I appreciate the heck out of you – especially those of you who so clearly said “no shutters” or “just wait til landscaping grows in” on the exterior post last week. Sometimes I think we all just like to be told what to do (especially when it saves us so much money). I think there can be a lot of immediate and emotional reactions in this remodeling and landscaping process – wanting a house to look “better” before you are done and perhaps being a bit desperate. It’s like putting tons of concealer on blemishes when really you need to let your skin breathe and get naturally more healthy. It’s a real lesson in patience with landscaping and we truly try to exercise it every day knowing how lucky we are to be in this position. We always thought we wanted shutters back on the house, but with the house looking so harsh with less mature shrubs/trees in I think we were getting ahead of ourselves a bit – desperate for it to look like the inviting home we always pictured. I didn’t love how the outside of the house was looking but couldn’t put my finger on it. So perhaps I thought that shutters would solve that problem. If you missed this post on trim and shutter options check it out… But essentially I hired someone to photoshop a ton of options that you can see here:
It was so fun to see, but no clear winner for us. The all-white felt boring. The blue trim felt busy. The dark windows felt intense. etc. A lot of you thought they looked cluttered, clunky, and busy. Some of you worried about it looking cheesy – which I had also feared.
Our Dream Shutter Scenario
Here is what we were imagining – a light blue/gray that felt happy and sweet. Misty, our graphic designer, sent this through the day after the post and I was like, “yes this! this is what we were hoping for!” Many of you were concerned, understandably, that I was going to not do it “right” (too small, wrong hardware, etc.) but I promise you that we were only looking at the authentic shutters (which as you’ll learn below is cost prohibitive).
A couple of weeks ago (during the week that we published that post) we had a dry break in the weather and that same week a former painter subcontractor, who we liked a lot, stopped by to offer his time for any projects. So while I was debating the shutters with you in real time, we went ahead and booked him to paint the trim work white that weekend. We started with just one window, making sure that we liked it and once they were all painted this wave of relief fell over me. I LOVED IT.
It is so clean and fresh, letting the pretty windows pop more and still feeling really “farmhouse”. Is it boring? Not to me. The blue doors look so good with the white (sans the gray trim) and then the copper Rejuvenation sconces are the perfect accent (as is the brickwork). I feel like we got over the “a white house with white trim is so boring” hurdle and we are embracing the simplicity while we wait for trees and shrubs to explode. Have we for sure decided “no” on shutters forever? Nope. But that’s because I won’t be definitive about almost anything in our lives 🙂 We are waiting and here is why…
Good Shutters Are Not Cheap
We knew they would be a real investment – not hundreds but tens of thousands – as everything in the home remodeling industry is really expensive these days – especially custom. But how much they possibly could cost? We were committed to doing the “authentic” versions, with the nice-looking hardware, and installing them so they look like they could close. Our first quote (which wasn’t detailed and didn’t have all the hardware) came in at roughly $17k (before install). While this is a lot of money, it seemed pretty realistic to us. This was for shaker panels and only on the bedroom windows upstairs – 12 total. Then we had another local shutter broker come measure and quote, this time adding the hardware and it came in closer to $50k (including all the bells and whistles and install), with no trade discount. That quote was for 19 windows (adding 6 big ones downstairs).
A few days later our third quote came in (the same company as the first, but with the right hardware and raised panels instead of shaker, with 19 instead of 12 windows). With a nice trade discount (not a press discount just a normal design trade) it came in at $27K, not including install. They guessed that install would be around $300 per window. At 19 windows we are at $5,700 to install. So we are now closer to $33k all in to add shutters to our house. Without disrespecting the craft at all – as I know that custom anything can and should cost a lot, we were still so alarmed. We’d have to REALLY, REALLY want shutters to invest in that, and let’s just say we didn’t want them that bad. So imagine my relief when literally all of you (with a more objective perspective) told us to skip them or wait. A lot of you even said that they would look bad and clunky (which I don’t necessarily agree with but I definitely see your point). At that price we really couldn’t do it so it was so nice to get others’ opinions that we, in fact, should skip shutters, regardless of cost.
So no, we are not putting shutters on the house but I wanted to give you the amount so that if you are in the market you have some sort of idea how much they could be.
Now, as we are all waiting for the landscaping to do its magic, I wanted to show you what Cali (Studio Campo), our landscape designer has sketched to give us hope for the future.
They are all really small right now (as you can see in the iPhone photos) but spring is right around the corner and once they explode we’ll have a much better idea of what it will look like. We still might add some more mature shrubs, but our contractor has done a great job of laying the literal groundwork – grading, good drainage, soil prep, irrigation where needed, and flagstones – so that should we add more plants ourselves we can fairly easily.
We are nixing the shutters for now, feeling SO GOOD about the decision and leaning into patience as we await spring to show us what our garden will look like. Again a huge thanks to you all for weighing in so respectfully on the shutter situation.
Before I leave you today, Misty sent through a rendering of the red door stripped and stained to just be wood. If I could snap my fingers and have it this wood door I would 🙂 I’m going to reach out to ARCIFORM and see how long this could take and compare it to just painting the door the same blue as the rest of the doors.
Oh, and she plugged in/photoshopped the grass and shrubs – its still mud with some little plants over there 🙂
The post How Much Are Custom/Authentic Shutters? + See Our Exterior Trim Painted White appeared first on Emily Henderson.