Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
Norman Shutters vs. Hunter Douglas: Which One Is Better?
Choosing between shutters is tricky due to the wide variety available, especially with great brands like Norman and Hunter Douglas. Hunter Douglas shutters are generally more reliable, but Norman shutters are more affordable. Whether it be the style or price, follow along as we compare Norman and Hunter Douglas shutters.
If eyes are the windows to the soul, does that mean that shutters are the eyelashes to your windows? In a lot of ways, they are. They are there to protect your windows during inclement weather, but they also happen to frame your home. Getting quality shutters is a good thing, indeed. That’s why people love both Norman and Hunter Douglas. But, which shutter brand is best?
Both Norman and Hunter Douglas provide excellent shutters that are backed by a warranty. However, Hunter Douglas is made in the United States, while Norman is made in China. Norman shutters are more affordable, while Hunter tends to be more long-lasting in anecdotal reviews.
It’s worth saying that most people will not see a stark difference between either brand. Even so, it’s good to know what you’ll get from each one.
Table of Contents
- Norman Shutters vs. Hunter Douglas: An Introduction To Each Company
- Understanding Each Brand
- Interesting Notes About Both Companies
- Related Questions
- Which Company is Better for Shutters?
Norman Shutters vs. Hunter Douglas: An Introduction To Each Company
Before we get deep into this article, let’s get a brief introduction to each company. (We did similar with Behr vs. Valdspar, right?)
Norman makes most of their work in their own companies and has been doing so for the past 40 years. As a premium company, their claim to fame is having the most vertical integration in the shutter and blind industry. In other words, every single part is designed and manufactured by them. This gives them the most control over how their stuff is made.
Hunter Douglas, or Hunter (as it’s called by fans) is known for being American-made. It’s not an American country, though. It’s Dutch. It’s been around since 1971, and has been a multinational corporation for ages. Hunter Douglas is all about transparency and innovation, which builds its brand as one of the more accountable in the industry.
Understanding Each Brand
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of how each company’s structure is done up, let’s do a little bit of deep diving on the bigger issues that you may have.
I’ll be honest. Both Hunter Douglas and Norman have excellent shutter selections. To a point, it may even feel like they offer endless possibilities. With that said, there is a difference in the number of shutter series each company has. Norman actually has one more series than Hunter Douglass. This means that you are more likely to find a unique shutter that works with you by Norman.
Though Norman has more series, it’s also worth noting that Hunter Douglas offers custom work and custom paints. Due to the customization, they’re pretty evenly matched.
Here’s one thing that we’re really impressed with: the warranties. Hunter Douglas offers incredible warranties on all their products, with many being equipped with the Hunter Douglas Lifetime Guarantee. Many others involve limited lifetime warranties on all parts and goods. Norman has similar, but there’s a catch.
Norman has a three-year limit on the color of the paint that covers your shutters. As a result, some might believe the brand to be less durable than Hunter Douglas. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Norman shutters are also more problem-prone, but this is not something that has been seriously backed by heavy evidence.
There’s no mincing words here. Dollar for dollar, Hunter Douglas is going to be the pricier brand to choose. Most online estimates suggest that the price is as much as 20 percent more than what you would pay at Norman. Hunter Douglas is going to be the pricey one regardless of what you’re buying.
Country Of Origin
If you are new to the world of home improvement, congrats. You are going to find out that people tend to be very picky when it comes to the country where hardware, tools, and house pieces come from. Most people want to see equipment and tools that are made in America. Currently, only one of these two companies has that country of origin: Hunter Douglas.
Many people prefer to buy from Hunter Douglas simply because they know the shutters will be made in America, even if it’s just because of the reputation. Norman, on the other hand, is made in China. To stay competitive with Hunter, they implemented a hardline vertical engineering scheme.
Shipping time can vary greatly for both companies, especially if you order from third-party distributors or companies. Because of that, it’s hard to nail down a set time. Most of the reviews we found noted that getting shutters from Norman took slightly longer than getting shades from Hunter Douglas.
A lot of the reviews I read involved direct shipping. This makes sense, since many of the products that Norman makes have to be sent directly from Asia and other manufacturing facilities. Since Hunter Douglas is based in the States, you’re probably going to have a shorter shipping time even if you order stuff that’s custom-made. Of course, your mileage may vary. (Literally!)
Interesting Notes About Both Companies
One of the more interesting aspects that I noticed when I was doing this review is the overall manner in which each company conducts their business. Both brands have their own perks when it comes to company focus, and some of their aspects might make people choose one over the other. Here’s what you need to know…
Norman is a brand that you can always trust for innovation. That’s their main appeal. The engineering practices at Norman are so strict, they make a point having almost every part of their shutters designed and made within a company factory. That’s actually rare these days, and to a point, it’s one of the better reasons to rely on this company.
With that said, Norman tends to have a big emphasis on safety. That’s why the company’s shutters and blinds were rated as “best for kids” by several groups. That alone gives most parents the peace of mind they need.
Hunter Douglas is a company that goes above and beyond when it comes to transparency, not to mention one of the only companies to make a point of having American-made goods. The bigger aspect that may impress people is their dedication to corporate responsibility. The company regularly uses recycled materials in its manufacturing and implements eco-friendly design methods.
Along with having “greener” shutters, Hunter Douglas also donates a portion of their profits to ecologically friendly organizations from time to time. So, this leads many people to feel like choosing Hunter Douglas is a good way to keep their conscience clean.
Is Hunter Douglas a good brand?
Yes, Hunter Douglas is a good brand. Much like Norman and other similar high-end brands, Hunter Douglas regularly receives recognition for their excellence. In recent years, Hunter Douglas was lauded as one of the Best in Class by BlindGuy as well as Consumer Reports. Needless to say, people flock to this brand when they want to get a reliable, beautiful set of shutters.
Due to their strong standards on quality products, the company also boasts a lifetime warranty on most of their products. This leads to a serious level of quality that most people will adore.
Can you order Hunter Douglas online?
While Hunter Douglas does appear to have products online, it’s worth noting that what you see online is just a fraction of what they offer. This is primarily because the company does a lot of custom work. At times, finding shutters and blinds in non-standard sizes can be difficult and may require live instructions.
As a result, you may need to go to licensed distributors to get the custom work you want. The good news is that Hunter Douglass is pretty good about doing this. They even add an inquiry form for people who need their help on these matters.
What is the best material for plantation shutters?
People who want to add value to their homes through the addition of plantation shutters need to pick the right material. While some might argue for more traditional materials, it’s become clear that basswood is the top material for shutters. It keeps paint well, remains waterproof, and is sturdy enough to handle inclement weather.
If you want to get long-lasting quality that will look great, then you can always count on basswood. With that said, metal shutters can also work well in some circumstances.
Which Company is Better for Shutters?
Trying to compare Norman to Hunter Douglas is hard, but the truth is that there is one company that seems to have a slightly better reputation than the other. No matter where I went on the net, it seemed like everyone had to say the same thing. While both companies are considered to be premium brands, the truth is that Hunter Douglas has the better rep.
This seems to be for a wide range of reasons, including the overall durability of the products as well as the way that companies handle their business. While we can’t speak for everyone, it seems like going for Hunter Douglas is a better investment than for Norman. With that said, most people are not going to turn up their nose on either brand.
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