Shutters have gained favor as a versatile, affordable home décor element. They can be wood or vinyl, depending on the mood you’re trying to create. The window hardware used to affix the shutter is an important consideration, as it completes the entire look of the shutter. You can make your shutters look as ornate or as simple as you’d like, just as a result of your choice of hardware.

Shutters have come a long way in terms of function. They used to be an important part of a home, in that they were used to protect windows during storms and intruders. In recent times, they’re more of a design element, though in areas that are prone to hurricanes, shutters that protect glass from breaking are popular additions to homes. Hurricane shutters are more functional than anything. They attach permanently to the side of a house to protect a house against hurricane damage.

Vinyl shutters are most popular, and can even be made to look like wood. They’re easy care, and won’t warp, crack or swell like wood can. Vinyl is low-maintenance compared to wood, which needs fresh paint regularly. Both types of shutters can offer climate control properties, as each can be opened or closed accordingly to let in light or keep it out. They can also serve as somewhat of a barrier for drafty windows.

The window hardware, such as the shutter hinges, is an important consideration when choosing what window covering to use. They used to be made of cast iron, to withstand the rigors of opening and closing them, as well as inclement weather, but now they’re generally made of other less expensive metals like brushed nickel and brass. Many retail outlets offer vintage looking styles to capture that classic appearance but they’re made of updated materials.

Generally, strap hinges have the most universal use. They’re the ones that can be shaped like spades or arrows. They attach to the frame of the window, and stretch across the shutter itself. They’re the most commonly used now as well as throughout history. They’re also the most apparent, as they stretch over the face of the shutter. Other shutter hinges are hidden behind the shutter, and can’t be seen from the front.

When planning a home improvement project that includes hanging shutters, don’t forget the hardware. It’s a simple addition, yet it can be the difference between a simple shutter and an elaborate one.