White French door shutters in the living room

What are shutters? 9 Common Questions Answered

When it comes to picking window treatments for your home, the options can be overwhelming. Window blinds, shades, draperies, shutters, and more are just a few things to think about. Not to mention color, style, and material — it seems like the choices are endless.

To make an educated decision for your home, it is important to do some research. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. To make the search as easy as possible, we have compiled this guide on window treatment options.

What are shutters?

Shutters are a popular and long-lasting window treatment option on the market. Built around a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. Shutters can have a variety of styles within the frame. This includes solid panels, louvers (horizontal or vertical slats), glass, and even fabric.

They are also versatile in their placement. With interior and exterior options, they can cover doors and other structures. This of course depends on the style and structure of the building as well.

White shutters in the kitchen

What is the difference between blinds and shutters?

What sets them apart is the way they are fitted to the window. Unlike blinds, which connect to the window recess and are removable, shutters are built into the window frame. This means that shutters are usually sturdier than other window covering options and better suited for being on the outside of a window than blinds. They also endure for longer periods of time.

Aluminum blinds in the living room with a white couch and green pillows

Though shutters for windows are similar to blinds, they have more benefits. For example, plantation shutters consist of high-quality materials and provide great energy efficiency. This means they provide more insulation than most other window treatments. So if you want to save money on your energy bill, shutters might be a good fit for you.

Other benefits of shutters are:

  • Long-lasting
  • Low maintenance
  • Available in many different colors and styles
  • Increases your home’s value
  • Geat for insulation

Blinds on the other hand are better for the inside of your window. They are usually mounted on top of the window and then hang down freely over the window. You usually operate blinds with a cord but there are cordless variants as well. They have a very simplistic style and design. Some of the benefits are:

  • Affordability
  • Good light control for different levels of light and shade
  • Minimal design
  • Maintain the view – Many blinds have the ability to still let you see outside when they cover the window
  • Come in different materials that are suitable for different environments. For example PVC for high humidity areas such as kitchen or bathrooms

What are shutters used for?

They have been around for a long time. For centuries, they protected homes from buffeting winds and storms. They also controlled brightness and shade in homes before electricity. Ventilation in non-air-conditioned eras were also some of the other uses for shutters.

Today, shutters are just as useful as they were in the past. Not only do they have functional light control with adjustable panels and slats. They also provide privacy and security against unwanted eyes on your home. Shutters also have high energy efficiency, with insulating materials. For example, they provide shade and ventilation during chilly winters and sweltering summers.

Beyond functional use, shutters simply look good. They can boost the aesthetic appearance of your home. For example, by adding a touch of old-fashioned charm or modern beauty depending on the design.

What are shutters made out of?

Common materials for real shutters are faux wood, wood, composite, and aluminum. These materials will endure for decades if well taken care of. That can save you a lot of time and money compared to for example fake shutters.

It is important to know the placement of your shutters before choosing your material. Though real wood looks elegant and gives a rich finish to any room, it can be more susceptible to the elements. We don’t recommend having wooden shutters in rooms with high humidity. For example, the bathroom, attic, or garage.

Two green shutters on a yellow wall

Here are some questions to consider when choosing wood material:

  • What type of joinery are the shutters made with? Joinery is the wood component of a building. Knowing the type of wood you are working with will help you decide whether real wood or faux wood is right for you.
  • How is your wood cured? Some treatment options can impact the lifespan of your shutters. This can cause them to prematurely break down.
  • What kind of paint or finish do you want? This is an important question to keep your treatment looking good as long as possible. There are thousands of finish options that can affect the durability, and quality of your shutters.

Faux wood, composite, and aluminum also are stylish and can even give the appearance of real wood. They are from materials that are resistant to areas of high humidity. With durable materials, the shutters will not bend, chip, peel, or fade as easily.

Schedule an appointment with one of our consultants if you have concerns about the kinds of material you desire.

What are plantation shutters?

Plantation shutters are interior and louvered shutters. They are currently among the most popular shutters in the US. They have become something that people value and see as a long-term investment. Especially for homeowners in the southern US. That is because of their ability to keep rooms cool during the hot summer months and warm during the winter.

They have an elegant look due to their bigger louvers and look great in most rooms, especially living rooms. Like most traditional shutters, they are fitted to the frame and open up like doors as opposed to blinds. They come in several materials. The most common ones are composite, vinyl and wood. Usually, they also have a tilt rod that goes down along the shutters, this is to raise and lower the slats. There are also hidden tilt rods that are at the back of the panel and are therefore not visible from the inside of the room.

Once they are installed they are really low maintenance and last very long. That is perhaps one of the reasons why they are so appealing apart from the fact that they look great.

What are they made of?

Plantation shutters come in different types of materials such as wood and plastic. They vary in quality with different types of plastic. With PVC being the most popular one. The reason for this is because that material is very resistant to moisture and heat. 

The types of woods used for plantation shutters are, for example, basswood, poplar, composite wood, and real wood. Real wooden shutters give a great natural look however the downside is that they require more maintenance. For example, frequent painting and they don’t handle moisture very well. Another disadvantage is that real wood shutters can be expensive to buy.

What is the difference between interior and exterior shutters?

When considering which types of window shutters are best for your home, it is important to think about the shutter styles and placement. Shutters can come in both interior and exterior designs, and the two can vary in look and function.

Interior shutters are versatile and customizable. They can fit on just about any size of the window frame. With vanes and panels that range in size, they are adjustable from the inside of your home. That way you can control lighting, temperature, and energy efficiency. Interior shutters are often valued as more practical, as they are accessible for day-to-day use.

White interior window treatments behind a white couch with blue pillows

Exterior shutters are more traditional and fit to the window frame on the outside of the home. Not only do they enhance the outside appearance with a colorful aesthetic. They are also efficient at protecting windows from harsh weather conditions by being able to be opened and closed. For example, by adding a durable, protective layer from storms and strong winds. Board and batten shutters are window treatments that can add a charming and traditional look to your home while at the same time protect windows from harsh weather conditions.

 

What benefits do they have?

Shutters are one of the most functional window treatments that you can find. Here are a few of the key benefits that shutters provide to a home:

  1. Security — Worried about neighbors being able to see within your home? Roller shutters and other types shield the interior of your home from curious eyes. With thick panels and vanes that cover your window more than most window treatments, you can rest easy knowing that you have maximum privacy with your shutters. They are also safe for children. For example, with no dangling strings or cords that could be dangerous when played with.
  2. UV Protection — Along with the extra touch of security, shutters also protect the furniture inside of your home. For example, harmful UV rays can cause furniture to fade. So, they help keep your rooms’ interiors pristine by blocking the sun. Solar shades are also a great option if UV protection is a concern for you.
  3. Energy-efficient — Want to save some money on heating and cooling during the winter and summer months? Shutters’ panels provide another layer of insulation and shade from the bright sun. This keeps your home as energy-efficient as possible.
  4. Easy to clean — Cleaning window treatments often is important to their longevity and upkeep. Unlike some shades or draperies that may be hard to take care of, shutters are simple and easy to clean. All you have to do is wipe the vanes and panels down with a damp soft cloth or dust rag to keep them looking new.
  5. Versatile — One of the best features of choosing shutters for your home is that they are easy to customize. Shutters fit in spots that other window treatments might not work well in. That can be for example larger windows, arched windows, and doors. They also provide easy light control to any room. For instance, you can adjust the vanes and panels to filter the brightness levels to your liking.
  6. Durability — Shutters are made to last. With a heavy-duty structure and durable materials, they are an investment that will be a part of your home for a long time. There are a few simple things you can do to expand the lifetime of your shutters.
  7. Beauty — Shutters are incredibly aesthetic and a favorite of interior designers. From wooden styles that are classic to modern designs that make a bold statement. They can dress up your home or add subtle elegance. With a variety of materials, and styles you can customize your shutters to bolster the beauty of any room.

White shutters in a office with green walls

Do they increase your home’s value?

One of the best benefits and what sets shutters apart is that they increase your home’s value and curb appeal. Because they are built into the frame of a window and are not attached to the top or sides, they are a permanent addition to your home. Thus, if you ever decide to move and sell your home, your shutters will be a “hard fixture update”. This will boost your home’s value and enable you to sell it for a higher price.

How much does it cost to install them?

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — shutters are an investment. Your purchase will last you a long time, adding to the value of your home, should you choose to sell it in the future. So when it comes to choosing the right shutters it may be worth investing in high-quality ones. They are more likely to last you a long time and you don’t need to replace them throughout your ownership. This will most likely save you time and money down the road.

Shutters cost calculator to calculate how much shutters cost

 

To help you figure out what your ideal shutter may cost, you can use this Shutter Cost Calculator. It will help you to estimate the amount you are willing to spend. If you still aren’t sure, we recommend scheduling a design consultation. That way you can make an informed decision with guidance and help from our professionals.

At the end of the day, shutters are a great addition to your home. They will boost the aesthetic, security, and value of your home. We hope you now know what shutters are and how they help your home. We are happy to help you with your window blinds or shutters. You can read more about our products and services on our website.