Exterior raised panel shutters are second only to louvered shutters in popularity. Raised panel shutters add depth and dimension to the exterior of a building. Raised panel shutters can be hinged to swing open and closed for an authentic historical exterior shutter.
Raised panel shutters are constructed with a top rail, bottom rail, and two side stiles. The rectangular raised panel section is beveled on all four sides and gradually slopes to a central plateau. The inside edge of the stiles and rails are cut with a channel that holds the raised panel section in place. A divider rail can be inserted to create multiple raised panel areas. Similar in style is the flat panel shutter; where the paneled section is … well, flat.
Raised panel shutters are used throughout America. However, they are most commonly used on the East Coast. Specific exterior shutter styles are popular in various regions. Take a walk or slow drive around house in the area to help determine if the raised panel style works with the local architecture, especially if you live in a historical community.
Raised panel shutters are traditionally constructed from wood. Wood results in a solid exterior shutter panel which is distinctively different from other materials. A number of woods can be successfully used to manufacture shutters. Exterior grade woods range in both quality and price. It is not necessary to purchase a high-end wood, like teak or mahogany. Cedar is a great wood for building exterior shutters and is well priced. Other woods are cheap, but do not weather well, like pine.
The raised panel section can be constructed out of the same wood as the rest of the shutter or from another material. Larger wood raised panels are usually made in smaller sections glued together. Expansion and contraction through the seasons can cause them to pull apart. An exterior grade MDF weathers very well, but must be painted and cannot be stained.
Raised panels using exterior shutter hinges can be functional. Open, the panels completely clear the window from obstruction allowing clear access to the opening. Closed raised panel outside shutters provide privacy and block most all incoming light. Solid shutter panels are better for room darkening than louvered shutters. The early morning or late afternoon can be difficult with east or west facing windows. Intense sunlight can be harsh on the eyes and fade interior fabrics. Closing paneled shutters can block direct sunlight, while allowing some to filter through the slats.
Raised panel shutters do not provide ventilation like louvered shutters. Solid panel shutters do provide greater protection from storms and high wind. While they are not technically a hurricane shutter, raised panel shutters are a solid first line of defense. Locked correctly, raised panel shutters can also provide security from intruders.
Most raised panel shutters are fixed in place and are not functional. Stationary shutters are screwed directly to the building to the side of the window opening. These shutters will not close, but give the building depth and additional character. Vinyl shutters do not possess the authentic charm of wood shutters, but can be used as a less expensive, or cheap, alternative. Vinyl shutters are sold in many styles, including panels with raised panels.
Most people agree that the biggest difficulty with raised panel exterior shutters is finishing, specifically painting. Wood shutters should be primed with an exterior oil based primer, after which they should be sanded. Shutters are then painted. Finishing shutters in a controlled paint booth with spray equipment is ideal; however exterior shutters are most often painted with a brush. Raised panel shutters contain mostly flat surfaces, so sanding and painting can be somewhat easy. House painters are accustom to painting shutters and can be hired for a fee.
ShutterLand Raised Panel Exterior Shutters – Solid wood outdoor shutters in 3 louver sizes.
Ready Exterior Raised Panel Shutters – Vinyl outside shutters available in many colors.