How to Choose the Perfect Patio Door Sliding Plantation Shutters for Your Home

Hey folks, Hank here! As a professional woodworker and DIYer with over 15 years of experience, I know something about home renovation projects. And one of my favorite upgrades is installing plantation shutters on patio doors. They provide privacy, light control, and weather protection, and they can also add a ton of visual appeal to your outdoor living space.

In this post, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to choose the perfect patio door plantation shutters for your home. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing sliding doors or install new ones, follow my tips below to end up with beautiful, functional shutters tailored to your space. Let’s get started!

An Intro to Plantation Shutters

Before we dive into specifics, let’s take a quick look at what exactly plantation shutters are and why they’re such an excellent option for patio doors.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are a classic style of window and door covering that consists of large, adjustable louvered panels, usually made from wood or composite material. The angled slats can be shifted to control light and privacy.

Give Your Patio Doors a Makeover with Plantation Shutters

Some key characteristics:

  • Made of horizontal louvers, typically 2.5 – 5 inches wide
  • Feature a clean, tailored look with straight lines
  • Originated in the American South but work in any home
  • Offer versatility for indoor and outdoor use

In a nutshell, plantation shutters provide customizable light filtering and privacy control in a beautiful, elegant package.

Benefits for Patio Doors

Here are some of the most significant benefits plantation shutters offer specifically for patio doors:

  • Light control: Adjustable slats block glare and filter light beautifully.
  • Privacy: Close the louvers entirely for total privacy from neighbors.
  • Temperature regulation: Insulated shutters prevent heat/cold loss.
  • Weather protection: Louvers closed to keep out rain and wind.
  • Visual appeal: Stylishly complements both traditional and modern homes.
  • Noise reduction: Dense shutters absorb sound and reduce outside noise.

With the ability to control your environment and many style options, plantation shutters are a functional and decorative upgrade for any patio door.

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The Ultimate Guide to Measuring and Installing Plantation Shutters

How to Choose the Perfect Shutters

Now that you know the basics, let’s determine the specifics of selecting the ideal plantation shutters for your outdoor space. Follow this step-by-step guide for success!

Step 1: Measure Precisely

Getting accurate measurements is crucial for ordering shutters that fit properly. Here’s how to measure patio doors correctly:

  • Measure the width of the door frame’s top, middle, and bottom. Use the narrowest width.
  • Measure height on the left, middle, and right sides. Use the tallest peak.
  • Write down measurements to 1/8 of an inch.

Remember that patio door frames may not be perfectly square, so take multiple width and height measurements. This ensures your custom-made shutters will fit perfectly when installed.

Step 2: Choose a Durable Material

Plantation shutters come in various materials, each with pros and cons. Consider which features are most important for your climate and needs:

Wood: The most classic choice, available in basswood, poplar, oak, and more.

  • Pros: Natural beauty, insulation, durability, custom finishes
  • Cons: Requires more maintenance, premium price

Vinyl: Affordable, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance.

  • Pros: Budget-friendly, easy to clean, variety of colors
  • Cons: Less insulation, shorter lifespan than wood

Aluminum: A lightweight but durable metal option.

  • Pros: Resists warping, little maintenance
  • Cons: Less insulation, can dent, higher cost

Composite: Blends wood + vinyl or aluminum for the best of both worlds.

  • Pros: Durability, low maintenance, insulation, strength
  • Cons: Moderate cost, limited color/finish options

I recommend wood or composite shutters for their unbeatable blend of aesthetics, durability, and functionality. The extra cost pays off in the long run.

Tips for choosing the right style and material

Step 3: Select an Operating Style

Another big decision is how you want your shutters to open and close. The operating style impacts function and accessibility.

Sliding: Panels glide smoothly from side to side.

  • Pros: Space-efficient, modern look, easy to open/close
  • Cons: Hardware can collect dirt and require more cleaning

Hinged: Panels swing open and close like doors.

  • Pros: Traditional look, flexible opening/closing patterns
  • Cons: Require more clearance space, edges can warp over time

Bi-fold: Panels accordion fold against each other with hinges.

  • Pros: Blends traditional/modern look, versatile opening patterns
  • Cons: Most expensive, slightly trickier to operate

I recommend sliding shutters for their effortless open/close function. But choose the style based on your aesthetics, space, and functionality priorities.

Step 4: Determine Special Features

One of the best things about plantation shutters is that they can be customized with unique features to suit your needs perfectly:

  • Divided light: Shutters with horizontal/vertical dividers for a multi-panel look.
  • Specialty shapes: Arched or curved shutters for unique door shapes.
  • Built-in tilt rod: Rod to easily tilt louvers open and closed.
  • Hidden tilt: Hidden control to open/close louvers for a cleaner look.
  • Integrated blind: Add a roll-down blind for extra light blocking.
  • Motorized: Open and close with the push of a button.
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Optional upgrades like these help your shutters function and look exactly how you want them to.

How do plantation shutters work on sliding doors

Step 5: Select Colors and Finishes

Time to pick materials and finishes that complement your home’s existing color palette and architecture:

  • On-trend neutral tones in white, beige, gray, and black are safe bets that pair well with most color schemes.
  • Natural wood stains in warm cherry, oak, walnut, and more make a bold, eye-catching statement.
  • Bright pops of color like navy blue, emerald, or coral contrast beautifully against neutral walls.
  • Consider exterior elements like your roof, trim, and outdoor furnishings, and choose shutters in colors that coordinate.
  • Distressed, rubbed, and hand-brushed specialty finishes add depth, texture, and interest.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with color and finish options! The plantation shutter style lends itself well to making a bold statement.

Professional Installation

Once your shutters arrive, it’s time for installation. While DIY shutter projects are undoubtedly rewarding, I recommend handing the installation to professionals. Are the upfront installation costs worth it? Absolutely! You’ll end up with a quality, long-lasting finished product.

Here are the benefits of pro installation:

  • Perfect fitting: They have specialized tools and expertise for a tailored fit.
  • Smooth operation: Correct hardware adjustments ensure proper functionality right off the bat.
  • No surprises: They handle any installation challenges that can pop up.
  • Added protection: Most offer warranties against defects in materials and quality.
  • Time savings: Professionals complete the job quickly and efficiently without the learning curve.

Do your research to find an experienced local shutter installation company that offers workmanship warranties. It’s worth the investment!

Maintaining Your Shutters

Alright, folks, your new patio door plantation shutters are installed and looking sharp! Now let’s talk about keeping them in tip-top shape:

Regular Cleaning

  • Use a duster or vacuum attachment to remove surface-level dust and dirt weekly.
  • Wipe down shutters with a damp microfiber cloth and mild detergent monthly.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners or chemicals that can damage the finish.
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Seasonal Maintenance

  • Check shutter alignment and tighten any loose screws as seasons and temps change.
  • Tighten screws on the sliding shutters’ header and bottom track at the start of each season.
Are plantation shutters Still in Style

Operational Upkeep

  • Spray silicon lubricant on tilt rods/hinges if they become sticky or difficult to operate.
  • Tighten loose joints over time by adjusting screws or pins.

With proper care and maintenance, quality wood or composite plantation shutters will gracefully stand the test of time and provide lasting function and beauty.

Let’s Recap!

That covers everything you need to choose the perfect plantation shutters for your patio doors confidently! Here are my top tips for success:

  • Accurately measure your door openings before ordering.
  • Select wood, composite, or aluminum for the most durable and insulated option.
  • Determine the best operating style for your space and preferences.
  • Consider special functional features like built-in tilt rods or divided light.
  • Choose colors and finishes that complement your home’s style.
  • Hire professionals for installation to ensure proper fitting and operation.
  • Maintain your shutters with regular cleaning, seasonal checks, and lubrication.

Investing in high-quality, custom plantation shutters is a fantastic way to instantly increase your home’s visual appeal while controlling light, providing privacy, and protecting your indoor spaces from outdoor elements.

This guide gives you the information needed to feel excited, confident, and inspired to install new plantation shutters on your patio doors. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any woodworking or DIY questions!


Well, that’s a wrap, folks! I hope you found this overview on choosing the perfect patio door plantation shutters valuable and entertaining. Upgrading your outdoor living space can seem daunting, but take it step-by-step using the tips above, and you’ll end up with beautiful, functional shutters you’ll enjoy for years.

What questions do you still have about selecting the right plantation shutters? And be sure to check out my previous blogs for more DIY project inspiration and practical woodworking advice.

Thanks for reading, and happy building! This is Hank signing off.