Purchasing new shutters should be enjoyable experience. Over the years, however, I have crossed paths with many that would say it was anything but enjoyable. Following is a brief outline of three suggestions that will help prevent you from having a bad experience.
Your first step should be to do your homework. When selecting a shutter company determine how long the company has been in the business of making plantation shutters. When the economy takes a down turn, companies that make for instance kitchen cabinets will often start making products such as shutters to help pay the bills. When the economy picks back up, they stop making them and really do not want to be bothered dealing with issues you may have down the road. Assuming they are still in business.
Some companies are in the business of strickly selling shutters. And I mean just selling. They do not make them. It is best to purchase your shutters from a company that manufactures their own shutters. The same company should send their own representatives to your home to do both the measuring and installation of the shutters. If the company that sold you your shutters is different from the company that made the shutters, who hired another company to measure your windows, who hired yet another company to install your shutters, well you get the idea. At the end of the day you don't want a bunch of people pointing fingers at each other if there is ever an issue. You will be in a much better position to get results when your dealing with just one company. Also, it goes without saying, deal with a local company.
Always make sure you inspect the craftsmanship prior to placing any order. The quality of work from one company to the next can vary a great deal. The salesperson that comes to your home should bring sample shutter panels that represent their product. Inspect the craftmanship and finish of the shutters. This should include samples of hardware, hinges, frames, and mount strips. Ask the salesperson to explain exactly how they plan on installing your shutters. In many cases shutters can be installed in a number of different ways on the same window (ie mount strips vs. full frames). Expensive shutters installed incorrectly do not look like expensive shutters if you get my drift. If the salesperson has trouble answering these questions be weary. Also get a number of different quotations. This will help give you a better idea between the differences in price vs quality.
Is is pretty standard in the shutter industry to ask for a 50% deposit when placing your order. Never use cash or check to make this deposit. Always use a credit card that allows you a way to get your money back if the shutter company does not follow through on their end of the deal. Make certain that your shutters are to be installed before any chargeback expiration dates may expire with your card company. I have lost count of the people I have run into that paid cash to a company that went out of business before they ever received their shutters.