When replacing the windows or siding in your home, there are plenty of choices to be made. Beyond the trim and frame colors or the styles of windows you are choosing for the various areas of your home, there are also accessories and advanced stylings to consider. One popular accessory you may wish to include with your new windows are decorative shutters.
Exterior home shutters have a long history. They were once purely functional, but today, shutters are often aesthetic accessory providing a compliment to your replacement windows. Although, some still serve practical purposes.
The right louvered shutters can serve as a welcome source of shading at times of the day when a room is bathed in light. When it comes to materials and styles, you’ll have a nearly overwhelming selection of choices. When choosing new or replacement exterior home shutters keep the following tips in mind.
Match Shutters to Your Home’s Style
Sleek, modern shelters will look out of place on an older home. Opt for a style that reflects your home’s appearance and architectural design. If you need some help picking a style, consider what other homeowners in your area are doing. You can still personalize your shutter selection, but at least get an idea of what style you should be looking at to narrow down your search.
The most popular exterior home shutter styles today are:
- Louvered: Crafted with angled, horizontal slats, these shutters can be fixed or movable. They also come in a variety of colors and textures.
- Board and batten: Typically consisting of vertical boards with a single horizontal cross brace, these shutters can give your home a rustic feel.
- Solid panel and raised panel: Popular on homes in the 1920s and still appealing today, panel shutters usually have smaller panels at the top and a larger panel at the bottom. Panels are based on the size of the shutters.
- Bermuda or Bahama: Mounted like an awning, these exterior home shutters are often used in coastal parts of the country. In addition to offering a unique look, they also provide protection from the sun’s light and heat.
Pick a Material You Can Manage
Wood will give you shutters with a beautiful, authentic look, but you’ll also have to paint them on a fairly regular basis. Some people don’t mind doing this because they like the added character multiple layers of paint provides. If you want something that’s going to require less maintenance, consider vinyl. Today’s vinyl exterior home shutters are weather resistant and virtually maintenance free. They can also mimic wood and other materials.
Shutters can also be crafted from:
- Pultruded fiberglass
- Decay-resistant woods like cypress, cedar, and African mahogany
- Composite materials
- Synthetic foam
- Faux wood
Choose the Right Size
Exterior shutters aren’t going to give you the desired look if they’re not sized right. Even if shutters won’t open, they should look as if they could. Avoid anything that comes off looking obviously too big or too small. You also don’t want shutters that will overlap on closely spaced windows.
By paying attention to extra details like this, your new shutters can add much-appreciated value and curb appeal to your home.