A homes windows covering are now getting a lot more attention from ‘the neighbors’ and home appraisers when shutters are installed. Shutters are proving to be a better window treatment, due to the fact they are the only window treatment to increase a homes value and are a major visual element additive on the inside and the outside of the home. Shutters also control the lighting and set mood for each room. Most interior designers feel that shutters provide a finished look to a window and they are more durable than draperies, curtains or blinds.

More than ever before, homes with shutters are recognized as substantially upgraded and thus shutters are the number one window covering all other products. The ‘shutter’ category is the number one window covering product in recent years. Surveys have shown that 7 out of 10 consumers prefer shutters over any other type of window covering, however only 2 out of 10 can afford them due to the high price.

Shutters offers many advantages over blinds and curtains. Shutters offer superior insulation and control of light entering a room, varying from opening the shutters all the way for a full view to fully closed for an almost blackout control.

Shutters in general are lower maintenance than most other types of window covering. Older style shutters with staples require replacement every few years and special cleaning and upkeep. Synthetic and vinyl materials can withstand wet environments such as outdoor use and saunas. In recent years a laminate DuraShutter material with snap-in non staple construction provides durability and low cost alternative advantages.

Shutters can provide a better insulation value than any other type of window covering. Since 10 times more heat can pass through a glass window than through wall adding a shutter to your window will lower your heating and air conditioning bills.

Shutters are commonly made from 3 different types of materials. Each type has it’s own strengths and weaknesses as well as environmental effects. Traditional shutter manufacturers use wood and then spray paint or stain them to just about any color you desire and they perform well under most conditions. Like any wood product they are subject to warping over time and the paint can peal and crack over time. Unfortunately, some woods are imported and the harvesting of some trees causes harm to the environment. In addition most shutters are painted using lacquer based primers and or finish paints that release VOCs into the atmosphere. VOC’s have been proven to increase green house gases.

Vinyl and other synthetic material shutters were developed as an alternative to wood shutters. For certain applications such as outdoors, high humidity areas like saunas or poolrooms vinyl and other synthetic material shutters are an excellent choice. The plastics used in these types of shutters can fade, change color or yellow over time with exposure to the sun. Unfortunately, vinyl and other synthetic material shutters are made with oil products and the drilling, transport, refining and storage of oil based products are a concern to many as their use increases our dependency on oil, and when painted, the use of VOC is also harmful to the environment.

Many shutter fabricators are now, as flooring companies do, are offering Eco friendly lower cost laminate alternatives to wood. Many American and foreign shutter fabricators now offer all three choices, Vinyl/Synthetic Material, Wood and Laminate materials. Laminate materials are designed to overcome the disadvantages of wood, vinyl and synthetic material shutters. Laminate DuraShutter material is a dense, solid engineered composite that is an Eco friendly recycled wood and paper product. Its density gives it a better insulation value than wood and the Eco friendly laminate coating material provides better resistance to fading or yellowing than vinyl/synthetic material. Laminate shutters can be made into an excellent product that is indistinguishable from wood shutters. Since laminate DuraShutter is primarily made from recycled materials and the finish from Eco friendly laminates, it has a significantly lower impact on the environment.

Shutters are often referred to as "the ultimate window covering" but costly until the introduction of shutters made of lower cost laminate DuraShutter materials that many shutter fabricators are now offering as a lower cost alternative. So once you've added indoor shutters, just stand back and admire them, both from within your home and from your curb. Drive by any home with interior shutters across the front and you'll see why so many people swear by them.

By visiting the author’s web site at www.Durashutter.com you will find all kinds of useful window covering information.