I bought a new house in Bakersfield, CA this past Feb which needs window treatments. I wanted to do something more than just hanging blinds as quite a few houses in the neighborhood have plantation shutters, and also, I think they're much nicer.
I had several quotes to outfit the house with plantation shutters between $4 - $5k! The main front window is in my dining room, measures roughly 5' x 5' and just that window was $650 - $750 depending on the vendor. After recovering from the sticker shock, I decided I'd tackle these myself. I estimated that I could build that window for about $300 in materials and use my free labor. Many many questions and studying later, I finally bought materials. Special note goes out to Woodwreck who has offered up his work, pictures, and advice graciously.
The posts on this forum was a godsend as there is very little I found on actual construction of plantation shutters. The Rockler jigs also were a gift. So I picked up their 3 1/2" jig along with a bunch of other materials. Unfortunately, Bakersfield doesn't have any wood shops or any real hardwood shops so my shopping is in LA. About 2 hour drive.
One hurdle was dealing with the bullnose corners around my windows as the traditional no brainer hang strip won't work. Looking at store demo's and saleman's show and tell, I decided that a z-frame type trim is what I needed. Everything I saw however showed this to be one piece construction. Perhaps overkill, but I didn't want to show construction joints in the molding. Unfortunately, no one I could find sold this in a pre-made trim. So I found a hardwood lumber yard in Riverside, CA and bought a board of 10/4 poplar to start off.
I'll attempt to keep this journal updated regularly.
Attached are some pictures of basswood, Rockler louvers, and the big fat poplar board.