lap on the other, allowing the shutters to overlap by 3/8" when they are in the closed position - permitting a tighter fit. The left and right shutters are machined as pairs so that in the closed position, each face of the pair has a decorative bead visible.
Our raised panel shutters can be raised with our standard scoop profile, but we offer bevels, coves, ogeees and other profiles as well. Additionally, for the extremely discriminating home owner or architect we can create new tooling to match existing historical panel profiles, or to meet with a unique custom requirement.
Our louvered shutters can be fitted with either our standard bullnose louvers in 3 sizes, or with a chevron or bevel profile as options. And because we are a custom shutter maker, we can also accommodate any special profiles that are specified by the customer.
Raised Panel and Flat Panel Shutters can have a limitless variety of decorative cut outs machined into the center of the panels. Common shapes are moons, anchors, trees, hearts and we have a large number of stock cut outs which we offer, as well as the ability to match custom patterns that are provided by the customer
Estate Millwork can ship our custom wooden shutters in natural, primed, painted or stained finishes. We can match national brand color numbers, pre-tint primers for light or dark finishes, and apply hand rubbed stain finished, even to the time consuming louvered shutters.
Poplar hardwood lacking bold coloration or an exciting grain pattern has a pale olive-yellow brown heartwood and sapwood is lighter off-white or gray with greenish hues and doesn't often get the respect we feel it deserves. The Poplar tree is widespread across all of North America and Europe, and it grows very rapidly and to large sizes, making it very easy to sustain.
Because the wood is often painted or used in secondary applications where it isn’t visible, it is very easy to find wide, clear sections of Poplar for a variety of uses.Poplar lumber is pretty soft and very easy to work. But botanically speaking it is a hardwood meaning it is a deciduous tree. But it is highly stable, easily available in width and length, and takes paint and stain famously well. However using Poplar as a stain grade species is often overlooked. Some will call Poplar wood "poor man's Cherry" as it oxidizes over time to a much darker shade of brown.
At Estate Millwork we air dry much of our lumber, and after air drying we finish drying in low wattage dehumidification kilns.
Every piece of wood we purchase is used to the fullest on products, at Estate Millwork we have a very high yield ratio of 94 percent due to the use of automated saws and optimizing software. The remainimg 6 percent which is mostly sawdust and chips are either burned to heat our plant or send to local cattle farmers for bedding and composting.
Nothing is wasted. Some of Appalachian lumber we use comes from Amish farmers in our county who harvest with horses instead of mechanized equipment, and do our rough sawing on 1920s sawmills that are also extremely low input compared to larger commercial sawmills of today. All of our imported lumber is plantation grown, and not harvested from natural forests.
To learn more about our sustainability practices click here
|Material||PoplarMaterial||Poplarar Grade||Rot Resistant, Insect Resistant Premium Exterior Lumber|
|Joinery||3/4&quoJoinery||3/4&quoMortise & Tenon,||Strongest solid wooden joint|
|Frame Thickness||Frame Thickness||) "||Solid Wood||Rigid Integrity|
|Stile Width||FraStile Width||Fraquot||Hand Jointed||Vertical Stability|
|Base Rail||FractBase Rail||Fractance||Architecturally Correct|
|Crown Rail||FracCrown Rail||FracBalance||Historically Accurate|
|Louvers||FractioLouvers||Fractio1 3/4 "||Solid, Bullnose||Traditional Detail|
|Louver Pitch||-6Louver Pitch||-6d Louvers||Sturdy, Air flow|
|Louver Spacing||Louver Spacing||able Options||Customizable|
|Finish||Machine Finish||Machine anded 150||Drum,Edge & Palm sanded||Top quality hand finish|
|Packing||Foam WrPacking||Foam WrBuilt Carton||1/8" Foam, 3/16 Trim Sheet 100lb||Protection against damage in transit.|