American Shutters was established in 1985 by Steve Palmer and his wife, Karina, when they returned to South Africa after studying and working abroad. Bringing with them their international experience and inspiration as well as a love for custom-made adjustable louvre shutters, they set up American Shutters – so called because the introduction of shutters to the New World is best recognised in the American South where they were used to keep the homesteads on the cotton plantations cool.American Shutters’ approach of taking the best the world has to offer and bringing it to South Africa is evident today, with many of the company’s products being imported from overseas. “We continually invest time and money in sourcing and selecting the best raw materials and products from around the world, ensuring that they meet the demanding quality standards for which American Shutters has become renowned,” says Steve Palmer.
To ensure that the products are suitable to South African conditions, all the timber used in the manufacture of the shutters is hand selected and dried using a specialised prescription wood conditioning technique which emulates the environmental conditions of the location where the shutters are to be installed. This reduces post-installation shrinking and swelling. Important too for South African conditions, the timber is guaranteed to be resistant to beetle attack.
As a result of American Shutters’ longstanding international partnerships, it claims world-class manufacturing facilities, equipment, technology and processes which are internationally benchmarked. The timber used is quarter-sawn, giving the shutters remarkable strength and stability; mortise and tenon joints are used to withstand stress and twisting forces; the exclusive core-reinforced engineered stiles ensure robustness and durability; the rabbet stiles offer extra light control; and marine grade stainless steel is used for the tilt rod connectors.
“It is this international best practice and the quality of our raw materials and finishes that enable us to offer standalone product guarantees on all our shutters,” says Palmer. “Our manufacturing and installation processes are streamlined and cost-effective, earning us the position of industry price leader,” he adds.
He also highlights that the initially imported Decowood shutter range, “our most popular, eco-friendly and cost-effective,” is now manufactured locally, creating local employment opportunities and boosting the local economy.