Home improvement can be a fairly daunting task for the uninitiated. We seek to help out those who are unfamiliar with how the functionality and outlook of a house will be affected by certain additions or subtractions to/from the structure.
Our topic for today is Outdoor Shutters and why their presence can accentuate the look and feel of your home while being one of the safest and affordable options.
For starters, outdoor shutters provide a solid barrier against displeasing weather and raging storms. Individuals in certain regions that experience extreme climates may be forced to construct shutters that protect against it.
Privacy is obviously an important factor. They work better than common blinds or curtains in keeping away prying eyes. You can also control the amount of light you want to let in.
If it’s the aesthetics that draw you then outdoor shutters are the perfect option. The shutters not only enhance the visual appeal and provide the exterior with an elegant, majestic aura but also increases the market value of your dwelling.
This is an exquisite home improvement option that is both affordable and a reasonable investment.
Types of outdoor shutters
There are a wide variety of options available so you can pick whichever type is most suitable for your needs and interests.
Consider your priorities: is it the aesthetic appeal, protection from the elements, property value or general privacy and based on that information, select the type that would be most suitable.
Of course the kind of home you have is also a big factor in this decision. Not every kind of shutter will blend easily into your house’s exterior or be an effective barrier.
So here are some of the types currently available on the market.
Raised panel shutters
Consisting of only a single or in some cases a double raised panel, these shutters are inconspicuous, blend in nicely with the surrounding structure, do not stand out like a sore thumb and thus are very elegant.
They are one of the most common types of outdoor shutters and are suitable for most homes i.e. Victorian, Ranch, Colonial, Georgian, Cape Cod or Greek Revival.
This is a versatile yet affordable option for the majority of homeowners out there.
BnB shutters (Board and Batten shutters)
If you’re looking for something standout and unique, then you might want to look at Board and Batten shutters. They have a very pastoral charm of the old American West because they are so markedly different and thus suitable for Ranch or French country homes.
Their structure consists of a cross panel joining together three boards. The design is fairly simple and is very easy to construct yourself if you have the right tools.
Also known as Bermuda Shutters, these shutters have a distinctly Colonial British aura about them which can greatly enhance the architectural look of your dwelling.
Bahama Shutters have hinges at the top, meaning they swing around that pivot from bottom to top, rather than open sideways like in most other types.
By far, the first choice for the majority of homeowners are the louvered shutters. The structure consists of a strong, carefully crafted wooden frame surrounding overlapping, horizontal, typically wooden slats in the center.
They work perfectly for just about any type of home and are perfect for blocking off panel windows. For traditional purists, the material of choice is still mostly wood, but current trends are leaning towards Aluminum or Vinyl as they are sturdier and long lasting.
Let’s talk about the materials used to construct the different kinds of shutters and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
WOOD: For those of us who are fans of the old school look, nothing can beat wood. You can choose from a wide variety such as Oak, Pine, Alder, Maple, Redwood, Cedar, Cypress or Mahogany.
All of these have their own qualities. Take Red Cedar for example, which is very resistant to warping or twisting due to its low shrinkage factor.
Cost is also a factor to consider as some of the types will set you back by quite a bit.
VINYL SHUTTERS: Exceptionally easy to clean and maintain because the material is in no need of washing. Furthermore they are unlikely to be damaged by rain water as it does not absorb any of it.
Fairly strong and easily affordable because they are the least expensive to manufacture.
ALUMINIUM: Prized for their lighter weight and durable nature, Aluminum shutters are gaining traction in the market. They are also cheaper than both wood or vinyl which also makes the first go-to point for many homeowners.
However, painting them is a potential problem as not all paint is suitable for aluminum. Select a topcoat paint that is compatible with the material.
FIBERGLASS: By far, the most expensive material for shutters while also being the most durable which makes them the perfect alternative for hurricane prone areas.
They also require minimum maintenance as almost nothing can damage it.
COMPOSITE: Also known as Faux wood, is basically MDF wrapped in a Vinyl coat. Resistant to moisture while also being exceptionally sturdy.
There are plenty of DIY tutorials available which you can employ to construct your own exterior shutters but if you want the job done the right way, hire a professional and let them know of your particular needs. They will be able to customize the shutters exactly to your taste.
However if you want to tinker with it yourself, then by all means, go ahead.