Outside, or exterior window shutters, are hinged to the outside of a window frame. Opening and closing the shutters provides privacy and controls the light coming into the window. When closed, they also provide some security as well as protection against the weather. There are also exterior shutters that are fixed to the outside wall next to the window. These are primarily decorative. All exterior shutters are another type of window treatment.
Exterior wood shutters are available in many different types of wood including pine, mahogany, and the more popular cedar. The wood can be stained or ordered in a color to match or compliment your exterior house color. The shutter frames can hold raised or flat wooden panels.
Another option is louvered wood shutters, which are typically slats that go horizontally across the frame. You can order fixed louvers or ones you can open and close. When you pull the shutters closed and open your window and louvers, you can control ventilation while still getting some visual privacy.
Wooden shutters placed on outside windows help enhance the curb appeal of your home because these shutters are associated with classic traditional homes. They add depth to the windows, which many people claim make the home more attractive.
The main issue with wood shutters is maintenance. Based on how severe weather conditions are where you live, they need to be refinished or repainted to be kept looking good. And if water gets inside the wood you may need to repair or replace the entire shutter.
Exterior vinyl shutters are molded shutters. The manufacturing process allows a specific color to be used throughout the vinyl, although some vinyl shutters can be painted. They can also be manufactured with a pattern, such as wood grain, in the vinyl.
They are lighter than wood shutters, making them easier to install. Vinyl shutters are also quite durable, making them ideal for homes that face harsher weather conditions. They are available in different fade resistant colors and with different types of panels such as solid or louvered. These shutters can be easily cleaned by either wiping them off or hosing them down with water.
The disadvantages of vinyl shutters are that they don’t feel like wood and they don’t have the range of color finish choices that wood offers.
Aluminum shutters are another exterior option because of their durability. They are good when local weather conditions result in lots of snow or rain. They come in colors and are easily cleaned. High winds, however, can make the aluminum bend if they are not installed well. Like vinyl shutters, they can be wiped off or hosed down to be kept clean.
Board and Batten shutters are a type of shutter that uses large boards instead of a frame.
These were inspired by Northeastern barns built during the colonial period in U.S. history. This type shutter is typically made of boards that are joined together or have spaces between them. You can find them made of wood, vinyl, or composite materials.
Another type of exterior shutter is the hurricane shutter. Click here for more information.