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Shutters And The Home Front Face Lift

Mar 26, 2008
I think Joni Mitchell put it best "...you don't know what you've got till it's gone." With shutters it seems the opposite is true, you didn't know it was missing until it was there. A lot of homes and businesses do not have shutters on their windows and they may look just fine. But if you take that same home or business and add some shutters; WOW, not only the windows but the whole house just "pops" more. Adding shutters can be the simple and fairly inexpensive face lift your façade is screaming for.

Today shutters come in a wide variety of materials that range from no maintenance to no time for anything but maintenance. You will also want to consider whether you want non-functional decorative pieces, operational (on working hinges but not meant for any manner of protection), or fully functional. Below you will find a few material options that are currently favored with home buyers.


Vinyl is an excellent to very low maintenance option, and many brands offer a lifetime or 40 year warranty (in the U.S. a lifetime warranty is actual only binding for 40 years). The warranty is usually against product defect and fading. Pre-colored offer you no maintenance other than cleaning. A paintable option can be chosen as well, but your time spent maintaining them may vary by the paint grade used. Vinyl shutters are almost always non-functional and for decoration only.


Polyurethane is a low maintenance option in that it does not rot and insects leave it alone, but it does require painting from time to time. The darker the color the more maintenance will be involved; of course this also depends upon the quality of paint used.

These too are for decoration only.


Wood shutters tend to require the most maintenance. These can be found in operational and fully functional. They require painting more often and are forever prone to rotting. Then one needs to consider those big yellow carpenter bees coming to visit for the spring and summer. Wood shutters are often thought of to be the standard of beauty, and just like with everything else it usually means a pricier option as well.


As compromise to regular wood there are wood composite shutters, made by binding wood fibers, strands and particles. They tend to last longer than full wood shutters, and usually come pre-painted with a color guarantee of up to 10 years. While they are operational they are not typically functional.


A fourth option is Aluminum, strictly speaking as a decorative shutter they seem to be fading into the past. They were most often used on mobile homes, but the pre-fab housing builders seem to have switched to vinyl long ago. . I've been hard pressed to find any more than a small handful of sizes, and pre-made colors are very limited. What I've seen in use has became noticeably chipped and scratched over the years.

Like with any good facelift, it should look better but not over done. Different accessory pieces are available, but not always necessary. Things like S hooks and hinges can give an authentic look to completely non-functional shutters. Usually made with a "wrought iron" look they tend to fade into a darker color shutters, but really pop on lighter shades. For something like a composite or wood shutter that has the option to move, necessary hardware would include pintels, hinges, slide bolts and S hooks, which are available in various styles.
If you mean for your shutters to operate they would definitely be required.

So if it's time to do some updating for curb appeal, to stand out from the neighbors, alleviate façade boredom, and add property value or to create some warmth and charm think shutters; the facelift you'll be proud to admit to.
About the Author
Lawrence DePippa is the Internet Marketing Manager of Accent Building Products, a leading direct distributor of Builders Edge vinyl exterior shutters, gable vents, door surrounds, and kitchen cabinets. Accent Building Products can be found online at: http://www.accentbuildingproducts.com .
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