One of the most frequent questions we get asked is; can I install plantation shutters if I have secondary glazing? The quick answer is sometimes! It all depends on the positioning of the secondary glazing.
What is secondary glazing?
Double glazing is installed in most modern homes. But for period properties and buildings that are at least a hundred years old, secondary glazing can be the more realistic choice for insulation as the original glass panels may be too difficult or costly to replace, or in some cases, prohibited.
Although secondary glazing is a useful way to reduce heating costs, it doesn’t tend to look as impressive as double glazing. This is potentially why we receive so many enquiries of this nature, because interior window shutters can not only improve the look of the window, but can also further insulate the house.
How we fit shutters with secondary glazing?
Essentially, we need to have somewhere to mount the shutters and if the secondary glazing is mounted without enough space around it, we will be unable to accommodate the shutter framework. We have to ensure that when we install the shutters you are still able to use the secondary glazing and remove the glass if required.
The best advice would be for you to send us photos of your windows with secondary glazing and we should be able to advise you whether or not it is possible.
Are window shutters with secondary glazing a viable alternative to double glazing?
Shutters don’t have the same properties as double glazed units but they will help retain heat within the home in the winter months, and help to reduce external noise, especially when combined with secondary glazing.
People often comment at how impressed they are with the increased warmth in a room when the panels have been shut and the louvres closed. When you open the louvres in the morning, you can feel where the cold air has been kept within the space between the shutter and the window.
This report by Edinburgh World Heritage illustrates how shutters can reduce heat loss. We addressed another FAQ recently; why should I choose window shutters instead of curtains or blinds?, which highlights the other benefits of shutters over other window dressing options.
You may consider fitting a blind behind the shutter to create a further barrier. We can advise at our free home design visit whether you have the space to do this.