Window Box and Shutters - Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can your PVC window boxes and shutters be painted?
Yes! Our PVC window boxes
are perfect for painting. They have a matted finish to them which allows them to hold paint exceptionally well without peeling or fading. Because of that they look like wood as well instead of shiny or plastic looking. Simply put two coats of a desired color on the window box or shutters. We recommend Sherwin Williams, however you can use any exterior latex paint. Semi-gloss paints work best for all PVC window boxes. No primer is necessary and remember to leave the inside of the window box unpainted if you will be placing soil and water in direct contact with the inside of the box. Currently we are offering our boxes factory painted in black and beige for an added cost, however, feel free to order in white and paint yourself to save money. Click here for some great tips on painting window boxes
2. Does the window box have to be painted?
No, feel free to leave our PVC window boxes unpainted. They come standard in a bright white color. Versatex
cellular PVC is #1 for longest warranty against fading. An inferior grade of PVC or vinyl will fade over time. We offer a 15 year warranty straight from us, the manufacturer, allowing you the peace of mind of leaving them unpainted for many years.
3. Do your window boxes or shutters come in colors or do you paint them for us?
All window boxes ship out in white. Recently, however, we've added a professionally sprayed black option for our window boxes for an added cost. Many customers will paint themselves, often with leftover shutter paint or siding paint to get an exact match to their homes. If you have a painter, contractor, handyman, installer, or handy neighbor then they often may paint and install for you (See questions 1 and 2). Our shutters on the other hand are available in 20 various colors.
4. Do you make custom window box lengths and custom shutter sizes?
Yes, we make custom window boxes
of every size possible up to 16 feet in length. If you don't see a particular size on our website or in our shopping cart area, it doesn't mean that we don't do it, so give us a call. The chances are we can make that custom window box for you in that length. We can also customize height and depth/width of the boxes as well, so let us know if you need a taller or wider box. Our shutters are also customizable, we can not only customize the width and height of the shutters, but we can also customized fine details such as the width of the outer rails or the size and placement of the panels.
5. Are your window boxes self-watering?
We offer a variety of products to make each and every one of our window boxes self-watering. There are two methods to make a self-watering window box
. One method is with the use of "drip-irrigation" - a method in which a continuous drip slowly waters the plant continuously. The second method is with the use of a "water reservoir" system that will provide enough water to last 1-2 weeks for your plants. Water reservoirs are great in that they are completely concealed within the box and sit on the bottom. They are great for people with a busy lifestyle or for vacations.
6. Is there an additional charge for custom window box lengths and custom shutters?
The costs of custom window boxes are prorated based on length. Because we are a manufacturer we are able to easily make window boxes of any length with no additional fee on top of the cost of the box. Other companies are retailers who usually stock certain sizes and because of this they usually charge an additional custom fee for things they don't stock. Custom window boxes are our specialty and all custom window boxes ship in 1-3 business days. Our custom shutters we also sell prorated. This means you won't pay extra for custom sizes.
7. Do you make custom planters and window boxes?
Yes, we can also make our window boxes taller or shorter to meet your specifications or longer. The costs are very sensitive to the size of the planter and the amount of materials used. So adding 15% extra height for example is often reflected in the price going up by similar amounts. For this reason if you have a budget you are working with it may be a good idea for us to run several quotes with variations a couple inches bigger or smaller than what you think you need. Call us and we can give you a free quote
on a totally custom window box. We make an entire line of standard PVC planters
as well as commercial planters
8. Do you make window box liners out of PVC? Do your window boxes need liners?
Yes, we get many requests to make PVC liners for customers,
give us a call and we'd be happy to give you a free quote. Although our
window boxes function as their own liners, ie you can plant directly in
them, from time to time it may be desirable to use a removable insert
to plant in hard to reach spaces. We have both light duty window box liners and inserts
which act as removable inserts to our window boxes as well as
architectural grade liners made out of thicker materials for more heavy
duty applications. We make a stronger version of the liner as well with
a structural cap and short feet. These are our higher grade Modern
planters and Modern window boxes which are backed with our lifetime
9. How do your window boxes drain? Will they leak dirty water?
All of our window boxes have drain holes in the bottom. We place a 5 hole pattern every 18" along the bottom of the window box. Our window box drainage system
works extremely well and is a perfect match for the home gardner. For indoor use, we can even make them without drain holes. You will want to do one of two things on the bottom of your window box to help filter out dirt so that you have clean water coming out the bottom. 1. Put a thin layer of pea gravel on the bottom. This traps soil in the box while water wiggles down and out the bottom. 2. Lay a thin lstrip of black landscape fabric on the bottom. This works like an outdoor coffee filter letting water through while trapping soil. Either method works just fine or do both if you want extra.
10. Do your PVC window boxes have to be taken down in the winter?
No, our cellular composite PVC window boxes are made from high quality Versatex PVC
that is resistant to all weather conditions. Many of our customers enjoy being able to decorate their window boxes during the fall with pumpkins, squash, and red foliage during the winter with evergreens and ribbons. The concept behind our window boxes is that they get installed to the house and never need to be maintained or taken down. Our window boxes outperform other window boxes made from other cellular PVCs and vinyl materials. They are the ultimate low-maintenance "better than wood"
window box solution.
11. How do your window boxes install? How do your exterior shutters install?
We recommend installing our window boxes
in the safest and most durable manner with the use of lag bolts through the back of the box. Because our boxes are made from solid material you can easily pass a lag bolt through the back for the ultimate installation. Other hollow vinyl boxes cannot use this method and are forced to use clips and braces which can bend, warp, shift, or break causing the window boxes to lean or tilt. Window boxes over 48" in length will often need to support 100+ lbs. and it is very important that the window box is firmly secured to the house for years to come so that they never shift or fall and so that they remain level and always drain properly. Our window boxes can also be installed on deck railings and fences to give you deck rail planters
. Our exterior shutters can be installed
one of two ways. 1) They can be directly screwed into the house and 2) they can be placed on hinges so that they have a more upscale look. Composite PVC shutters use 3 hinges per shutter.
12. How long should my window box be?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that you get a window box that matches the width of your window or the length from the outside of your left trim to the outside of your right trim around the window (assuming you have trim around the window). By doing this the vertical lines on your window box will line up with the vertical lines on your window or window trim. If you have shutters you should consider adding 4-6 inches to balance the window. Make sure your shutters don't hang too low to do this, though. Click here to see pictures of how we recommend to measure for window boxes
13. How tall and how wide should my exterior shutters be?
There are two ways to size exterior shutters. 1) Generic sizing means just getting the same width shutters on all your windows regardless of size. This is usually a width like 15". 2) Custom sizing means getting a shutter whose width is half the width of the window and whose height equals the height of the window. Some windows can be rather long and this may not be fully practical. For this reason we recommend getting proportionally larger shutters for windows over 36". For example, putting custom shutters on an 8 foot wide window we would recommend getting 2 ft wood shutters instead of 4 foot wide shutters even though the 4 foot measurement is half the width of the window. Read more on how to measure exterior shutters
for our window here.
14. Should I get standard or XL sized window boxes?
A standard sized box is sufficient if you just plan on planting flowers, however, some customers may wish to upgrade to XL sizes as well. There are two situations where this is recommended. If you have a larger or two story home, then it is often advised to upgrade to maintain proportions. Also, if you plan to plant more than just flowers such as evergreens, shrubs, and other deep rooted plants, then this will often be a good idea. Still not sure? Try taking a roll of paper towels and rolling them out to the desired length, then cut with scissors. Tape the paper towel section beneath the window and view from the street. You can experiment with different lengths or fold the paper towel to different heights. Take pictures, compare, and see what looks best.
15. Are your PVC window boxes and exterior shutters protected from the sun?
Yes, we use Versatex PVC
with titanium dioxide (TiO2) technology that maintains the structural integrity of the PVC and keeps it white for a long time. It has built in UV protection and because it is made from the thickest PVC on the market, it will not warp or twist like other vinyl and PVC window boxes. Versatex PVC is rated #1 among all the cellular PVCs for UV protection, fading, and structural integrity. Our exterior shutters are also made from the same material and offer all the benefits and protection as well. Additionally, we insert a full length strip of stainless steel along the entire length of the shutter to give them further strength and rigidity and back them with a lifetime guarantee.
16. What is the quality of your PVC window boxes and exterior shutters?
Versatex PVC is second to none and beats out all other cellular composite PVC products in most tests. Architects and builders love it because it is a beautiful product that looks just like wood and homeowners love it because it's maintenance free. Click here to find out the advantags to PVC window boxes, wooden window boxes
, fiberglass window boxes
, vinyl window boxes
, and composite window boxes
. Unlike wood which rots and unlike vinyl products which are hollow and made cheaper, our window boxes and shutters are made from solid materials that won't crack, warp, or split apart on you.
17. Are your PVC window boxes and exterior shutters solid?
Our PVC window boxes are made from solid PVC and are light weight. Other manufactures use thin or hollow double-walled material that can warp, crack, twist, and bend over time and potentially cause the window box to fail or be less durable than desired. Many hollow window boxes cannot be left out during freezing temperatures or they can crack, however, our window boxes are designed to go up year round.
18. Can your window boxes be placed on rails?
Yes, ANY of our window box styles can be used to place our window boxes on rails
. We offer a wide range of deck rail hooks and clips to fit most rails and can also custom make them to fit rails made from any material.
19. Can you custom make exterior shutters and architectural brackets and gables?
Yes, as the manufacturer we have full control over design and fabrication meaning we can copy any blueprint or drawing. We currently offer a full line of structural cedar products for your home to add curb appeal. These are structural cedar brackets, cedar corbels, cedar gables, and cedar braces. After you get your window box be sure to check us out at www.CedarWoodBrackets.com
for your next curb appeal project.
20. Why are your cedar architectural brackets made out of cedar instead of PVC?
Actually we make them out of both materials. Our PVC architectural brackets
are superior in no rot capabilities however, many of our clients use our brackets for intense structural applications holding up large sums of weight. For this reason we also offer a set of cedar corbels, gables, braces, and brackets
to handle these tough situations. www.CedarWoodBrackets.com is owned by Flower Window Boxes, Inc.