The use of window shutters for homes dates back to the earliest civilizations. While the styles and materials have evolved over the years, the reasons behind the use of these fixtures remain the same. For the modern homeowner, installing exterior windows shutters is one of the ever-green home improvement trends.

Other home styling ideas come and go but the stylish and functional exterior shutters continue gaining popularity. With the high demand for this window treatment, more designs and materials have emerged. Choosing the right shutters for your home can become a daunting task if you don’t have the right information.

This guide explores the importance of window shutters and highlights factors to consider to find the right ones for your home.

Why Invest in Window Shutters?

Before investing in any home improvement idea, it is important to evaluate its value. Window shutters play multiple roles in your home, including:

  • Improving curb appeal: Window shutters add a classic and elegant touch to your home.
  • Storm protection: If you are in a storm-prone area, you need a sturdy window covering to prevent damage. Shutters play this role effectively.
  • Privacy: You can install shutters to block out prying eyes and enjoy your indoor space comfortably.
  • Natural ventilation: Exterior windows shutters allow you to control the flow of natural air and light to improve the quality of your indoor living space.
  • Energy efficiency: By allowing you to control air and light, window shutters improve energy efficiency for your home.
  • Security: For low lying windows, shutters deter burglars as they have to cut through these to enter through the window.

Outdoor shutters thus blend beauty and functionality and this makes them the most efficient home improvement idea.

Finding the Right Window Shutters for Your Home

A quick look at the shutter market will overwhelm you. There is a wide range of shutters and you might end up choosing the wrong one. The wrong shutters are ineffective and will diminish the aesthetic outlook of our home.

To avoid the wrong shutter choice, consider the following factors:

1. Consider Your Home Improvement Needs

Every homeowner has unique needs which necessitate different types of window treatment. You have to consider whether you need shutters for aesthetics alone or functionality.

You can also decide on a shutter style that offers storm protection and at the same time adds a stylish touch to your property. In essence, a needs assessment is the first step in choosing the right shutters for your home.

2. Compare available Shutter Styles

To find the right shutters for your windows, consider multiple styles and find one that suits your home. Some of the most popular shutter styles include:

  • Louvered style shutters: They feature overlapping uniform slats of wood set into a frame. They work well with a variety of architectural styles including Victorian, Italianate, Georgian, Greek Revival,   Ranch, Cape Cod and Federal and Colonial.
  • Board and Batten: These are exterior shutters made from individual boards joined together with shorter crosspieces also known as battens. They have an Old World and rustic character and come in arch-top or square, spaced or joined styles.
  • Solid Panel and Raised Panel: Similar to doors or kitchen cabinets and come with a single or double panel. Their low profile makes them perfect for a large variety of architectural styles including Victorian, Federal and Colonial, Georgian, Greek Revival, Ranch and Cape Cod.
  • Bahama: A popular tropical louvered shutter style fixed at the top of the window. They easily let in air and light and work well with Cape Cod, Ranch and cottages.
  • Plantation shutters: Have a laid back Southern feel and are ideal for storm protection.
  • Cut-Out Shutters: Popular custom exterior shutters which started in the 1920s. Homeowners can choose interesting cut-out shapes for the shutters.
  • Scandinavian shutters: Unique exterior shutters featuring solid, joined board-and-batten design and a mosaic of cut-outs and bright colored panels. Ideal for protection against blizzards and snowstorms.

Once you have a checklist of these main shutter styles, you can check them against your home’s architectural outlook. You will find it easier to match your shutter style to your home’s style.

3. Choose the Best Shutter Materials

Choosing the shutter material is a key step if you want the best window treatment. Some of the shutter materials on the market include wood, aluminum, high-density structural PVC, fiberglass and other composite materials.

Each of these materials has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, aluminum shutters are lightweight, easily customizable and modern looking.

On the other hand, wood shutters have a classic touch and give your house more character. Fiberglass and PVC shutters are cheaper and durable and are alternatives to wood.

When considering the material to choose, consider weather-resistance, durability, the flexibility of the material, lightweight construction, ease of customization and low maintenance. The best exterior windows shutters will withstand the elements and protect your home even in strong storms.

4. Correct Shutter Sizing is Key

When choosing shutters for your home, you have to carefully size them for the best effect. Exterior shutters should cover the windows to provide the best protection for your home and its occupants. The style of your shutters should mirror that of the windows.

Make sure all the shutter components line up perfectly with the window hardware including the lock rail or any other architectural aspect of the window.

5. Choose Shutters to Flatter Your Windows

Window shutters can play a big role in improving your home’s curb appeal. The best shutter style should flatter your ordinary-looking windows to make them more appealing.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, window shutters can redefine the outlook of your home. They have an immediate impact on your home’s exterior facade. Their fusion of beauty and functionality makes them among the most effective home improvement ideas. To get the most out of your exterior shutters, you have to choose the right style, size and material. These tips will help you find the best shutters to suit your home.