Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bermuda vs. The Bahamas: One In The Same When It Comes to Shutter Hardware

The Bahamas and Bermuda are not the same thing unless you happen to be talking about shutters.  Bahama shutters and Bermuda shutters are interchangeable terms that describe a special type of exterior shutter that hinges at the top and opens from the bottom.  Bahama shutters are most often found on homes in coastal states where tropical storms and hurricanes are common (e.g., Florida, Louisiana) but they are also popular on Spanish, Southwest, and Tuscan style homes and buildings in most every area of the US.

John Wright Company
Bermuda Shutter Hardware


Bermuda shutters offer more than a tropical aesthetic.  They are popular in areas affected by hurricane winds because they can be closed to protect windows from flying debris.  Unlike a traditional shutter, Bahama shutters also block the harmful direct rays of the sun even when the shutter is open.  When a Bermuda shutter is open, the louvers are parallel to the horizon but perpendicular to the sun overhead.  This provides shelter from the heat of the sun but still allows light and fresh air to pass through the shutter.  It also permits a relatively unobstructed field of vision to the outdoors from the cool shade of your home.  When a Bermuda shutter is closed, the overlapping louvers point down to provide privacy from curious neighbors.

Bahama shutters are hung from the top of the window with a variation of a strap hinge.  It should be no surprise that these special hinges are called Bahama shutter strap hinges or Bermuda shutter hinges.  The strap attaches to the top of the shutter while the pintle (base) is fastened to the top of the window casement.  Typically, two strap hinges are used on each Bermuda shutter; one in each corner.  Often, multiple Bermuda shutters are hung side by side.  If the shutters are close together and have a narrow stile, a double strap Bahama shutter hinge can used in the center with single strap Bahama shutter hinges used on the outside of each shutter.

Coastal Bronze
Bahama Shutter Hinge


A Bermuda shutter stays open with the aid of a Bermuda shutter stay, or Bahama shutter stay if you prefer.  The shutter stay has two pieces.  A long swivel arm is usually mounted to the sill at the bottom of the window.  A catch is mounted to the bottom of the shutter.  The Bahama shutter is pushed open from the bottom.  The shutter stay's arm swings around and attaches to the catch on the bottom of the shutter to hold the Bahama shutter open.  Shutter stays can be mounted in the middle of the shutter or toward the outside edge but mounting in the middle is normally considered stronger.  Generally speaking, it is recommended that Bermuda shutters not be held open at an angle greater than sixty degrees from the building.

Shop 4 Classics offers Bahama shutter hardware from John Wright Company and Coastal Bronze.  A summary of each company's Bahama shutter hardware follows.

The John Wright Company Bermuda shutter hinges and Bermuda shutter stay are constructed of cast iron.  They feature a weather resistant traditional black powder coating that protects them from rust and corrosion.  The John Wright Company Bermuda shutter stay utilizes a hook-and-eye approach.  The shutter stay arm has a hook at the end that is inserted into the eyelet catch on the shutter to secure the shutter in the open position.  Additional eyes are available to stow the hook when not in use or to provide additional open positions.

Coastal Bronze Double Strap
Bahama Shutter Hinge


The Coastal Bronze Bahama shutter strap hinges, double strap Bahama shutter hinges, and Bahama shutter stay are cast in solid bronze.  Bronze is a naturally corrosion resistant alloy that will not rust even in the harshest of conditions.  Coastal Bronze solid bronze Bahama shutter hardware is finished with a rich brown patina that ages gracefully with time.  The Coastal Bronze Bahama shutter stay includes a locking pin to secure the stay to one of the two catches that are included.  The second catch can be used either to provide a second open position or to secure the arm when the shutter is closed.

In addition to Bermuda shutter hardware, Shop 4 Classics offers strap hinges, shutter dogs, slide bolts, and other shutter hardware for traditional shutters.  Visit the Shutter Hardware department of Shop 4 Classics for a complete selection of shutter hardware from John Wright Company, Coastal Bronze, Acorn Manufacturing, and Artesano Iron Works.

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