Do Your Windows Need to Have Shutters?

Home upgrades are a fun and worthwhile way to spend your time — you can reinvigorate your home, add value and unleash your creativity. If you’ve considered upgrading your exterior, you may have wondered whether you need shutters to add that finishing touch. 

Shutters are far from outdated — the global market size reached $3.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2028. Shutters may not be necessary, but they could still be a worthwhile investment. Under the right circumstances, installing shutters in your home could be just the upgrade you need. 

What Are Shutters?

Shutters are solid window coverings made from several materials you can affix to the interior or exterior of your house. Many believe that shutters were first seen in ancient Greece. As they predated electricity and air conditioning, the Greeks used them to manage the ventilation and light in their homes. Shutters have evolved over the years, and many people worldwide choose to have shutters on their windows. 

Why Do Houses Still Have Shutters?

Shutters are still as beautiful and functional today as they were centuries ago. In some cases, even more so. Houses still have shutters for several reasons, including making homes more energy-efficient, protecting windows, elevating the aesthetic appearance of homes and letting in just the right amount of air. 

Like blinds and curtains, shutters also provide privacy and security, shielding homeowners from the weather and protecting homes from intruders. Of course, not all houses have them, but whether you need shutters or not, they are still a relevant and appealing addition to many homes. 

different styles of shutters

Different Styles of Shutters

Shutters come in many variations. Depending on your needs and the style of your home, you can choose from any of the following options:

  • Board and batten shutters: These country-style shutters are comprised of vertical boards with no spaces between them and one horizontal panel on the top and bottom. These shutters offer complete privacy and insulation when closed. 
  • Louvered shutters: These slatted alternatives are popular in warm climates, as they are functional and control ventilation. Louvered shutters come in various types, including California and plantation shutters. 
  • Paneled shutters: This popular option is made of a solid panel that can be flat, raised or recessed. Solid panels provide the most privacy and weather protection. They’re an excellent option for cooler or windy climates, and they suit several architectural styles. 
  • Bermuda shutters: Also known as Bahama shutters, this option primarily protects windows from hurricane damage. They also provide ventilation in warm climates. 
  • French country shutters: These shutters are similar to board and batten shutters, except for the gaps between the vertical boards. You can arch these shutters to complement arched windows, and they also provide ventilation in the warmer months. 

Can You Have Different Shutter Styles in the Same House?

As long as your shutters match your home’s architecture and period style, there is no reason you shouldn’t mix your shutter styles. Some homes combine styles or have different shutters on every floor. For example, having panels on one floor and louvers on another could be appealing. 

Remember, not all windows need shutters, either. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shutters in Your Home

It’s best to understand the pros and cons of shutters before deciding whether to add them to your home. Like any feature, shutters have benefits and drawbacks. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Aesthetic appeal: Shutters make your home look polished and inviting, and the right choice can draw attention for all the right reasons. Shutters give your home curb appeal and make it appear more valuable in buyers’ eyes. 
  • Home value: Exterior shutters can add value to a home, especially in hurricane-prone areas. They create a feeling of security and build a sense of perceived value in other respects. 
  • Protection: One of the main reasons homeowners choose to have shutters is protection. Shutters protect your home in several ways, including limiting the amount of sun damage to the interior, withstanding rain, debris and strong winds, and securing your home against burglars by restricting their vision and acting as a barrier. 
  • Insulation: Shutters are energy-efficient, and they provide sound and thermal insulation. When you close your shutters and open the windows, you get fresh air inside your home without the harsh sunlight. Having shutters reduces the need for air conditioning. When you close them in winter, your house is warmer, so you use your HVAC less. 
  • Maintenance: Shutters are sturdy and easy to maintain. All you need to do is wipe them occasionally with a wet cloth. 
  • Light and privacy: With shutters, you control how much light you let into your home. You can have privacy without sacrificing natural light or closing up entirely in the evenings. 

There are many benefits to installing shutters in your home, but they aren’t universally suited to every situation. Some of the drawbacks of shutters include the following:

  • Light: Shutters rarely block out light completely, so if you sometimes want complete darkness, there may be better options for you. 
  • Cost: Installing shutters, although sturdy and long-lasting, can be expensive. However, once installed, you won’t have to consider replacing them for a while. 
  • Installation: Shutter installation is best left to professionals, as it can be challenging to install them yourself. They’re also a more permanent fixture. If you’re set on installing shutters yourself, ensure you’re knowledgeable enough to do so, as change can be costly and labor-intensive. 
  • Visibility: The cost you pay for privacy is lack of visibility. Even fully open, the slats of your shutters will impact your view of the outdoors. 
  • Interior limitations: Interior shutters open inwards, making placing furniture in front of them challenging. 
what to consider before installing shutters

What to Consider Before Installing Shutters

While shutters can be an attractive addition to some homes, they may be out of place in others. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure they’re the right fit for you:

Will Shutters Add a Sense of Balance?

Consider your house’s shape and window size. Sometimes, shutters complete the picture and make your home look more proportionate. Adding shutters can have the opposite effect on other homes, primarily if you’re focusing on one area, like the top or bottom floor. Try and picture your home with shutters and gather whether they’ll create a balanced look. 

Do You Have Space?

Installing shutters requires space on either side of your windows. Consider the area alongside your windows and get a professional’s opinion on whether you have enough space to install shutters without trying to squeeze them into a space that needs to be bigger. 

How Many Windows Need Shutters?

No rule says you have to have shutters on every window. Your upstairs windows may be too broad or close together to make shutters possible, but they may be a great addition to the ground floor. Consider all your options — you may only need shutters for some windows. 

What Materials Should You Use?

Shutters come in various materials, each with different properties to suit different uses and environments. Full waterproof materials would be a good choice if you live in a humid climate or one that receives a lot of rain. Hardwood might be best for larger windows. If you plan to operate your shutters often, consider lightweight materials. 

How Will You Use Your Shutters?

Of course, you want your shutters aesthetically pleasing, but they must also be functional. If you plan to keep your shutters closed most of the time, you might benefit from wider panels to adjust the light. For weather protection, paneled shutters could be a more effective choice. 

Do You Prefer Half- or Full-Height Shutters? 

As the name suggests, half-height shutters cover the lower half of windows for increased privacy, especially on windows that face the street. They work well when paired with curtains or blinds, so consider the interior of your home as well. 

When to Install Shutters

Shutters make a fantastic addition to many homes. It could be an excellent time to consider adding shutters to your decor if:

  • Shutters work with your home’s architectural style. 
  • Your home had functional shutters when it was initially built. 
  • You have single windows. 
  • You live in a hot or humid climate and want to minimize sunlight and control ventilation.
  • You’re looking for extra protection from the elements or potential break-ins. 

If you’re still uncertain, browse online for homes similar to yours and see what others have done to incorporate shutters in a functional and aesthetically pleasing way. 

When Not to Install Shutters

There are occasions when shutters could be challenging. Although no hard and fast rules exist, some houses may have more practical options than shutters. Try and avoid shutters in the following circumstances:

  • You have double-mulled or bay windows. 
  • Your windows are wider than they are tall. 
  • You can only shutter one side of the window, leaving the other bare. 
  • Your windows are close together so that an open shutter will obscure part of the adjacent window. 
  • The shutter size or shape makes your home look unbalanced. 
fake shutters

What Is the Point of Fake Shutters?

The idea of fake shutters has been a topic of some debate among homeowners. While some prefer the benefits of both form and function in their shutters, others are interested in only the aesthetic appeal. Fake shutters provide the look without the function, which can suit certain homes and personalities. 

While they may seem like an easy option, fake shutters can have the opposite effect of what you intended and detract from the appeal of your home. Functional options are best in most circumstances if you’re looking to install shutters. 

Choosing the Right Shutters

Once you’ve decided you want shutters, choosing the perfect match for your home is essential. There are several factors to consider to make the right choice.

Shutter Size

The wrong shutter size can look unbalanced or fake. Even when your shutters are open, it should be clear that they cover the window when closed. On the other hand, shutters that are too broad or tall can look just as disproportionate. When both shutters are closed, they should be inside the window casing and fill it so they are no gaps in coverage. 

Shutter Shape

If you cut your windows in half, each shutter should be the same shape as these half-windows. If you have arch-shaped windows, the top of your shutters should match this shape to create a seamless look. Avoid curved shutters on straight windows, for example. 

Shutter Style

When shutters complement the look and feel of your home, they elevate its appearance and create a cohesive look. Imagine having a rustic set of country-style shutters on a modern, minimalist home, and you’ll get the idea. Regardless of your other preferences, your shutters should keep with your home’s period and design. 

Shutter Material

You can get shutters in various materials, so it’s crucial to balance the aesthetic you’re looking for with an option that suits your lifestyle. Many people love wood for its authentic look and feel, but choosing wood means treating your shutters to ensure they don’t warp or fade. A lower-maintenance option might suit your needs but lacks the feel of wood. Explore all your options and choose one that works best for you. 

Shutter Colors

Just as the shape and style of your shutters must complement your home, so should the color. Many colors exist, but black, white and pastel colors are popular options. Darker colors add elegance, while white and pastels give your home a fresh, simple look. Consider which colors will work best with your exterior. 

How to Install Shutters

Shutters can be tricky to install. It’s best to consult a professional and have them come out to do the installation wherever possible. However, knowing the steps involved can help you decide whether to approach the project yourself or hire a professional. These simple steps can give you an idea:

  1. Position your shutters: The bottom rail on most styles of shutters is wider than the top. Position the shutter next to the window and use a level to make sure your shutter is straight. Use a pencil to mark the outside corners. 
  2. Drill the mounting holes: Position your shutter face up on a flat surface. Measure two inches from the top and bottom in the center of both rails and mark with your pencil. Drill the holes over your pencil marks for the shutter locks. 
  3. Drill the pilot holes: If you’re installing shutters yourself, they often come with mounting hardware, and your pilot holes are for your mounting hardware: Reposition your shutter on the wall, and use the holes you drilled as a guide. Drill into the wall in line with your mounting holes and remove your shutter from the wall. Enlarge each hole with a bigger drill bit. 
  4. Install the shutter: Push the mounting hardcore through the pilot holes into the shutter and the wall, then use a hammer to tap the fasteners until they fit tight into the siding. 
contact Renewal by Andersen

Give Your Home a Face-Lift With Renewal by Andersen

Installing shutters has significant benefits, including increased energy efficiency, privacy and aesthetic appeal. Still, even the best shutters can’t hide that your windows need replacing. Older windows can detract from your overall aesthetic and impact the functionality of your shutters. Why not replace your windows and install your shutters in one go? 

The Renewal by Andersen team can help you find replacement windows that suit your needs, ensuring you reap the benefits of your shutters while keeping your home looking fantastic. Our installation process is quick and straightforward, and we can find the perfect replacement windows that last, complement your shutters and save on energy costs. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can give your home the face-lift it deserves, or find a showroom near you today!

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