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While decorative shutters are only for adding an aesthetic appeal to the home, functional shutters provide privacy, energy savings and solar control along with an incredible look. Whichever purpose you want to serve, ensure that you choose the right kind of shutters made of durable material.
Typically made of wood composite or vinyl, shutters are a beautiful addition to your home. Whether accordion-style vertical folds or louvered interior shutters, they can complement just about any architectural style of the home. You can enhance the look of your house by installing them both inside and outside the windows. Shutters not only let you adjust the light you want to let in but also offer protection from storms and hurricanes.
Interior Shutters: Primarily used for privacy and security, interior shutters control the amount of light and air filtered into a room. Attached to the insides of the windows, these shutters are widely preferred to draperies and have either solid panels with hinges or horizontal slats. Some of these can be opened or closed as requirements of the user whereas others are fixed to let in a set amount of light and air.
Exterior Shutters: Exterior shutters are attached to the outside of the window. Sometimes they are attached with hinges which allows them to be closed over the window, but most often they are affixed permanently to the side of the house in the open position for their decorative appeal. These shutters come in a wide range of styles and can either be premade in a small range of sizes or custom-made for an exact fit. Whether used for protection, solar control, security, privacy, or decoration, exterior shutters can indeed enhance the appeal of any home.
* Wood Shutters Though shutters made of wood have an antique look that enhances appeal of your home, these are not as popular as they were in earlier years. Apart from adding beauty to the home, wood shutters provide solar control, privacy and energy savings. If you are captivated by the incredible beauty of wooden exterior shutters, cedar is one of the most popular woods because its oils naturally repel wood boring insects and also resist decay, while pine usually makes for the lowest cost decorative wood shutters.
Unlike other wood, cedar can be used for a longer time without any major repair or maintenance. Due to the tannin oil found in cedar, moisture as well as a number of insects keep away from the wood, making it ideal for shutters. Some of the wood shutters can be stained for a fabulous wood grain finish. Prior to the installation, get your wood shutter treated with a special oil based primer coating. A great aspect of these shutters is that they can be modified for a custom fit by trimming them with a table saw, after they are built.
* Vinyl Shutters Vinyl window shutters, on the other hand, are a great buys. Not only they come with all the good looks as other materials, but also are cost-effective. Vinyl is a sturdy material that doesn’t warp, split or rot like wood. Molded-through vinyl colors never need painting because there is no finish to peel over time. You won’t have to hire professionals to clean the shutters – power washing is the way to go. If you can’t power wash them because of their specific location, simply wipe them off with a damp cloth.
Vinyl shutters work best for their decorative appeal, low cost, and low maintenance. They typically have longer warranties than wood shutters, however they cannot be installed on functional hinges and therefore cannot open and close over your windows. This also means there is less that can go wrong with them. Ideal for every climate, vinyl shutters don’t deteriorate in extreme temperature conditions. They can expand and contract during hot and cold spells and you don’t have to worry about vinyl shutters being exposed to the elements as you would with wood shutters.
Vinyl shutters are quite easy to install and are perfect for DIY projects. Following the simple instructions provided with the shutters, you can have your shutters installed in no time. It also helps you save on the installation costs which means vinyl shutters are the lowest cost option when it comes to home improvement.
Michael Price is a writer associated with ShutterContractor.com and frequently writes articles on various home improvement topics.
To purchase exterior shutters visit ShutterContractor.com or go to House Shutters for further reading.
This article is (c) copyright 2011 by ESSCO Exterior Products, Inc. You may republish this article on your web site or blog as long as you keep both the article and bio intact including this copyright notice and all hyperlinks.