Exterior shutters provide a decorative and well-maintained look to a home's exterior. Regardless of whether you are placing your home on the market, updating the look of your home or having a new house constructed, exterior shutters can add character and curb appeal to a tired or plain looking structure. Custom exterior shutters
can also be made to blend with a particular style or window size, adding symmetry to a home that appears unbalanced. Improved materials make the maintenance of shutters easier today compared to 50 years ago.
Materials used for Shutters
Shutters were once designed to help control the heat and cold from the outdoors or provide privacy from neighbors. The material used was wood and lead-based paint protected the wood from the elements while adding color. Technology has presented new materials that allow homeowners to keep the charm of shutters without the periodic scraping and painting once needed.
Custom Exterior Shutters
- Aluminum Shutters have evolved into a durable material that is harder to dent and bend during harsh weather. With powder coating that is processed through a heat intense system, there is no maintenance except for an occasional spray down with the garden hose. Edges can be arched or quarter round to add a less chiseled appearance. The selection of colors in aluminum shutters is also vast with over 100 different shades to choose from.
- Vinyl Shutters are low cost for the budget conscious but are made for wear. Creating different shapes from vinyl is easy for creating an exclusive look of custom shutters without the high cost. Also referred to as poly, synthetic, faux or PVC exterior shutters, there is a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to select from, many times in standard stock.
- Wood Shutters are traditionally aesthetic in adding natural warmth to a home's exterior. By using cedar or mahogany, there is no reason to add color for a classic, quaint look. Hardwoods that have been sealed with water-based finishes are environmentally friendly and bring out a rustic look against logs or stone.
Along with the new materials that add presence and curb appeal, custom shutters are now making it possible to add personality to house exteriors. Specialty edge cuts, designs and inserts can give an artistic, unique flair to a home, setting you apart from the others on the block. Depending on the style of your home or the area of the country that you live in, your home can be pronounced with character.
For example, a home that follows the design of Zen can use panels of white frosted glass that resemble a Shoji screen. A home that sits in the country with an orchard nearby can extend the natural zest of this outdoor scene by using Natural Oak as an outline and beehive shaped cork inserts. The look is one of elegance but also warm, relaxed and natural. Almost any look can be achieved with the artistry and designs of today.
Sizing for Proportion
We've all seen homes that have exterior shutters that just don't look right on a home. Rounded windows, downspouts and other obstructions, and long slim one piece glass can present problems for the homeowner that wants to use shutters for more appeal. By using custom shutters that balance the symmetry of an exterior, this problem is solved. Together with proper measuring, proportion and style, almost any type of exterior shutter can be custom made to add an uplifting look to a house. When considering shutters, look for companies that offer custom exterior shutters.
Many companies that offer custom shutters have designers on staff to help with the overall look that you are trying to achieve. Stock shutters are made to fit a standard 30-inch window but will not fit every home. Also, motorized shutters can be installed that open and close, adding a great benefit against cold windy winters.
Exterior shutters have always had a comforting appeal to homes even when they were more of a necessity. With the materials, designs and custom work that is available today, your home can make a statement about what your home has to offer. Never settle for cheap plastic shutters to help bring attention to your home's exterior but look for quality, the right sizing and shapes to really add radiance to your home's exterior.
Shad Storhaug is the founder of ShutterContractor.com and is an expert in providing advice on selecting, measuring, installing, and maintaining exterior window shutters.
Visit ShutterContractor.com's Custom Shutters store to order exterior shutters or visit Articles About Exterior Shutters for further reading.
This article is (c) copyright 2011 by Shad Storhaug. You may republish this article on your web site or blog as long as you keep both the article body and this bio intact including the copyright notice and all hyperlinks.