Shutters: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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Shutters

window is the element of the home connecting the outside world and the interior of the house. However with the help of window treatments, the functionality and aesthetic style of these windows can be hugely upgraded, adding an important touch to both the comfort and design of your home. Among the many options of window treatments, shutters are a popular choice that comes with many benefits. A shutter is a solid window covering that can be both on the exterior and interior, with a frame of rails and stiles along with louvers or other type of panels installed within the frame. The slats can be adjusted to vary the amount of light coming into the room.

Shutters can sometimes be confused with blinds. The main difference between the two is that blinds have panels that can be raised or lowered to cover the window, while shutters are solid and permanent fixtures with slats that enables opening and closing.

When Should I Install a Shutter?

You should consider installing an exterior shutter if your house comes in contact with strong winds, in order to protect the windows. With extremely rainy or snowy weathers being frequent in Canada, shutters would be ideal for extra protection under the different climates. It would also be a good idea to have interior shutters if the bedroom has windows faced in the direction of strong sunlight exposure, to allow a blockage of the excessive light when unwanted.

What are the Pros and Cons of Shutters?

Having beautiful windows with a view of the outside street are great, but sometimes privacy is needed and shutters are a great solution. They can be easily opened and closed, with control over the louver panels to adjust visibility and light let in. Exterior shutters provide considerable protection against strong wind, storms, snow or other extreme weather conditions, while interior shutters block out the overly strong UV rays. They can also provide insulation to regulate the room temperature, keeping heat in during winter and out during the summer. When the shutter is completely closed, it can act as a layer of sound insulation. Compared to other window coverings, shutters are more durable and requires low maintenance, since they are permanent fixtures with sturdy materials. They come in many finishes and sizes that can match a variety of home designs, while providing an attractive piece to the look. They are also a great way to enhance the less appealing appearance of PVC windows.

Some of the disadvantages of using shutters include visibility, cleaning and damages for wooden material. When closed, shutters will compromise the view from the window with slats being in the way even if adjusted to let light in, thus slightly reducing visibility. They can also be rather time consuming to conduct a thorough clean, since each slat will need to be individually wiped. Wooden shutters in particular are known for their neat appearance, but can be susceptible to warping when the environment gets humid.

What are the Different Types of Shutters?

Board and Batten Shutters - This is the simplest type of shutters, assembled by joining individual wooden boards with shorter cross-pieces called battens. The board and batten shutter is an exterior shutter that comes in both arch-top and square top. These can be found with house styles such as stone Colonials, farmhouses or cottages, providing a rustic look.

Paneled Shutters – This type of shutters are made with flat panels of box-like designs. They are usually more commonly found on the exterior, but some can also be adapted for interior use. Some interior shutters are made from a combination of paneled and louvered shutters. These decorative pieces can be used to create a country-garden style with a formal touch.

Louvered Shutters – Louvered shutters are constructed with multiple thin slats placed horizontally within the frame, overlapping each other. This is a popular choice for a variety of architectural styles, since louvered shutters are timely pieces that can be fitted for different house designs. The ability to adjust the slats for sunlight exposure provides high functionality and makes these shutters stand out from other options.

The above are three main panel types of shutters, however there can be many variations in constructing a suitable shutter for your room. The panel type can be combined, or the height can be varied to fully cover or partially cover the window. There are also customizable specialty shapes as well as bi-fold and tri-fold shutters.

How do I Install Shutters for my Windows?

The first step of installing shutters is to measure the window. You need to identify the window type, choose the kind of inside mount frame to use, and decide on your slat size and frame depth. Then accurately measure the size of the window, which will be the size of the shutter frame. Remember to be specific and exact. After double checking everything, you can proceed to ordering or making the frame. Some people like to get hands-on in creating the shutters, while others prefer to obtain ready made shutters. If you are not up for some DIY or have questions with the process, hire the installation experts to add this decorative and functional fixture to your window.