How to Choose Exterior Shutters

Created on:

July 30, 2023

Putting shutters on your home can have many practical and beautiful benefits. Aesthetically pleasing shutters can increase your home's curb appeal. As long as you pick the right ones, they can also provide privacy, protect your home's windows, and help manage the light and air coming into your home. The latter can save you money on your energy bill!

Here's how to choose the perfect shutters for your home.

Simple Steps for Picking the Right Shutters

Consider their appearance (practically and aesthetically)

Did you know there are various types of shutters? Shaker-style shutters used to only appear in cottage-style homes, but now they can be found in modern homes, too, with their solid, flat panel and simple edging. A similar style is raised panel shutters, in which the center of the panel is elevated from the rest of the surface, similar to an interior cabinet or cupboard door. You can also find louvered shutters made from multiple horizontal slats that help control air and light flow, their cousins Bermuda or Bahama shutters that look similar but attach at the top of the window instead of along the sides, or board and batten shutters consisting of a few vertical boards held together by two horizontal boards and sometimes one diagonal one.

Different types of shutters pair well with some homes' styles better than others. For example, a Bermuda shutter might look out of place on a New England-style stone house. Match your shutter to your home’s look and, if necessary, historical period.  

Pick your material

Along with the type and style of your shutter, think about the material. Whatever it is made of should remain consistent with your exterior aesthetics. Additionally, required maintenance, durability, and budget deserve some contemplation too. The most common materials for shutters are wood, composite, or vinyl.

It's all in the details.

Once you have nailed down the practicalities of your shutters, it's time to move on to more visual elements. Think about what colors will complement the outside of your home; go bold to add a striking contrast or select a color within your current theme to make the exterior look more cohesive. You can also decide to include unique details like hinges, shutter dogs, or decorative closures with gorgeous finishes and intricacies. For those who want to make a statement, cutouts and stencils can take your shutters to the next level.

Measure, and then measure again

Getting the size right is imperative to having functional and fashionable shutters. As a general rule of thumb, they should be about the same length as the trim of your windows or other architectural features. Their width can range from ¼ to ⅓ the width of a window. Some homeowners operate under the idea that if you want your shutters to appear authentic, you should try and match their size to the window they’re ideally supposed to cover. Matching straight shutters to straight windows and arced to arced, etc. Others think that once you pick a width, all shutters should stick to that dimension regardless of window size to keep the look uniform. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but in the end make sure that the width you choose is small enough to keep your shutters from overlapping if some of your windows are close together.

Follow these four simple steps to choosing the right shutters, and you'll have an exterior design element that boosts your home's value while adding a few privacy and protection benefits.

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