Traditionally, window shutters were installed inside the house. Their original use was to control light, enhance privacy and block unwanted elements from getting into the house. Outdoor GC Shutters & Blinds window shutters gained popularity when construction of houses with thin walls began. With thick walls, opening and closing exterior window shutters were hard because they are almost impossible to reach. There has been significant improvement in exterior window shutters since they gained popularity.
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Today, outdoor window shutters come in two types. These are protective window shutters that protect against harsh weather conditions and decorative window shutters that are used for ornamental purposes. Outdoor window shutters come in different materials, sizes, and types. The perfect window shutter depends on your style and preferences. Below are tips for choosing the best outdoor window shutters for your home.
1. Match your shutters to the style in your home
Ideally, your window shutters should match the style you have adopted for your home. Functional shutters are the best to use because of their simplicity and their ability to be compatible with different styles. Traditionally, these shutters were commonly used in frontier homes due to their protective capabilities. Today, functional shutters are used on beach cottages, Tudors, barn-style homes, and cabin homes.
If you are looking for shutters that add an allure of decor to your exteriors, you may want to consider decorative shutters. These come in three main shutter styles. The first one is board and batten window shutters that feature a rustic design composed of mounted vertical boards and horizontal crossed bracing. Next are the louvered window shutters that feature slats with an overlapping arrangement. Being the most common outdoor window shutter style, these shutters were originally designed to allow a flow of air, exclude rain and control light in the house. Use the louvered shutters style if you want your exteriors to have a heritage look.
Last are the raised and paneled exterior window shutters that feature a design that is similar to that of a cabinet and door. These shutters are simple but elegant and were originally used to enhance protection and privacy. As such, they were installed on the first floor in buildings.
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2. Pick the best material for your shutters
Your choice of outdoor window shutters will depend on what you want to achieve and the budget you are working with. There are three types of materials you can use for outdoor window shutters.
The first is aluminum made from electrostatic aluminum. Window shutters made from this material are the best and also the most expensive. If you are looking for durability, these are your best pick because they are made to last for 20 years plus. Aluminum window shutters do not rot or crack, neither are they affected by the hot sun. They protect houses against extreme weather like hurricanes and storms. They are easy to operate and need very little maintenance.
The second material is wood. Wooden exterior window shutters are cheaper compared to aluminum. Though best suited for dry weather, these shutters are expensive to maintain because they need to be colored and sealed regularly and do not last for long. There are options of using eco-friendly wood like cypress, mahogany, cedar, and redwood. However, if you are working with a tight budget, you can use composite wood window shutters.
The third type of window shutter material is vinyl, which is the cheapest of the three. Shutters that are made from vinyl are prone to warping and cracking. They can sag when you make large installations and turn yellow or stain fast. They are hard to clean and repair hence they are not ideal for exterior spaces.
3. Window size and type of shutters
To get an authentic look, ensure that shutters fit the openings on your windows. They should be shaped and sized to cover the opening when the window is closed. Functional window shutters are sized well if they fold tightly between the casing and should leave a narrow gap at the perimeter. If you opt for decorative window shutters, ensure that you maintain equal proportions. Go for window shutters that have the same shape and size as your windows.
After determining the size of your window shutters, pick a shutter type that best suits your house design. For example boards and batten are a good choice if your house is built in the Mediterranean style. Choose either three boards and three battens or four boards and two battens to bring elegance to your house. For a colonial house, raised paneled window shutters are the best option.
4. Go for a color that matches your exterior
Different colors bring varying effects to your house. Ideally, your house will look wider if you use brighter colors. Also, your windows look bigger if the window borders and shutters share the same color. Considering these two aspects enables you to come up with perfect outdoor shutters for your home.