If you would like to decorate the exterior of your home, perhaps for a subtle change, instead of going to all of the trouble of painting your house, getting a new roof, or even changing the landscape outside to accentuate the existing colors, you might want to consider adding some shutters. Many people do not understand that there are many different types of shutters that are available, most of which can add an elegant distinction to windows outside of your home. Choosing the right ones takes a bit of experience, and an eye for color and form, but in the end it is an excellent way to improve the outside of the household. This article will address the different types of shutters that are available, as well as some tips on how to choose the best ones for your house.
What Exactly Are Window Shutters?
Window shutters are simply a type of window covering that will have horizontal rails and vertical stiles. They can be used for a variety of reasons which include practical reasons such as preventing access sunlight from coming into the home, or they can be purely decorative. They may have originally been used as a form of protection or security, preventing unwanted intruders from getting in. They also provide a certain level of privacy, things that you can fold over the windows, preventing people from seeing in. Today, they are primarily used for the single reason of adding an anesthetic appeal to the outside of the home, and are typically mounted on either side of a windowpane. There are many different styles to choose from, but let’s first look at the two specific types which include indoor and outdoor shutters.
As mentioned before, they were originally designed in order to provide some level of privacy, protection and also to control the light coming in. They were all about functionality, and with hinges attached to the frame of the window, it is very easy to fold them over in order to achieve this goal. Today, most of them are fixed, and therefore completely decorative in nature. There are solid panels which work very well, or board and batten shutters, the type that you will see in the southern US on the East Coast, specifically to protect against hurricane force winds. In this sense, these are called functional shutters, constructed of very solid wood such as ponderosa pine or cedar, and sometimes oak. They can also come in a composite shutter format, meaning not entirely made of wood, which can help prevent rotting, splitting and breaking. The most common type are made of vinyl which serves a dual purpose in regard to longevity and also not needing to be repainted every year. Sometimes fiberglass is used, and can even come in PVC, materials that can endure the elements for long periods of time.
Shutters that you will put on the inside of your home, adjacent to the windows, can also be used for both purposes. In fact, if it is windy outside, the result of a hurricane, or a tornado that is moving in, it’s easier to fasten them into place without having to exit your home. These shutters are designed to swing inwards, and have operable louvres. Plantation shutters, also referenced as California shutters, are designed for areas where the climate is typically hot such as certain areas of Australia, the Mediterranean, South Africa, Florida and of course California. These can be very fancy, made of an assortment of hardwoods, even fiberglass, and may even have fabric inserts and tinted glass to make them useful for blocking out the sunlight. There are single tier, multitier, and also café style shutters which are only designed to cover the lower portion of the window once they are set into place.
Other Types Of Shutters
One of the more unique types of shutters that are made are called Bermuda shutters, or more popularly Bahama shutters. These are outdoor shutters, ones that have top hinges, which makes them very different from those that are hinged on the side. Obviously, the primary difference is that you must push the shutters out of the way, which makes them a little more difficult to operate. Board and batten shutters, very large in size, are designed for those that are looking for something that reminds them of rustic early America when the American frontier was leading up toward the wild wild West. You can also get panel shutters which are also European by design, customized sometimes individually to match each person’s individual taste and decor. These are typically square, and they have recessed rectangular patterns in the shutter frames, and are often constructed of vinyl or fiberglass. It should be mentioned that the reason many people choose Bermuda shutters over all of the others is because, especially in areas where hurricanes can happen, such as Bermuda, you really don’t want the wind to be able to come from the side and rip the shutters off. By having the hinge at the top, and bolting it down at the bottom, you have the best possible chance of not only preserving your shutter, but protecting your window from hurricane force winds that are common in these areas.
In conclusion, there are many different types of shutters that are available for purchase, ones that come in different sizes, shapes and colors. The type of material that you use can serve to protect your windows from gale force winds, add a decorative appeal, or provide a combination of the two. Although homes today typically have these as a result of wanting to improve the curbside appeal of their house, especially when they are going to sell their home on the open market, they were once primarily used not for decorative reasons, but as a way to protect the windows, add security, and also block unwanted light from coming in. You can find an assortment of shutters on the Internet, sold from specialty stores. The best deals, however, will come from national chains which will have significant discounts on every imaginable shutter available today.