How to Choose the Right Exterior Shutters for Your Home

Exterior shutters can look very attractive outside a home's windows, and can also mean added protection for windows against strong storms and high winds. Exterior shutters can also be installed along a balcony or patio area, creating privacy and allowing you to control the amount of sunlight and air circulation in that space. When you're ready to choose exterior shutters for your home, note a few tips to keep in mind so you know you're happy with that choice for years to come.

Wood versus aluminium

Both wood and aluminium have their pros and cons; wood is easy for a homeowner to paint and stain, so you can change the look of your shutters rather easily, with a bit of prep work and a good paint gun. Wood is also more traditional, and may seem more welcoming and cosier than aluminium.

However, wood does absorb moisture, even when treated and sealed, so wood shutters may eventually warp and then cup and bow, and would need repair work or replacement. This can make wood a poor choice for an outdoor area near a pool, or for tropical areas with lots of humidity. Aluminium is naturally resistant to corrosion and rust, and may stand up better to hail, an errant child's toy, and anything else that would otherwise cause chips and cracks in wood shutters.

Opening style

Shutters come in a wide range of styles for how they unfold, including where the hinges are located and how many panels make up the shutters. For exterior shutters around a balcony or patio area, consider how much clearance is needed for opening the shutters; wide panels may block your view, so you may want to invest in panels that are more narrow and which fold out of the way.

For second-story windows, consider awning shutters, which have hinges at the top. These help protect the windows against rain while still allowing fresh air into the space. These are also good for windows that are located near a corner of the home, where shutters would not have adequate clearance space to open to the left or right.

Slats versus panels

Shutters may have slats or may be full panels. The hardware used to open and close slats may tend to wear out over the years, so that you cannot close those slats completely. When wood begins to warp, this can also interfere with being able to close those slats all the way. Panels can then mean more light blockage and less maintenance over the life of your exterior shutters.