How to Select Outside Window Shutters

History has proven that outside shutters are a lasting fixture on American houses and buildings. Even if the outside shutters are not functional, they add dimension to the outside of the home. Outside shutters are installed for a variety of reasons. Outside shutters are no longer widely used for light control. A wide variety of interior window coverings, including inside shutters, are used for this purpose. Outside shutters have been mostly outdated for ventilation and temperature control purposes with the installation of window screens and air conditioners.

house outside shuttersDespite seemingly being functionally outdated, outside shutters continue their strong appeal to the American homeowner. In fact, many windows today are wider than most older windows. However, outside shutters are still used to highlight the window, adding color and depth. Multiple types of exterior shutters are available for a variety of building styles. The most common outside shutter style is louvered. Fixed louvers run almost the full length of the shutter panel. Following louvered shutters are raised panel shutters which use a sold panel between the side stiles and rails. Board and batten outside shutters use horizontal and vertical boards. Additional styles may be available depending on the manufacturer.

Bahama shutters are popular in the South for protection from the sun and to allow ventilation. Bahama outdoor shutters have a distinct appearance and become a good option for those closer to the equator. Bahama shutters can offer moderate protection from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Outside window shutters are available in many shapes and materials. Vinyl shutters, or plastic shutters are available at home improvement stores and online. While vinyl shutters look like plastic up close, they serve their purpose adding architectural detail. Vinyl shutters can not be functional.

Outside shutters are also made out of many types of wood. The best wood for outside use is cedar because of its outstanding durability and resistance to decay. Cedar gives long service with little maintenance in applications such as mud sills, window sashes, sheathing under stucco or brick veneer construction, greenhouse benches, fencing, poles, trellises, and outside shutters. Cedar is also used extensively for outside siding because it is dimensionally stable and holds paint well, in addition to being a deterrent to bugs.

Wood shutters can be functional using exterior shutter hardware. Outside shutter hinges allow the shutters to swing open and closed. Shutter dogs keep the shutters in an open position. If the outside shutters are not to be functional, shutter hardware can add additional interest to the exterior shutters.

Wood shutters do need to be painted for protection. Check every spring to see if any paint is chipping to prevent moisture from penetrating the paint. Generally, outside shutters will need to be painted as often as the house.

Non-functional outside shutters should be mounted to the building with at least a 1/2" spacer between the back of the panels and the building to allow for adequate ventilation. If not using hardware, use rust-proof screws sunk flush to the wood. Paint the screw heads following installation.

ShutterLand Outside Shutters offer fixed louver solid Cedar exterior shutters. Order exterior shutter panels. Immediate price quotes are also available online.