So You Want Louvre Shutters Or Windows? Here`s the Lowdown

Louvre shutters and windows are impressive multitaskers, allowing you to boost ventilation, control light levels and add texture and impact to your home’s facade. We spoke to three experts about the different styles available, what works best where, and what’s good to know before making your selection

  1. What do louvres add to the look and feel of a home?

“They’re ideal if you are looking for an effective solution to control privacy, light and airflow,” says Vera Meharg, marketing communications manager at Luxaflex Window Fashions.

“Louvres are a great way to add texture to your facade,” adds Michael Montgomery, principal architect at MMAD Architecture. “They can be closed to provide weather protection or opened up to promote good airflow inside your home.

“Some people think of louvre windows as the flimsy products from mid-century beach shacks that used to be made of thin glass, broke easily, didn’t close properly and let in draughts. However, today’s louvres provide just as much security and weather seal as any other window type, with some manufacturers even offering high-performance double glazing,” he says

  1. Can they help cut cooling costs?

Yes they can, says Meharg – by allowing you to control the amount of solar energy entering your windows and doors

  1. Which home styles do they suit?

“Louvre windows are traditionally thought of for warmer coastal climates, but they are increasingly being used in city locations due to their flexibility and modern appearance,” says Montgomery.

“They’re great for living spaces to promote airflow from floor to ceiling as well as outdoor alfresco entertaining rooms where they’re often used with timber or aluminium blades to completely shut out the sun or provide privacy from neighbouring properties“I like using them in central walkways of houses or in rooms with double volumes to promote airflow from floor to ceiling level,” he says

  1. Louvre shutters versus louvers windows – what’s the difference?

“Operable louvre shutters are usually solid timber panels that are mainly used for privacy or sun protection. Louvre windows are for light and ventilation. “Shutters can really make a statement within your facade composition too. And since they take care of sun protection, they are also a good option if you’re not looking to install blinds or curtains in your home,” says Zaw.

  1. We’re seeing a lot of oversize timber shutters – what’s the appeal?

Adjustable, super-size timber shutters are a growing architectural trend; they’re ideal for adding impact to your facade while providing privacy and sun protection. Operable shutters like these are also extremely versatile, says Zaw. “Close them up for privacy and light control or open them up to reveal views or let in the light.” They are generally custom-made, often in Western red cedar and natural oiled, painted or stained. “We usually use them in bedrooms or second-storey spaces, but they work well in living spaces too,” he says. There’a a lot of flexibility in how they can be deployed, says Zaw. “We usually use shutters within a ‘window system’ where we have glazed sliding window panels and sliding flyscreen panels behind the louvre shutters. This set-up allows you to have everything fully closed, open or a combination to suit your needs.”

  1. Is there a functional difference between vertical and horizontal louvre shutters?

No there isn’t, says Zaw. But the format you choose does make a difference to the aesthetics. “Vertical styles are bolder and make more of a visual statement,” he says.

“If we’re using vertical timber cladding for an external facade, we may go with vertical shutters, purely for aesthetics,” he says.


  1. How big can louvre shutters go?

Some vertical shutters go from floor to ceiling up to 2,700 millimetres, according to Zaw.


  1. What’s good to know about louvre windows?

“They perform the function of a normal glazed window but have the added benefit of allowing you to ventilate a room. Be aware though that they’re not great for acoustic insulation,” says Zaw.

Louvres are ideal for clerestory windows where they can help with cross ventilation higher in the upper reaches of a room, he says.

“When it comes to cost, louvre windows are a more complex system than fixed-pane windows so they do cost more,” he says.

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