The Refinery Shutters

Q&A with The Refinery Shutters ~ Refine your home

Windows looking a bit tired and in need of some love? Or you’re building and are wanting your windows to look super stylish? If you’ve said yes to either of these, The Refinery Shutters might be what your windows have been begging you for, and once installed you’ll never look back except to look at your beautiful new shutters of course! The Refinery Shutters are an absolute must and will transform the look of your home instantly. That’s a yes from us!

The Refinery Shutters, specializes in selling high-quality custom made window shutters that are both functional and stylish. With a wide range of colors, and styles available, customers can find the perfect shutters to suit their home's aesthetic. They pride themselves on their excellent customer service, offering personalized advice and guidance to help customers make the best choice for their needs. With competitive pricing and a commitment to quality, this small business is the perfect choice for anyone looking to enhance their home's style and functionality with beautiful window shutters. We asked Jenna, the owner of The Refinery Shutters, a few questions about her business and how it all came about…have a read below!

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and business.

At The Refinery, we strive to help our customers “refine their home” (for less), through our high quality, super luxurious, DIY window shutters, or as many people know them, plantation shutters. Our goal is to make our absolutely stunning shutters, more affordable, more accessible and very importantly – easy, for our customers, without any sacrifices on the quality of such a premium product. We started The Refinery because we have always LOVED window shutters. Our love for them started as pure aesthetics – we loved the look and feel of them, the luxe finish they bring to your home, and personally, they make me feel really relaxed and give off a definite ‘resort’ vibe. And who doesn’t like to come home to a relaxing space each day where you feel like you are on holiday! Several years ago, we moved to Australia for a couple of years, and during our time there, the beautiful apartment we rented had plantation shutters. Once we had the chance to actually experience and live with shutters ourselves, we quickly realized that above the beautiful, luxe look we already loved, they also come with a whole range of other benefits including complete control of your light and privacy (compared to curtains and most blinds that offer either open or closed), they have amazing insulation benefits, and they are SO easy to keep clean. They are also incredibly timeless and work across a huge variety of styles and décor – from a traditional and classic villa right through to a modern new build (and everything in between).  When we moved home to NZ and back into our house, we had already decided we would upgrade the old blinds we had that were not overly pretty, hard to keep clean and posed dangers for our now small children with the long chords. We set about getting shutter quotes for our home and were shocked to discover that they all came back far exceeding our expectations – and as such out of budget. We sadly moved on from the shutter idea and got ourselves some roller blinds that we installed ourselves – these were substantially cheaper of course, but still a reasonable investment once we added up all the windows, especially some of our street facing windows where we also added sheer blinds to give a little privacy – albeit we needed to have the sheers pulled down all day to achieve this privacy. The roller blinds didn’t last long and when it was time for us to replace them, the shutter idea was back on the table (however our budget had not increased). After installing the roller blinds ourselves, we were surprised that we could not find any suitable shutter products that we were able to install ourselves – so after a lot of research, and product development, we developed our own. And this is how The Refinery and our high-quality DIY-install shutters were born. 

 

Q. What types of shutters do you offer?

Our shutters are all for internal windows in your home (or office). We offer a variety of different styles of shutters to suit what you need including our full height shutters – this is the most common style of shutter you are probably most used to seeing, but we can also offer other styles such as sliding, bifold, French doors tier on tier, café style and more. We can also make our shutters in special shapes to suit your window and frequently have customers order beautiful, angled shutters, triangular shutters, round shutters and more.

Q. What is your availability for consultations and installations?

This is the beauty of The Refinery – there are no consultations and installation appointments needed! Our Design and Order Generator on our website walks you through what is essentially an online consultation by asking you a few questions and then guiding you in the right direction to arrive at your shutter recommendation for YOUR window.

When it comes to install, this is a DIY install product. We have spent a long time developing our shutters to make install as quick, and easy as possible. Your completed shutter order will come with everything you need to install your shutter including full instructions – you just need a drill and a level. There is no DIY or building experience necessary and in just a few steps, you will have your shutters installed (we promise this is not an IKEA flat pack situation).

We are constantly receiving amazing feedback from customers telling us how amazed they are at how fast and easy the install was! One customer called us specifically to tell us he got the install down to 10 mins per window for his new house load of shutters. We have had another customer so impressed with how easy it was that they filmed it for us to share.

Our website, including our design and order generator and our Shutter School (FAQ) provides all of the information you need from measuring your windows, the ordering, and the install, but for any questions or help along the way, we are always here at any time via email, phone call or DM to help. While we are an online business, the customer service and support element of our business is hugely important to us and we LOVE helping our customers, so we very much provide a hybrid of that online ease of the process, complemented by our highly personalized and supportive customer service levels

Q. Can you provide any advice on selecting the right shutters for my home or business?

Aside from any personal preferences around things like colour and style, two of the most important places to start are; How much space do you have in and around your window, and, how do you intend to use the window and your shutters.

The space available – in particular the recess of your window, lets us know if we should have an inside mounted shutter (which sits within the recess of your window frame and flush with the wall and where possible, is our recommended option), or if space does not allow, we would do an outside mounted shutter, which is a great solution for those with smaller recesses available or any obstructions in the way like window handles. This is a great starting point when planning for your shutters and from here, there are various options available for you depending on the space you have – for example, the size of your louver blades. We offer three sizes 63mm, 89mm and 114mm.

How you intend to use your window is also another great starting point. Look at what else you have going on in the room and in the wall surrounding the window. How do you envisage using this space? Where is your window handle for quick and easy access to open your windows? What is the most convenient way for you to have the shutters to open? To the left? To the right? One to the left, one to the right? Bifold style all to the left? And so on…

Our online Design and Order Generator walks you through all of these types of questions with lots of illustrations to explain, which helps you easily decide on the right shutter choices for your own home and we are always here to provide suggestions if needed.

 

Q. What sets your shutter business apart from competitors in the industry?

We created The Refinery because we saw a huge gap in the market for affordable, and more accessible window shutters. Because we did not under any circumstances want to sacrifice on quality, we needed to look for other ways in which we were able to keep our prices as low as we could for our customers (we love shutters so much, we want them to be accessible to everyone who loves them too!) One of the ways we do this is through our online model. Customers measure their own windows (we provide full measuring instructions), they design their shutter online and place their order, we then call the customer to run through their order as a triple check and chance for any last-minute questions before we send your shutters to production, your custom shutters are made to your requirements and then you self-install the shutters following our easy and quick DIY installation instructions.

Q. Do you provide custom shutter solutions?

All of our shutters are completely custom to you. That’s the exciting part! You can design your shutter exactly how you need it, right on our website using our purpose built “Design and Order Generator”. We developed this online tool to make it so easy to see your options, and make your decisions based on your exact window/s and then design your shutter to suit! What’s even better is that you get your instant quote at the end and if you are ready, you can order right there on the spot. It’s simple, its easy, its quick, and you are walked through the process online the whole way.

The customizations on offer include your measurements, how you would like your shutter to open (e.g. to the left, to the right, and a range of other choices), the style of your shutter frame (we have options from a modern flat frame right through to very large decorative frames - amazing for heritage homes or villas!), we have 28 colours you can choose from (See video), we offer two different types of materials – Basswood, or our PVC which is perfect for wet spaces like your bathroom, we offer style and colour options for your hinges, a choice for your tilt bar of either in the front (we call this traditional) or hidden at the back, you can select your louver size. We can also customize things like the size of each of your shutter panels or midrails to what you require – such as to cover your window joinery, giving you a completely unobstructed view out your shutters.

We can also provide even further customizations outside of what you can do online, such as customers with special shaped or tricky windows. In these instances, customers email us with a photo and we then help them directly.

“Our goal from the outset has been ease, affordability, and accessibility. We deliver to anywhere in New Zealand and we love bringing this gorgeous luxury product to even more people who we know will love them as much as we do.”

Shop the Refinery Shutters here