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Rolling shutters can be great addition to your home

Although energy tax credits are a thing of the recent past, there are still some very good reasons why the rolling shutter business is on the upswing.

Two years ago I wanted to purchase rolling shutters for my home. It would have been a good time to buy as one of the selling points was the energy tax credit. I researched, price shopped and interviewed a couple of shutter companies until I was exhausted at the whole process. I put the paperwork in a file and forgot about it until this year.

Tax credits are no longer available, but I found several other good reasons to purchase. I called up the company I deemed worthy of my hard-earned money and was thrilled with the flawless process; Nevada Rolling Shutters truly delivered.

Although recent reports state that crime is down in our town, the rolling shutter business has rebounded nicely after the recession, partly because of break-ins. Security is one of the reasons to consider buying these exterior window coverings. When they are closed, they are an earnest deterrent to thieves.

Rolling shutters are mounted on the outside of your home. They include a rectangular metal box that sits above the window. The box houses the mechanics and the shade when it is rolled up. I can’t say they make the exterior of my home look better. But in comparison to alternative security options, they look very clean.

The color selections are few, but you really wouldn’t want shades (or any security device) to be the focal point of your home. When selecting a color, pick one that best matches your overall house color so they blend in and look like part of the architecture. The next best option is white, which generally matches the window frames.

Nevada Rolling Shutters makes its shutters right here in Las Vegas. The company imports 12-foot-long slats from Germany in order to get a stable roll-formed aluminum product that is insulated to handle our harsh temperatures. The insulated slats are cut into the desired lengths and assembled at its shop. It puts little end caps on the slats so they don’t shift with use. The owner, Bruce Hoover, along with his sons, opened up their business in the Las Vegas Valley 15 years ago. Bruce has 35 years of experience overall in the rolling shutter business, and it shows.

The companies I interviewed offered remote controls and manual shades. The manual shades have a cord on the side and every time you want to lower or raise the shade, you must manipulate the looping cord. As you can imagine, the manual shades cost less. For looks and convenience, the remote control is the way to go if you can fit it into your budget.

Most companies that sell large motorized shades, interior or exterior, use Somfy motors and controls for their systems. Somfy has more than 40 years of experience and has pretty much dominated the shade motorization industry. Its superior system lifts large and heavy loads effortlessly. The remotes are RTS (Radio Technology Somfy).

You don’t have to point the control at a red light in order for it to work the shades. The remotes offer many options on how to program the opening and closing of the shades. In each room you can remotely open any selected shade alone, or open them all at once. Convenient! The smooth low hum of the motor lifting or closing the shades is calming. I’m beginning to associate that hum with the feeling of security.

Another great benefit is the energy savings. Hoover said his customers have reportedly saved 8 percent to 20 percent of their heating/cooling bills while using these insulated shutters. Of course, the percentages vary on how often you close them. As much as I love the feeling of security they give, I love sunlight more and keep them open during the day. So I’m guessing my energy savings will be lower.

The cost can be prohibitive. I ordered 12 shades of varying sizes and the cost averaged out to a little more than $1,050 per shade. I averaged my energy bills over the past year and then averaged the reported savings (14 percent). If my calculations are right, it will take me 33 years to pay for my shades with only the savings I get from energy. That said, to me, the benefits still outweigh the cost.

The cost is what took me two years to decide, but the moment they got installed, I truly thought to myself, “why did I wait this long?” The feeling of calm and the peace of mind they afford me is well worth the expense.

Finally, room darkening is a benefit. Although I have draperies and layers of window coverings on my bedroom windows, they still let in a little light. These shutters completely block out the light.

I didn’t write this article to advertise for this exemplary company which seamlessly installed these shutters in less than a day; this is my own unbiased experience with this locally owned company and I received no compensation to say anything about them. They didn’t know that I would write about their product until after the job was complete and I asked for a photo to display with the article.

Cindy Payne is a certified interior designer with more than 25 years of experience, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as a licensed contractor. Email questions to her at deardesigner@projectdesigninteriors.com or send them to her at Project Design Interiors, 2620 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 189, Las Vegas, NV 89109. She can be reached online at www.projectdesigninteriors.com.

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