Shutters on Spanish windows?

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05 Mar 2013 17:03 by eyeforsi Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

What's the deal with the shutters on Spanish windows? Do you use them while sleeping at night / when you go out etc?

I'm wondering whether it's advisable to use them all the time (for security) but as it's a bit of hassle constantly opening and closing I'm also wondering if it's worth it.



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05 Mar 2013 17:21 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

 
The steel grills (rejas) are used traditionally on Spanish windows and provide ‘some’ additional protection, although in reality not much..  On windows they are usually fixed, on door of course they open.  
 
On a villa I replaced the windows and doors with reinforced glass thus did not have rejas fitted.





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05 Mar 2013 17:31 by Mungry Star rating. 329 posts Send private message

if you mean the roll down ones they are there to keep the heat out as their main function.

when the sun is beating down you just pull your shutters down and that keeps the heat out.

also they are handy for the night to keep the bogie man out.



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05 Mar 2013 17:33 by eileen66 Star rating in Glasgow. 67 posts Send private message

 Does anyone know why this is so common in Spain. Is it because people open their windows more so need the grills as security. I don't like the idea of having to get them as I think they look pretty ugly.





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05 Mar 2013 17:57 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Sorry I took it you meant the steel grills. 

 

The roller shutters, persianas, were made in wood at one time but now are plastic or aluminium.  As said,  they are to keep he sun  / heat / light out during the day.  They do not increase the security aspect by hardly anything.





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05 Mar 2013 18:04 by eileen66 Star rating in Glasgow. 67 posts Send private message

 I wouldn't mind shutters, much prefer the wooden ones but realise why they are being replaced by materials that are more practical. Why does practicality always have to be so cold and ugly!





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05 Mar 2013 18:14 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Just found this :-

 

Window blinds with slats existed in ancient Egypt and Pompeii





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05 Mar 2013 19:33 by davidjrowe Star rating. 37 posts Send private message

 Many years ago my Spanish friends found it funny how in the summer i had the shutters up and windows open, whilst they had all windows closed and shutters down all day! yes it does keep the apartment/house coolers keeping them down.





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06 Mar 2013 08:26 by BrianLA Star rating in Nottingham/Los Alcaz.... 16 posts Send private message

My apartment has rejas, persianas and mosquito meshes on all of the windows, fitted by the previous owners. After a while you find the right combination to keep the place cool at night (I don't have air con).  I think (though could be corrected) Spanish Building Regs require rejas to be fitted to the ground floor windows on all new build properties.

Persianas are definitely there to keep the sun out rather than burglars. One thing to look out for is that the plastic persiana on my balcony window broke last year. It was very easy and inexpensive to get fixed, but the guy that did so told me that large plastic persianas on south facing windows are inclined to go brittle in the sun and the interlocks on them are quite thin so can split, the aluminium ones don't have this issue and will last for many years longer.



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06 Mar 2013 08:54 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

 

As I said, rejas provide very little extra security.   
 
Even the bars are usually not strong and thus can be bent to allow a person to squeeze through, or, as is almost always the case, they are set into the flimsy walls, and thus with a very small amount of leverage they can be pulled out of the wall. 
 
Heavy duty (3/8” or even 5/8”) bars, closely interlaced with strengtheners, and bolted through the walls into steel plates are better, but even more ugly.
 
In a villa I had, I fitted heavy-duty door and window frames with multi point locking, fitted with reinforced glass. They looked smart and were pretty secure, but even doing all the work myself, were not cheap.    I also had a radio alarm to a central control.
 
In my present penthouse, I fitted a fixed steel grill to the stairwell window, which would have allowed access to the roof and thus to my terrace.
 
 Reinforced doors were fitted as standard from new, but we discovered they were  set into 'medium density fibre' frames (Cardboard).   So I stripped off the decorative covering on the door frame,  and installed a box section steel frame and them replaced the decorative covering.  
 
 I did have an alarm,  which I fitted myself but it is now defective, but I do have a warning label, from the radio alarm company which I used previously, stuck on the front door.  So far, in eleven years, no one has tried to break in.
 
Oh, and I have insurance with a company which I think will pay out in worst case !!!!





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06 Mar 2013 10:39 by patman Star rating in Chester and Los Alca.... 84 posts Send private message

patman´s avatar

Like Johnzx I have (cardboard) door frames. Could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered that one. I like the reinforced glass idea but probably too expensive for me. I have shutters and grills and heavy duty chains and clamps on the grill doors to prevent them being forced open. I put these on after an attempted break-in some years ago when a renter had closed the shutter blinds but had not nipped the little barrel locks at the bottom. This allowed the opportunist burglar to force the shutter half-way open, but then could not open the sliding door/windows because I had fitted €12 locks to the sliding doors which worked a treat. The only problem then was that the would-be burglars smashed both of the door windows, maybe out of frustration? They didn't get in but still caused €400 worth of damage. It's a shame that we have to be so security conscious but that the price we have to pay. I would love to be able to leave the windows open in the evening but it doesn't seem feasible especially as we are in a ground floor apartment.



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06 Mar 2013 10:55 by eyeforsi Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

Thanks for all your replies to this thread, very informative.

I'm curious to learn whether you feel more conscious of break-ins here in Spain or back in the UK.

In the 30+ years I've lived in the UK I've never experienced a break in, so it's new territory for me.

I am new to Spain, so keen to hear your thoughts.



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06 Mar 2013 14:54 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Some insurance companies will not supply house  contents insurance on a villa without rejas. If you were a burglar in front of 2 villas, one with, one without-which would you choose?





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06 Mar 2013 15:06 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Campo . If you were a burglar in front of 2 villas, one with, one without-which would you choose?

 

The one with the rejas.   If you have nothing to protect why would you bother with rejas ?





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06 Mar 2013 15:14 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Thieves are not stupid; on an urbanisation of expats no one is going to have nothing to protect, even if its a holiday home.Messing about with rejas means time, noise, being seen etc  have to be taken into consideration. Agin, many insurers will not insure your villa if you have not taken  precautions.





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06 Mar 2013 15:32 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Campo, you asked a question. If you did not want an answer (as you know everything) why ask ?





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06 Mar 2013 15:34 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

This question was rhetorical,  but if you wanted to answer it's  a "no brainer!"

As for "knowing everything" pot, kettle, black springs to mind!

 


This message was last edited by camposol on 06/03/2013.


This message was last edited by camposol on 06/03/2013.



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06 Mar 2013 16:14 by comadreja Star rating in the Sierra de Cadiz. 51 posts Send private message

comadreja´s avatar

 I have decorative wrought-iron rejas set into concrete in 2 ft thick walls.  I don't find them unattractive, and they most definitely DO provide security!  I have mosquito nets too so I can leave the windows open at night and get a through-breeze without attracting unwanted visitors.





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06 Mar 2013 16:36 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

I have decorative wrought-iron rejas set into concrete in 2 ft thick walls.  I don't find them unattractive, and they most definitely DO provide security!

 

 Providing the walls are not built with the normal Spanish honeycomb building bricks,  then you are right.  But if not,   then they only look great. 
 
To be secure they must be made of heavy weight steel ( at leat 3/8" square) so they cannot be bent out of shape, and bolted through the walls into large steel wall plates on the inside.





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06 Mar 2013 16:58 by baz1946 Star rating. 2162 posts Send private message

The normal grills can be taken out of the wall with a scissor type car jack placed between the wall and the grill fixing point, the jack lifts a ton & half car, the rubbish walls are no good against that.

Makes very little noise and two crims will take a complete grill out less then 5 minutes.

 





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