Shutters provide a chic and stylish alternative to blinds and curtains, and are a cost-effective way to completely update the look and feel of a room. They are more hygienic too as they simply wipe clean and don’t absorb the dust, unlike curtains or blinds. Shutters also offer you a great deal of flexibility, for instance you can have different slat sizes, different colors and different panel designs and are easy to have installed. Shutters also provide more light control entering the room, then with blinds where there’s relatively little light control flexibility.

Decorative shutters are not only affordable, they also enhance the exterior decor by giving the face of your home added depth and personality. They can provide a pop of color, accent an authentic home’s traditional design, or just frame a favorite window so it stands out, shutters offer charm and architectural impact. Quality shutters enhance a house’s curb appeal and value. Shutters can also save you money as they provide further insulation for the window they are covering. What’s more, they are considered a capital improvement for tax purposes, and they can be financed with a house purchase because they usually stay with a house when it sells. Finally, shutters last longer and are more durable than almost any other window treatment. Shutters are durable, simple to use, and easy to clean.

When shopping for shutters, it is important to look at the different types of shutters. Everything falls into three major materials categories: vinyl, Poly, composite, and real wood. They typically go in that order from least expensive to most expensive. Vinyl shutters are great for bathroom or garage windows because they withstand high temperatures and lots of moisture. Poly shutters offer amazing durability and are resistant to cracking, peeling or fading. Composite shutters are great for windows that get a lot of direct sunlight because they are typically guaranteed not to warp, bow, or yellow. Real wood shutters are great for those windows where you want to get a rich stain or match existing wood stains in your home. A shutters hinged wood panels usually sport operable louvers, but they can also feature solid panels or framed fabric inserts you can coordinate with other furnishings.

Shutter Types:

Traditional shutters: Also known as colonial shutters, traditional shutters control the light with 1 1/4-inch slats. Painted shutters add great impact to the decor of your home. Most are painted in various shades of white or cream tones. Because of the light colors, these shutters reflect a moderate amount of sunlight away from your room. A traditional shutter is the old style, 1 1/4 inch louvered shutter in a 3/4 thick frame. This shutter design is used widely in windows where windows are smaller. Sometimes there were “café height” shutters in kitchen windows, meaning the shutter only reaches only halfway up the window, with the rest of the window being open. The Traditional Shutters look and operate best in small windows. These smaller non-plantation size louvers add old-world country charm to any room in your home.

Plantation shutters: Plantation shutters have louvers that are more than two inches wide. These contemporary shutters are designed with slats ranging from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches. Plantation shutters are also usually painted white or cream. Both plantation shutters and traditional shutters are more formal and substantial than other blinds and shades. Plantation shutters are wide slats or louvers installed on windows. Plantation shutters were first used in the Middle Ages, the name “plantation” stems from the fact they were widely used in plantation farm homes in the Caribbean and the U.S during warm climates. Since then plantation shutters have been used as decoration in many homes. Homeowners have been charmed by the aesthetic appeal and functionality of these louvers. They allow maximum light and air into a room. The shutters come in varied designs. This makes them suitable for use in a home, office or other settings.

Plantation shutters can also be used for decoration purpose in many homes, as they provide beautiful framing to windows. Aesthetic appeal and easy functionality of shutters charm many homeowners. Plantation shutters are an investment in your home, most consumers do not know that plantation shutters can actually be included in the purchase price of your home at the time of sale. This is because shutters are meant to be permanent window treatment that stays with the home. Plantation Shutters are meant to be in your home for 20+ years.

Traditionally, plantation shutters are made from hardwoods. Such timbers were attractive, durable and resistant to warping and this makes them a little bit pricy. But now, shutters are available in many materials like metal, custom made shutters and many more.

Shutter Materials:

Modern shutters have excellent insulating properties and functionalities, and every shutter have something different to offer. With availability of such a wide variety of plantation shutter styles in the market, it might become difficult for homeowners to decide which one to choose. The below mentioned will buyer’s guide can help you choosing the right style of window shutters for your home for your home.

Poly Shutters: Poly shutters are made out of poly resin materials, are very popular and are typically the first choice when it comes to lighter neutral shades. The major attraction is that poly shutters deliver the beauty and functionality of wood shutters but are low maintenance, easy to clean, very durable, and cost efficient. Issues like fading, cracking or peeling  paint as a result of sun or humidity are eliminated.

Vinyl Shutters: Vinyl Shutters are made out of the same poly resin materials found in poly shutters but use a slightly different extrusion process. Vinyl shutters are also very popular and used when it comes to shutters in light neutral shades. As with poly shutters, the major attraction is that vinyl shutters are low maintenance, easy to clean and very durable. Issues like fading, cracking or peeling paint as a result of sun or humidity are eliminated. When buying any vinyl or poly shutters, always look at how they are constructed to ensure that the shutters are built strong.

Wood shutters: Wood shutters for interiors are usually made of basswood, which is a renewable wood with uniform texture and smooth grain sourced in the United States. Because of its fine uniform texture and smooth finish, basswood is generally regarded as the best wood for shutters. Traditionally shutters were made out of wood and today they’re still very popular. The challenge with wood is that it’s a natural product and may warp, twist or bow in time. The painted surface can fade, crack or peel depending on the humidity and amount of sun coming through a window. Today wood shutters are used mostly in situations where you need a rich stain color or where there are custom color matches. When choosing wood, ask whether the shutters are made in the USA or imported. Many imported wood shutters use foreign unknown species of wood that may not be stable in windows over time.

Composite Shutters: Often referred to as “Poly-engineered wood shutters” these offer the look of real wood interior shutters, often at a more affordable price. These stylish and beautifully crafted shutters look and feel like real wood, but they’re made from a solid PVC resin that’s nearly indestructible. Poly-engineered wood shutters are versatile and functional. They can be opened for air and light, or closed for privacy or for extra comfort on hot or cold days. Like real wood shutters, composite shutters work especially well with picture windows, French doors, fixed panes and unusually shaped windows. Poly-engineered shutters are easy to clean and very durable. They won’t split, crack, chip or warp. They resist insects, flames and UV light. They stand up to heat and high humidity, making them perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. And they never need refinishing. Composite shutters are offered in many different colors and styles. They can also be custom-built to fit any window shape, including arches, sunbursts, rakes and eyebrows. These shutters come with 2-1/2″ louvers and with options such as decorative framing and hidden control rods.

Composite/ Hybrid/MDF Shutters: These shutters are made of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) covered in a polypropylene. The poly surface is intended to give you durability like poly or vinyl shutters but the challenge really comes from the MDF base. The MDF base is a water sponge and at the exposed louver or stile ends where the MDF is only covered with paint, the base may start absorbing moisture, swelling and the surface may start delaminating, especially in a hot or humid window environment. Similar to MDF kitchen cabinet lines with laminated surfaces, this products durability is not the greatest and may be questionable in certain environments. What shutter you pick really depends on your application and product availability.

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