What is a T-Post?
If you have a window that is very wide, you may find this posting about T-posts to be informative. Are you considering shutters for that window? There are 2 things we are going to discuss here.
- Why you may need a t-post.
- A misconception about shutters.
Why do I need a T-Post?
Shutters are made from either wood, various versions of composite materials or metal. As a result, there is a certain point of width where the panels lose their structural integrity. The other aspect to consider relates to the stress on the hinges. If you put too much weight on the hinges, due to multiple panels, eventually the hinges will spread, causing the panels to sag.
This is why shutter manufacturers have limitations on the size of panels they will produce. For example, Norman Window Fashions has the following restrictions on panel sizes.
Woodlore- MDF with an extruded vinyl coating- 30″ wide panel max
Woodlore Plus- Same as above with vinyl extruded louvers- 36″ wide panel max
Various Wood Shutters (Normandy, Sussex, New Teak)- 42″ wide panel max
Now, the numbers provided have to do with single panel widths. So, you might assume that you can take two Woodlore panels and place them on a window with both panels folding off to the side to cover 60″. No can do! See the above point about hinges. This much weight on your outer hinges is too much for them to handle long term. The maximum width that can be accepted is 48″ per two panels hinged together.
This is where a T-post comes in. By inserting a vertical T-post from the top of the frame to the bottom of the frame you can have a very stable shutter. By using a T-post, you will be able to do the same Woodlore shutter for up to a 10 foot wide window with no issues of sagging.
Misconception about shutters
On almost every job I do for shutters, I get asked about folding the panels off of the window for greater access to the windows and the view. This is the misconception. In my 25 plus years of experience, I have found that people open the panels of the shutters to access the window temporarily. Either for airflow or to clean the windows. Typically, they use the louvers to open and close them for all of their needs.
As with all statements like this, there are exceptions. If someone really wants their windows completely open, we will design the shutters to be able to handle their needs. It is good to know all the details about these shutters though, and in this case we needed to talk about the “T-post”.
Kempler Design is located in Reno NV and serves the northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe regions with a mobile design showroom. Paul Kempler, its founder is considered a window fashions expert. Kempler Design has been featured in many prestigious projects, including the HGTV dream home in Lake Tahoe. Kempler Design works with homeowners as well as interior design firms looking for a local contact in the Reno/Tahoe area or is available for travel.