Once upon a time, exterior house shutters were all that kept the elements out and the heat in. When glass windows were beyond the average person's means, wooden shutters were more practical than necessarily attractive. These days, most windows are glass and shutters are often just a decorative element.
The most appealing-looking shutters are those that might still be functional -- shutters that sit on either side of a window could and actually close and meet in the middle. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and the look of a too narrow shutter is a little cheap -- not the effect you want when selling your home! However, a well thought-out shutter of either wood or quality vinyl will add to the curb appeal and the ultimate value of your home.
Severe Weather Raised Panel Exterior Shutter
Though this traditional raised panel shutter has a naturalistic wood grain, it's made from durable composite material warranted against cracking, peeling, rotting or flaking. Depending on the local climate, a composite or vinyl shutter provides much better durability than a painted wooden shutter, which needs periodic repainting. The raised panel style is a very formal, traditional look sure to raise the style level on any home's exterior. Photo credit/available at: Lowes.com. Composite Louver Shutters
While these fixed louver shutters come in 10 different colors, they're also paintable for a custom finish. The molded copolymer construction means the shutters won't peel and the color won't scratch off. Traditionally, louver shutters allowed for air flow and filtered light to come in through the window, but also wicked rainwater away from the house as well. These louvers are fixed in position. Photo credit/available at: Architecturaldepot.com. Raised Panel Shutters
These elegant, traditional raised panel shutters are made from molded copolymer construction, which means that the shutters won't peel and their color won't scratch off. The shutters come in 16 different colors or can be painted to match your front door or other exterior trim. The shutters are designed with a deep wood grain to mimic the look of wood, without the added maintenance. Photo credit/available at: Architecturaldepot.com.
Vantage Indigo Blue Vinyl Exterior Shutter
This very traditional board and batten style window shutter evokes thoughts of a cottage hidden in the woods or Grandmother's house. Available in 13 different lengths, it comes standard at fourteen inches wide. Made of wood grained vinyl, this shutter comes in 11 accent colors or is paintable to match custom colors of the home's exteriors. Photo credit/available at: Lowes.com.
Architectural Salvage Exterior Shutters
A very "green" way to go is to visit an architectural salvage lot for a set of shutters that were saved from a house demolition. Usually, the fewer you need, the easier it will be to find a matching set. Salvaged shutters have the unique patina of age and history that can be a charming addition to your home. Additionally, wood shutters are easily restored and repainted as needed. Photo credit/available at: Almostamish.vox.com.
DIY Exterior Wooden Shutters
Building your own shutters isn't as difficult a project as one might think. For the handy weekend warrior with some decent woodworking tools, this is a great way to achieve a lovely custom look without breaking the bank. A simple wooden plank with beautiful hardware could be a striking addition to a country home as a sort of throwback to days gone by. Custom detailing such as cutouts or decorative carvings provides a unique look that will add to the value of the home. Photo credit/available at: Diyshutters.com.
Updated July 17, 2018.
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