Why Exterior Window Shutters are Awesome
Window shutters provide an underrated element to the exterior of the home. They help highlight and accent the windows of your home, which are regularly one of the most important features of any residence.
In addition to providing a finished and very distinctive presentation, exterior window shutters also provide security to ground-floor windows. In addition to preventing crime, they can also reduce damage associated with severe storms.
As a result, if you’re looking for something that helps protect against the elements and also looks stylish there are very few ways you can go wrong by installing new shutters.
About Exterior Window Shutters
Window shutters actually have a fairly dated place in history. Ever since humankind decided to construct buildings that resemble modern-day homes, they first wanted windows, and then a way to shelter the windows when appropriate.
Exterior shutters were an early example of a way to control light, improve home security, shelter from bad weather, and enhance privacy.
The earliest shutters were functional by swinging on a hinge at each side of the window that could open and close. Over the years the design has become a little more sophisticated yet, for the most part, the functionality remains the same.
In addition to early creations of window shutters, more recent technology-focused on louvers. The fixed or operable louvers added even more practicality as they could allow air flow into the home, filter direct sunlight, and shed rain.
Over the years, the development of shutters has led to two primary categories:
- Functional Shutters: The best for keeping the elements outside and controlling other features like airflow into the structure, as well as the amount of heat and light.
- Non-functional Shutters: As the name implies they have no practical benefits. The louvers are fixed and the exterior window shutters are merely installed for looks.
Benefits of Window Shutters
People often value the importance of having high-quality windows yet fail to recognize comparable importance regarding window shutters. At the end of the day, they are very much an extension of the actual window and therefore incredibly important.
Here is a quick breakdown of one of the many reasons why you should either A) add new shutters to an exterior of a home, or B) consider replacing old, cracked, rotten ones:
- It is a big enhancer to curb appeal.
- Window shutters are inexpensive compared to most home improvement projects, particular exterior jobs.
- They are easy to install and a definitive DIY project.
- There are a variety of styles and options to select from.
- Are a subtle improvement yet can drastically change the outlook of your exterior.
The most important aspect to consider is do you believe adding or replace window shutters will enhance or take away from the exterior? While usually do improve curb appeal there are just certain types of homes and buildings where it doesn’t work nearly as well.
Types of Window Shutters
Shutters are comparable to the actual window in that the material used to produce the home feature is very important. While windows are produced in wood, aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass – shutters are developed with some of the same materials albeit slightly different.
As with windows, the most common type in the past is wood. Functional shutters made of wood have been around for centuries and are still one of the top options.
The problem with wood is it requires a fair amount of maintenance and is prone to the elements. Sun can wear on wood, and when combined with moisture and fluctuating temperatures it may also produce rot and other negative consequences.
There are other types of building materials used for window shutters including vinyl and composite grade. Both material types are considered better equipped to withstand the elements and require a little less maintenance.
If you do opt for wood, it’s advisable to consider a hardwood such as Spanish cedar, mahogany, or teak for the shutters. Though these types of wood are very expensive they are much better at resisting rot and decay. Hardwoods also contain tannin which isn’t as prone to insect manifestation. Cheaper wood shutters usually exist of pine or a type of softwood.
An even better solution is to invest in a composite material. It is a high-quality combination of an authentic wood look while adding more long-term value and durability.
Exterior Window Shutters Buying Guide
Window shutters may come across as something that takes little thought when deciding which one you want next, but there are still a few things you definitely must consider.
The first, and most crucial, is the shutter style. Here are the most common:
Secondly, the building material. As previously discussed, shutters have a lot of similarities to the actual window in terms of what materials are used to construct them. By far the most popular choices are:
- Authentic wood
- Composite wood
- Vinyl window shutters
- Plastic window shutters
Thirdly, you need to get the correct fitting. The vertical dimensions are usually fairly obvious yet there are subtle details to consider. For example, do you want the shutter to partly “drown out” the window and be oversized, or less prominent and smaller than the vertical dimensions of the glass?
There is also the width to consider. Exterior window shutters can vary in width which also adds aesthetic value. The general rule is to measure the window at three different points. Then choose a shutter that’s half the width of the smallest measurement.
And, finally, there is the color. Like most home building materials, the sheer number of styles and color schemes are nearly endless. If you pick wood, you also have the option of staining to keep a natural grain or paint over it to match the exterior siding color or trim.
Exterior Window Shutters Add a Lot to Your Home
Exterior window shutters get taken for granted when it comes to finding a quick, easy, and inexpensive option for improving curb appeal. That fact alone makes them pretty awesome in our own opinion!