Rolling exterior shutters
I am designing a new home to be built next year and would like to incorporate a feature I’ve seen on many houses in Germany. I believe the Germans call them “Rolladens.” They are a metal window shutter that is built into the exterior wall of the house above the window opening. The shutters are a tambour-type design and appear to roll up and down inside the wall. You operate them from inside the home by a strap that’s also built into the wall.
Irvin Bennett, Culpeper, VA
Kevin Ireton, editor of Fine Homebuilding, replies: I can’t tell you why rolling exterior shutters aren’t as common here as they are in Europe, but I can tell you that they are available from Roll-a-way Insulating Security Shutters (10597 Oak St. N. E., St. Petersburg, Fla. 33716; 800-942-3230). Roll-a-way shutters are available with either PVC or aluminum slats, in a variety of colors and finishes. They can be operated either manually or electrically. And according to the manufacturer, the shutters increase the thermal efficiency of windows by creating an insulating dead-air space.