Types of Exterior Shutters
By: Architectural Visions
Exterior window shutters not only provide visual interest but also provide a necessary function. Shutters were historically used to provide privacy, protection and even offer ventilation. Different types of exterior shutters offer different levels of functionality. They allow sunlight to enter the home while providing privacy. They also let homeowners keep the windows open for ventilation but kept out unwanted debris, visitors and provided privacy. Read on to learn more about the types of exterior shutters, their purpose, and what materials they are made of.
- Different types of exterior shutters offer different levels of functionality, such as protecting from inclement weather and providing privacy.
- There are various types of shutters designed to serve different functions and provide different aesthetics, including raised panel shutters, louvered shutters, board and batten shutters, and Bermuda shutters.
- Exterior shutters serve a home both aesthetically and functionally. Even if you don’t plan on closing your shutters, they should still be able to close and cover the entire window when closed.
- Exterior shutters are made in various materials, including natural wood, faux wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), vinyl or synthetic foam.
Purpose of Exterior Shutters
Exterior shutters serve a home both aesthetically and functionally. Even if you don’t plan on closing your shutters, they should still be able to close and cover the entire window when closed. Shutters were originally designed to protect the home against storms, sun, wind, snow and other inclement weather. They were also designed to provide privacy and to facilitate a good night’s sleep.
Types of Exterior Shutters
Various types of shutters were designed to serve different functions and to provide different aesthetics. The different types of shutters also blend best with varying styles of homes. Below are different types of exterior shutters and the home styles with which they best align.
Raised Panel Shutters
Raised panel shutters have either a single or double raised panel and look similar to interior doors or kitchen cabinets. Raised panel shutters complement varying house styles, such as Colonial, Georgian, Cape Cod, Victorian, Greek Revival, French Country style and more.
Louvered window shutters have angled overlapping slats that are set in a frame. This style allows light to pass through the shutter when it is properly closed. Louvered shutters complement many different types of homes, such as Colonial, Cape Cod, Georgian, Victorian and more.
Board and Batten Shutters
Board and batten shutters can have a square top or arched top. They are made of several boards held together by smaller horizontal pieces, also known as battens. Board and batten shutters work well with different window shapes. For example, an arched top board and batten shutter work well with a curved top window. Board and batten shutters can provide both a traditional and rustic look, depending on the style of the house. Board and batten shutters go well with Cape Cod, French Country, Mediterranean or Cottage style houses.
Bermuda shutters or Bahama shutters are louvered shutters attached at the top of the window instead of on either side of the window. These shutters originated in tropical locations and were designed to let the light and air come through while protecting houses from storms. Bermuda shutters are an excellent fit for Cape Cod or Cottage style homes.
Exterior Shutter Materials
Exterior shutters are made of a variety of materials. Possible material options for material shutters include natural wood, faux wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), vinyl, or synthetic foam.
- Wood shutters can be painted and stained and are lightweight. However, they don’t resist moisture and they are the most expensive.
- Faux wood has a wood look, comes in many different colors and shapes and works well for oversized windows because of its stiffness. They are less expensive than wood and don’t hold up as well over time.
- MDF shutters are less expensive than wood but aren’t as durable and won’t hold up to water. MDF shutters can swell, crack and sag over time.
- Vinyl shutters are the least expensive, as they are hollow PVC. Vinyl shutters have a lower-end look and can be hard to clean over time.
- Synthetic foam shutters have a wood appearance at a lower price point. They are water and fire-resistant but can’t be stained and are heavier than wood shutters.
To make your shutters look convincingly functional, including shutter hardware can help. While shutter hardware can be decorative or usable, they add an authentic element. Shutter hinges and holdbacks, which is the piece that keeps the shutter from opening and closing, are two common types of shutter hardware.
AVI Windows & Doors
Do you have any window or door questions? The experts at AVI have you covered. AVI is your one-stop shop to browse, select, and install your windows and doors with both in-person and online service options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or come by one of our Southeast locations and let us help you!