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Exterior House And Shutter Colors

Mar 2, 2008
Exterior House and Shutter Colors

Most homeowners one day face the inevitable task of repainting their home. The project is plagued by substantial cost, time, planning, and labor. One silver lining to such an obligation is the ability to modify house colors. This decision, however, may seem just as burdensome as the actual labor. Complementary primary, secondary, and accent colors usually need to be selected.

Fortunately, professional color schemes have been developed by major paint manufacturers offering exterior grade paints. Millions of dollars have been invested into creating simple modern color palates. Most stores offer presentation booklets and paint chips which allow homeowners to make an educated decision. Online tools, such as Benjamin Moore's "Personal Color Viewer", allow the viewer to select wall, trim, garage, door, and shutter color for various home styles. Colors, however, can look different (usually darker) when applied to large outdoor areas than on a small paint chip or viewed online. Therefore, it is recommended that a quart of the selected colors be applied to a section of the home before purchasing paint for the entire house. In the evaluation phase, consider roof color, landscape and vegetation around the home, and adjacent neighboring properties which may influence the final appearance.

After a color scheme has been chosen, decide what color to apply to what area of the house. Window trim is often a different color than the main surface. Exterior shutters and doors are often a third color. In situations where exterior shutters are just being added to the house, they are commonly the same color as the front door.

Vinyl exterior shutters require the least amount of monetary investment, short-term work, and long-term maintenance. To install, simply drill a few pilot holes into the shutter panel and screw the shutters directly to the building. Non-functional vinyl exterior shutters are sold pre-finished, and the color is molded throughout so fading will be minimal. The shutters will not need to be painted, and will only require an occasional washing to keep them looking their best. Paintable vinyl shutters are available if a custom color is necessary, and multiple colors can be used to create a more unique and original shutter. Online shutter companies generally mail color samples on request.

Wood exterior shutters are slightly more expensive but more authentic in appearance. Start with a premium grade wood shutter, like incense cedar, which will then need to be finished before they are installed. Consult with the paint manufacturer to determine the best combination of primer and paint for the optimum finish. Stationary wood shutters can be attached directly to the building with exterior grade screws or bolts. Functional shutters require exterior hinges, shutter dogs, and bolts for proper operation. Hardware can also be used on non-functional exterior shutters to give them a more distinct genuine appearance. Exterior shutters will generally need to be repainted as often as the house.

As with any home improvement project, make selections for both personal appeal and resale. In most situations, exterior shutters should not stand out, but should accent the entire project. If the entire process seems too daunting, professional consultants are available for hire.
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