Remodeling a home involves restoration and renovation of the façade. This will significantly enhance its curb appeal. On the other hand, restoration and renovation of your home façade means the improvement of the windows. Adding shutters to windows is a smart and inexpensive way, which can increase greatly your home look.
However installing shutters has several more advantages besides the aesthetic. Window shutters strengthen the security and safety of your house, and they may even insulate.
But back to our topic: “How to Select Your Home’s New Window Shutters”. First, it would be the best to learn the materials, types and styles available and only then you can take a decision, which are ideal for your home.
WINDOW SHUTTER STYLES
You need to know that every shutter style has unique benefits over the others.
1| Board-and-Batten: “Board-and-Batten” window shutters or “barn-siding” have wide and large vertical boards held together by battens that are thin wooden strips. They are suitable for old fashion houses with a rustic look such as cottages, cabins or American Craftsman home.
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2| Louvered: “Louvered” window shutters are composed of horizontal, adjustable, slanted fins included and surrounded by a thick frame. A correct inclination of these fins keeps the rain out while letting the natural light to penetrate inside of your home. They are indeed a good protection against the elements and are recommended for houses with a classic look such as Southern or Victorian homes.
3| Raised Panel: “Raised-Panel “window shutters have a flat look and are made from a single large piece with rectangular indentations and sometime, nice cutouts. In fact, they look quite similar to many doors. Raised-panel shutters are inexpensive and low maintenance window shutters. You can see these kind of shutters on the windows of Colonial style houses.
4| Bahama: “Bahama” window shutters are very popular in tropical regions. This type of shutters is very similar with louvered shutter style with only one notable difference: they are hinged at the top of the window. So you can easily push their bottom outward to allow fresh air to come inside without losing your privacy.
WINDOW SHUTTER MATERIALS
There are a huge range of designs, types, sizes and colours from which you can choose. In addition, you need to choose the right material for your shutters. Choosing the right material is extremely important for the quality of your shutters. Many of them are weather resistant, others are cost efficient or may last decades.
1| Vinyl: “Plastic /vinyl” is durable and lightweight, but most importantly vinyl is the least expensive choices. Although, it is extremely resistant to mold and elements, often it fades and needs to be replaced or repainted once in a while. If you prefer to paint yourself your shutters, you can purchase them already primed. However, take into consideration that vinyl does not look quite nice compared with wood. On the other hand vinyl shutters are storm resistant and can effectively protect your home.
2| Wood: “Wood” is a classic and versatile material. It’s easy to customize and trim. A wide range of designs, adjustable and fixed, can be crafted from wood. These kinds of shutters are beautiful, have charm, elegance and can even bring a luxurious look if they are made from exotic essences. In fact, they can keep their authentic look many years with a little maintenance. You can easily sand and repaint them. In terms of resistance, wooden window shutters are storm resistant.
3| Fiberglass: “Fiberglass /Composite” window shutters are extremely resistant. They don’t warp or rot, are resistant to mold but are the most expensive shutters not to mention that they need an extra hardware. However, they will recoup their price in time. Fiberglass shutters are exceptional for both storm protection and security. In addition, they do not require any maintenance.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU CHOOSE WOOD
Wooden shutters are generally made from softwood tree essences. They are both weather-resistant ,durable and ignored by insects. The most preferred wood species are as follows California Redwood, Cypres, Pine and last but not least Cedar. In fact Cedar, especially Western Red Cedar are the most favourite kind of shutter. Cedar wood is oily and these oils can act as insect repellent and prevent the wood decay not to mention its resistance to elements. Western Red Cedar has a dark brown colour with slight pink nuance.
WINDOW SHUTTER HARDWARE
First of all, do not nail your shutter especially if you want to use them. Any shutter requires special slide bolts to keep them shut, tiebacks (shutter dogs) to keep them open and of course hinges. Pull rings can be decorative and sometimes functional. However, you should choose stainless steel hardware if you live in humid areas such as ocean or lake shores because they are not prone to rust.
MEASURE TWICE BEFORE YOU BUY
You need to measure carefully your window before buying new shutters. In fact, it is a crucial factor to ordering the correct size of your shutters. Use a tape measure, and measure the window opening from the left side to the right side and divide your result by two. Measure again the window opening, this time from top to bottom to find the height of your future shutters. However to simplify these measurements many manufacturers provide some measuring sheets that can help you.
MAKE YOUR INVESTMENT LAST
A protective layer coat is needed for your brand new shutters, but before applying it, make sure the surface is clean. Wipe them with a clean coat to remove the dust and dirt and then you can apply a primer coat. Allow time to dry and you can paint them with acrylic paint or stain. It is a good idea to buy shutter caps that will protect your shutters from elements, especially water damage. They will be covered anyway later with a paint coat.
BUY THE RIGHT SHUTTERS FOR YOUR HOME
The first rule of any major purchase for your home is to shop around! Look online! Check all the advantages and disadvantages. Some manufacturers offer coupons for their products, others free shipping. Check also the customer reviews. This is a serious indicator that says more about the product quality and you can get an idea. Also, remember to check their warranty period. Walk through the neighborhood, look at houses similar to yours and see what types of shutters have.