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How Much Do Plantation Shutters Cost?

Plantation shutters are both practical and beautiful additions to a home's interior. The low maintenance, clean-line window treatments that prominently appeared within the homes of the antebellum American South were part of a style concept originally imported from Spain. The crisp-looking shutters now come in a variety of material choices with some of them providing excellent insulation from extreme temperatures. These casually elegant window treatments give rooms a finished look, which is why they are a favorite of both homeowners and interior designers. However, the number one issue that homeowners have concerning plantation shutters is the price. The retail prices that homeowners pay for plantation shutters depend mainly on material costs, manufacturing labor costs and the percentage of profit chosen by manufacturers.

The Costs 

  • The average minimum cost of basswood is $3.33 per board feet.

  • The average maximum cost of basswood is $4.70 per board feet.

There are many retailers that offer various designs of plantation shutters. Boutique retailers often manufacture the shutters in-house or associate themselves with manufacturers known for their skilled, one-of-a-kind craftsmanship. These organizations provide quality plantation shutters at higher price points than those offered at ordinary home improvement stores. For example, the average price of real wood plantation shutters with the dimensions of 36 inches by 60 inches is $400, according to marketing data gathered across several manufacturers. Real wood plantation shutters start at $467 per shutter. Some home improvement stores sell wooden plantation shutters with similar dimensions for as low as $236.

Large hardware store chains and the many online woodworking tutorials make it possible for do-it-yourself woodworkers to create the classic looking plantation shutters for a fraction of the price charged by plantation shutter retailers. As they cut out the outside labor costs, middle-men fees and manufacturers' profit margin, they are left with only a few main material costs. Although plantation shutters come in a variety of organic and inorganic materials, the most popular plantation shutter designs are still the traditional wooden ones that were installed in the now historic homes of the American South.

Basswood, which is also known as American basswood, is a common type of wood used to make plantation shutters. This type of timber grows in the central and eastern parts of the United States, and the trees are especially prominent in the Great Lake states. While basswood is technically considered a hardwood, it is one of the softest of woods in this category. The wood is characterized by its creamy hue, a fine texture and ease of finishing. Along with these important features, woodworkers prefer to use basswood to make various projects including plantation shutters because the wood is easy to cut with either power or manual tools.

Another important feature of basswood is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other lumber items. Several retailers sell the basswood used for plantation shutters, and many of them have online stores where consumers may conveniently purchase the wood in various dimensions. For example, the operators of Woodworkers Source charge $5.19 per board feet with the opportunity to get quantity discounts for high-volume purchases. One of their competitors sells the wood in the same dimensions for $3 per board feet. Moderate competition among lumber suppliers enable consumers to find basswood at reasonable prices by doing a little research.

Other Materials Needed

Besides wood, time and wood craft skill, making plantation shutters from scratch requires a few other materials. Framing screws help secure the shutter frames to either the inside or outside of window casings. They cost just a little over $.10 per screw. The hardware that connects plantation shutter panels to frames are hinges. The most common kind of hinges used in plantation shutters are the non-mortise type that requires no special tools for installation. They simply screw into the plantation shutters using the screws that come with the hinges. These hinges cost less than $2 per hinge.

Shutter magnets keep shutters securely shut when users close them for privacy. Consumers can buy the magnets in a kit that includes the magnet, strike plate and associated screws for $1.50 per kit.

Plantation shutter tension hardware keeps the shutter louvers in place, so that operators may open and close the shutters using the tilt rod. The tension hardware includes special tension springs, pins, bushings, washers and button plugs. Do-it-yourself plantation shutter crafters can purchase a kit with the necessary tension hardware for $22.50.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters offer homeowners distinctive beauty and function that surpasses many other types of window treatments. The versatility and strength of real wood plantation shutters are clear benefits. Depending on the design and material quality used, the insulating plantation shutters help to significantly lower heating and cooling bills. Also, the plantation shutter design affords homeowners a high degree of personal privacy when operators close the shutters and maximum natural lighting when the shutters are fully opened. The benefits are so marked that the shutters become major selling points when homeowners become home sellers. The downside of using plantation shutters is that they are designed as permanent window treatments, and one cannot make many significant window treatment design renovations using draperies.


Interior designers use plantation shutters to brighten rooms or give them a more polished look. The various available hues for plantation shutters also add warmth and coziness to a property. However, the styles and colors of plantation shutters are not the only considerations homeowners carefully regard when having plantation shutters installed in their homes; they usually conduct a type of cost-benefit analysis before they make purchases. By analyzing the cost of materials versus the prices charged by prominent plantation shutter retailers, one can easily see the benefit of do-it-yourself plantation shutters for skilled woodworkers.

Last updated on Jul 21, 2014

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