What Buyers Need To Know Before Shopping For Shutters

Shutters are designed to serve a variety of both practical and aesthetic functions. They also can be created using a range of materials, and it's important to have an idea of what you'll be buying before you have them installed.

Styles

There are two main styles, panel and louvered shutters, and they include several subsets. Panel shutters are what we think of traditionally as ones that go on the outsides of buildings, and this design tends to be popular with folks who want to provide protection, such as we see in hurricane zones. Louvered shutters have slats designed to allow light through, and these are often adjustable, especially when they're used on the indoor side of a window. Both may also have tilt controls for letting sunlight in.

Among panel-style shutters, you'll see several main styles. The shaker style is often a solid panel, as is the batten and board model. Conversely, the Scandinavian and plantation styles may or may not have slats that provide openings for light.

Shutters are built in a number of heights. There are half-size ones, frequently called cafe-style, that are meant to only block about half of a window. Full-size ones cover the whole of a window, and there are also floor-to-ceiling models that can be used as doors, partitions or false walls.

Materials

Shutter services providers can install wooden, metal or artificial products. Among the wooden models, you'll find regular wood, engineered wood and laminates. Regular woods tend to have more points of compromise in their structures, and they're not popular for protective purposes. Laminates and engineered woods are generally very durable, but they also tend to be less customizable.

Metal options require some research, as different types deliver varying levels of durability and weight. There are also now products with thin metal surfaces that include artificial cores, making them lighter.

In the artificial sector of the market, the dominant materials are PVC and foam synthetic. PVC has a reputation for causing scratching on nearby materials, and it's less popular for use in high-wind areas where shutters may bang against frames or siding. Foam synthetic shutters have a wood-like feel and include a foam interior. They are typically light-weight, but not as aesthetically pleasing. Foam synthetic products do, however, hold up very well in a range of cold and hot temperatures, making them popular in regions like the mid-Atlantic, where the weather is tricky. 

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