The change of seasons always motivates homeowners to think about a home upgrade. One of the main considerations in home improvement with the coming of spring is the exterior appearance. There is a tendency to overlook curb appeal when thinking about home improvement yet this is the first thing visitors see when they come to your place. One of the most effective home improvements you can think of in this regard is the installation of outdoor shutters. Window shutters have been around for centuries, and they add a dash of sophistication to a property. They form part of the colonial architecture and thus add classical appeal to your home. While these shutters still retain their vintage décor, they have been refined to suit contemporary architectural needs.
If you want to give your home a more stylish look, it is time you considered installing shutters. There are different types in the market and selecting the most suitable one becomes a daunting task. This article delves into the world of the shutter to help you choose the best for your home.
Why Install Shutters On Your Home?
Before commencing any home improvement project, it is important to consider the impact this will have on your property. The following are some of the benefits of installing window shutters:
- Aesthetic appeal: Well-designed window shutters complement your home’s décor and give it a regal touch. They become instant attractions on your home’s exterior décor.
- Additional protection: In areas prone to stormy weather, window shutters offer additional protection. They protect the windows and also keep away debris from your home.
- Added privacy: In coastal areas where large windows are the norm, adding shutters is a no-brainer for enhanced privacy. These installations will not block light but will keep away prying eyes from your house.
- Natural weather control: By lifting or lowering window shutters, you can control natural air flow into your home. On hot days, you can let in the breeze without compromising on privacy. It saves you the cost of air conditioning.
- Customization: Whatever style you wish to give your property, there are different types of shutters which you can customize to get that desired effect.
In essence, window shutters offer both functional and aesthetical benefits as a homeowner. They also add value to your home while making it the jewel of the neighborhood.
Choosing the Right Shutters for Your Home
Now that you appreciate the important roles window shutters play, it is time to go ahead and choose the best type for your property. To do this, you need to consider the following factors:
1. Your Home Improvement Needs
Consider whether you are after decorative shutters, functional shutters or a mix of the two. Doing this helps you choose the style, materials, color and appropriate hardware to serve the purpose you have in mind. You should also consider your home improvement budget to find the most affordable shutters.
2. Pick The Right Shutter Style For Your Home
Before any shutter style, consider if it will suit your home’s décor. For this, you need to evaluate the type of shutters in the market. These include:
- Louvered shutters: Most common and feature angled slats to allow light and air. Work best for Victorian, Cape Cod, Ranch, Greek Revival, Federal and Colonial Georgian homes.
Photo by grassrootsgroundswell (Flemish France), via Wikimedia Commons
- Raised/solid panel shutters: Similar to doors or kitchen cabinets and their low profile makes them perfect for most home styles including Victorian, Federal, Cape Cod, Ranch, French Country, Greek Revival and Colonial Georgian.
- Board and Batten (BnB): They have a rustic character and a simple appearance. They work best for Mediterranean homes, French Country, Cape Cod,and Ranch home styles.
- Bahama shutters (Bermuda shutters): Fixed at the top of the window and common in tropical areas. They offer protection from storms and look perfect on Cape Cod, Ranch, and cottage homes.
Your choice of shutter style should work perfectly with your home style. The shutters should complement your home’s décor and not distract the eye unnecessarily.
3. Consider the Right Size
Sizing is crucial when installing an outdoor shutter for your home. It is advisable to go with custom-made shutters to fit each window. To get the right sizing, you need to get proper measurements for your windows and this requires the input of a professional contractor. The shutter should cover the window and give an appearance of functionality even when it is only serving aesthetical purposes. The shutter size should mirror the window to blend easily.
4. Select the Right Material
There are various types of materials you can choose for your window shutters. Your choice should rely on availability of the material, durability, ease of installation, maintenance required and the other qualities of the material.
Some of these common window shutter materials include:
- Wood: Popular woods in shutter manufacture include cedar, cypress and African mahogany, pine and basswood. The best wood for shutter construction is weather resistant and durable. When picking wooden shutters, consider any prior treatment required and maintenance necessary after installation.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): Vinyl window shutters are versatile, easy to install and maintain. You can customize these windows to achieve the aesthetic touch your desire. They never need repainting compared to wood shutters.
- Faux wood: If you want a material that gives your home classical appeal without paying much, faux wood is what you need. These shutters still give your home that warmth associated with wood shutters but at a smaller cost.
There are other materials on the market including fiberglass and aluminum but ultimately base your choice on the function of the shutters, durability and maintenance needs. You can choose composite shutters comprising PVC, engineered wood, and fiberglass for added durability. Look for the most durable shutter materials that will not require special care and maintenance. The best materials are also easily available and easy to install.
5. Ease of Installation
If you opt for a DIY project or partner with a professional contractor for the window shutters job, choose easy to install shutter systems. Such shutters also cost less and take less time to install.
6. Shutter Colors
When it comes to choosing outdoor shutter colors, you have a wide range to choose. The color you choose should complement the rest of your home’s décor. You can also opt to choose a contrasting color to give more prominence to your shutters. The bottom-line is to choose a color that does not clash with the rest of your home’s décor.
7. Work With a Professional Installation Company
Exterior window shutter installation entails a lot of work and for this reason; it is advisable to hire a professional to do the job. Look for a professional contractor in your area to get the job done. Look for referrals from other homeowners, read reviews and testimonials and carry out a background check of the installation company. The best window and shutter installation companies offer satisfaction guarantees and product warrants.
There is no denying the impact outdoor shutters can have in your home. These home improvement installations have both aesthetic value and functional value. They protect your home, enhance privacy and add a dash of style to your home. To find the best shutters, consider your needs, research the types of shutters, best shutter materials and look for a professional contractor to help with the installation.