Pittsburgh, PA (PressExposure) September 09, 2009 -- In a recession, many shoppers favor bargains over well-made items. However, one manufacturer of exterior shutters, Estate Millwork, is standing by company values â high quality and outstanding craftsmanship â that are their brand hallmarks.
"What's a deal and what's a bargain is all perception," says Dave Thomas, head of mill operations for the southwestern PA exterior shutter company. "But a product that offers good quality to customers can indeed turn out to be the better deal in the long run."
Estate Millwork exterior shutters are created from long cuts of top-grade American and imported hardwood. Company craftsmen cut shutter pieces carefully to minimize waste and to maximize product durability. Time-tested mortise-and-tenon joinery construction is used to assemble each pair of exterior shutters, and all shutters are hand-inspected before they leave the Estate Millwork factory.
"Customers who've bought our exterior shutters several years ago report that they look as good as new," says Jackson. He adds that maintenance is key. "With a little upkeep â with a little TLC â these shutters will withstand almost any type of weather thrown at them."
What could be a better value than that?
The staff at Estate Millwork categorically refuse to construct custom exterior shutters from veneers, plastic compounds, or any other artificial materials. "They just don't last like our wood does," says Thomas. Because theyâre prone to splintering, warping, and pitting, faux wooden shutters only last a few seasons, while Estate Millwork's all-wood exterior shutters can last for decades.
At Estate Millwork, bargain hunters and design aficionados alike can find exterior shutters to fall in love with. Throughout the summer, the company is accepting orders on spec for all types of custom exterior shutters. Thomas says that his staff is well-versed in period reproductions, and the company keeps a large library of historical reference materials so customers can create the shutters of their dreams.
Thomas and his crew recommend regular maintenance to keep exterior shutters looking their best.
Here are Estate Millwork's âTips for Summer Exterior Shutter Maintenanceâ:
- Clean your exterior shutters at least once every 18-24 months. This will keep them looking new, and will protect them from warping and pests.
- To clean your exterior shutters, use a gentle solution of soapy water and an ultra-soft cleaning brush. Estate Millwork recommends worn brushes over new brushes, as the bristles are softer, and won't mar the surfaces of your exterior shutters. Please do not use any industrial-strength cleaners; these damage the wood. Regular household soap or mild detergent, such as Ivory soap, is perfect.
- Apply a new coat of paint or stain every three to five years to keep your exterior shutters looking factory new. If you're combining this step with a shutter cleaning, ensure that your shutters are completely dry before painting or staining.
- To paint or stain exterior shutters, remove the shutters from your house. Lightly sand the surfaces using fine-grade sandpaper. This will help you achieve an even tone.
- For best quality, apply a thin first coat of paint or stain to your exterior shutters. Also, make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat. Only use a third coat of paint or stain if your shutters are badly in need of upkeep (and if you've been taking care of your exterior shutters, they won't be).
- When your exterior shutters are completely dry, buff away any bumps with fine sandpaper. And, only re-hang your exterior shutters when they have dried completely.
- Consider using paints or stains with sun- and weather-resistant finishes to extend the lifespan of your exterior shutters.
Estate Millwork, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, creates environmentally friendly exterior shutters. To order custom shutters for your home, visit www.estatemillwork.com.