Exterior House Shutters & Blinds
Ideas on decorative exterior house shutters & Venetian blinds, including exterior wooden shutters.
¶ Outside Venetian blinds and shutters are now made by machinery, and notwithstanding we frequently hear sweeping condemnations of this machine joinery, we believe it possible to produce in this manner an excellent quality of work. Unfortunately, the great amount of competition in this business has injured the quality of the joinery by reducing the standard of prices so low as to render the manufacture of good work not even moderately profitable, and the natural consequence is, the country is flooded with the spurious article. But we think a reaction must before long take place. When this bad reputation of machine-work becomes thoroughly diffused, few will buy it, and the counterfeit manufacturer will be obliged to abandon the business; all will suffer for a time by the operation, but it will be found in the end that the most prosperous manufacturers are those who never violated the laws of honest workmanship.
¶ Pivot-blinds, i.e. blinds in which the slats in each section revolve simultaneously under the control of a single vertical rod attached loosely to each slat, are now deservedly much in vogue. They are light and airy looking, and although not strictly an architectural appendage, are almost indispensable, and in Southern houses entirely so. By adjusting the slats, the direct rays of the sun can be excluded, and air and light admitted, and, when necessary, they can be converted into a close shutter for defense by securing the vertical rod at one end. But for more perfect security against light-footed agents, it is deemed most proper, in parts of the Northern States, to use the close shutter on first-story windows, and these well secured by ten-inch iron bolts: these, however, look rather less pleasing than the blinds we have just described, and will, we think, ultimately yield to Venetian blinds.
¶ In circular-headed windows, a very unsightly effect is produced by the opening of the blinds to the crown of the arch; and the question arises, how is this to be remedied? Imperfectly, by only opening the blind to the springing line, and perfectly, by sliding the blinds into the wall so as to be entirely invisible. The sill can be extended on each side of the window, and the rail for the sheaves laid upon it, so as to give permanency to the whole system. The strongest argument against this is, that it occasions an unusual thickness of wall; but, on the other hand, it may be met with the fact that the hollow thus formed adjacent to the window may be common to the whole wall, by which the wall is greatly strengthened, if due attention is paid to the bond, and the cost not materially increased. This course was pursued in the erection of the Oriental house plans, and might with equal propriety be adopted in any dwelling of considerable magnitude, where the arched window-head is employed.
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