Choosing Exterior Shutters

By | 10.09.2002

One of the most common choices for decorating the exteriors of homes in the US is exterior shutters. These shutters are so common that they are seen on nearly every home in most neighborhoods, and many people assume that homes they are thinking about purchasing will have them. But when it comes to choosing the exterior shutters for your home, if you don’t already have them or want to replace the ones you do have, where do you start?

The first thing to consider when you’re looking at exterior shutters is whether you want decorative or functional shutters on the outside of your home. Decorative shutters are usually made from plastic or PVC and are generally more lightweight than other shutters. Functional shutters are generally made from either wood or vinyl, and are much more durable and heavy than decorative shutters are.

Functional shutters, as the name implies, are designed to help with a specific function, which is to protect the windows of the house. Functional shutters are installed on a hinge that can swing shut to cover the windows in case of heavy rain, sleet, high winds or other inclement weather.

Functional exterior shutters, as you might guess, are a bit more expensive and a little more difficult to install than decorative shutters, so unless you want the extra protection, there is not much point in paying more. Decorative shutters look fine and although they’re not up to the task of stopping a branch from smashing your windows, they are plenty durable and will last you for years.

The next step in deciding on your shutters is to choose what material you want them made from. Your options are usually plastic, PVC, vinyl or wood. Wooden shutters usually cost the most and require the most maintenance, but a lot of people really like the way they look. Vinyl shutters are also popular and do not require much in the way of upkeep at all.

So, if you are looking to buy exterior shutters for your home, either because your home does not already have them or the ones that you do have seen better days, then you have a few choices to make. The first choice you need to make is whether you prefer functional exterior shutters that can open and close to protect your windows, or simply decorative ones to remain permanently affixed to the side of the house on either side of your windows. Once you have made that decision, then you just need to decide the shutter material that you would like, and the color you would like your exterior shutters to be, and you are then all set to add some attractive new exterior shutters to your home.


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