The Ultimate Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters

September 23, 2019

Shutter shopping: Sounds simple. But is it?

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Shutter Compilation
You Have Many Options for Choosing Window Shutters For Your Home

 

Shutter shopping can be more complicated than you think. It’s important to get the appropriate window shutters the first time around. This can be a massive investment and lifestyle-changing, so you want to do it right.

Just like every room in your house serves a different purpose, there are many shutter types that serve different purposes. You want to be sure you get the right one for your situation, environment, and style.

So, what types of shutters are out there, and how do you choose the one you need?

 

Shutter Guide Outline:

Click below to jump to different sections of this article.

Types of Shutters:

Shutter Styles:

 

Comparing The Different Shutter Styles

We created a table comparing the different shutter styles based on 11 different categories.

We rated each of the styles with a 1-10 rating system, with 1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest in a particular category. This will give you a quick glance to determine whether or not a shutter is a good choice for your situation.

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Traditional 1 1 1 8 1 9 1 1 1 1 1 2.4
Plantation 1 8 3 6 8 2 7 8 7 8 3 5.5
Louvered 2 2 3 8 2 8 7 4 2 2 2 3.8
Cafe 1 8 2 5 7 3 8 8 8 8 4 5.6
Board & Batten 2 2 2 9 2 9 2 1 2 2 5 3.5
French Door 1 5 2 7 5 8 5 7 6 6 7 5.4
Multi-Tier 1 6 2 7 8 5 5 6 7 7 5 5.4
Arched 2 2 2 7 5 9 2 2 1 1 9 3.8
Raised Panel 1 1 1 5 3 8 1 1 1 1 2 2.3
Barn Door 4 5 4 8 9 9 5 6 6 6 8 6.4
Scandinavian 2 1 1 9 2 9 2 1 1 1 9 3.5
Exterior Rolling 8 8 8 9 7 7 7 9 9 9 7 8.0
Bahama Storm 9 9 9 9 4 5 1 1 2 5 9 5.7
Shaker Storm 9 9 9 9 4 1 1 1 1 5 7 5.1
Accordion Storm 9 9 9 9 6 1 1 4 2 5 9 5.8

 

Interior vs. Exterior Shutters

First, it’s helpful to understand the difference between interior and exterior shutter styles. Beyond simply being mounted on the inside or the outside of your home, there are other key differences between the two.

Some of the differences are listed in the table below.

 

Interior

Exterior

Main functions are privacy and ventilation Main advantages are for ventilation, light control, and protection
Control how much of the window they cover from the inside Not as easy to adjust depending on where it’s located on the exterior and the mechanisms involved
Protected from outdoor elements Directly exposed to weather
More options, flexibility, and typically more affordable options Can improve exterior security depending on the shutter style
Often made out of less-durable materials. PVC, and similar materials, that can degrade with long-term sunlight exposure Rolling shutter materials and motors are hardened against all elements – sun, wind, rain, etc.

 

Interior Shutters

Interior shutters are mostly for privacy purposes within a home, and they can offer partial coverage or full coverage of windows. A potential con to these kinds of shutters are that they don’t provide any improvement to curb appeal or protection on the exterior of the home. They also don’t provide the same level of insulation that exterior shutters offer.

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Interior Shutters
Interior Plantation Shutters
Source

Exterior Shutters

Exterior shutters are for the outside of your home (coincidentally they are also our specialty). They are primarily used for complete privacy, protection from intruders and weather, and for an improvement to the exterior look of the home – instant curb appeal.

There are many options when it comes to your exterior shutter styles, and we’ll get into some of those options, features and benefits below. Let’s take a look at some of the types of shutters and materials available to you.

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | ERS
Exterior Rolling Shutters from European Rolling Shutters (ERS)

 

Types of Shutters and Materials

When looking at the different types of shutter styles made available to you, it’s helpful to consider the material from which they’re made. Each material has its own set of pros and cons, and the best option really depends on what you’re needing shutters for in the first place.

 

Wood Shutters

✔️Exterior
✔️Interior

Comprehensive Home Shutter Guide | Wood Shutters
Wood Shutters
Source

 

Wood is the original material used to make shutters, and they’re still a great option to use today. This traditional type of shutter is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and flexible. You can choose from different types of wood, finishes, and stains.

There are a few drawbacks to wood shutters though. Especially in areas with lots of moisture, they can become distorted and need to be replaced without the proper finishing treatments and care. Plus, it’s easily damaged so it’ll need more regular maintenance. Wood shutters are also one of the most expensive options.

 

PVC Shutters

✔️Exterior
✔️Interior

Comprehensive Home Shutter Guide | PVC Shutters
PVC Shutters
Source

 

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a synthetic plastic polymer which is very hard and durable. It’s also lightweight, which makes it an attractive material for this shutter style. PVC shutters are ideal for high-moisture areas or even spots where they’ll come in direct contact with water, such as the shower or anywhere on the exterior of the building.

The cons for the PVC shutter style mainly start with inflexibility: You’re pretty much stuck with some version of white. They’re definitely not the most beautiful options, but if durability is what you need, it’s a good way to go.

 

Composite Wood Shutters

✔️Exterior
✔️Interior

Comprehensive Home Shutter Guide | Composite Wood Shutters
Composite Wood Shutters
Source

 

A composite wood shutter of wood and PVC sounds like the best of both worlds, and that’s exactly what composite wood shutters are made from. The core of the shutter is composed of wood, and the outside of the shutter is composed of vinyl. These shutters have more protection from moisture while maintaining an attractive wooden look. These manufactured wood shutters are also more affordable than the real deal.

However, sometimes nothing beats the look and feel of real wood.

 

Metal Shutters

✔️Exterior
❌Interior

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | ERS Metal
Metal Exterior Rolling Shutters from European Rolling Shutters (ERS) Being Used On Windows

 

Metal shutters — also called roller shutters, coiling door, or sectional overhead doors— are usually found on the exterior of homes. They consist of multiple metal (aluminum or steel) slats which can either roll or fold up and be put out of sight.

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | ERS Rolling Shutters
Metal Exterior Rolling Shutters from European Rolling Shutters (ERS) Being Used On Doors

 

These shutters are more functional than design-centric, and they’re often used for windows, doors, and garages. They can also be used for commercial buildings, and schools if needed. This metal shutter style is also ideal for protecting you against theft and harsh weather like hail or wind.

 

Security Aesthetic Durability
Wood ✔️
PVC ✔️
Composite wood ✔️ ✔️
Metal ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

 

Shutter Styles

Now let’s get into shutter styles.

 

Traditional Shutters

Traditional Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Traditional Shutters
Traditional Style or New England Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Traditional 1 1 1 8 1 9 1 1 1 1 1 2.4

 

Traditional shutters are also called New England shutters. This style has been around for as long as shutters have been made. They are mounted on the exterior of a home. A thick frame holds multiple slats close together, and they can be either the full or partial height of the window. These shutters are mostly for improving the exterior look of a home rather than providing protection. They also aren’t intended to open or close in most cases. Since they don’t open or close, the potential drawbacks of these types of shutters means they don’t help with insulation or temperature regulation.

They also can’t help improve interior lighting because they can’t be adjusted, and depending on their location on the exterior, they can also be difficult to clean.

 

Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Plantation Shutters
Plantation Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Plantation 1 8 3 6 8 2 7 8 7 8 3 5.5

 

Plantation shutters originated in the southeast U.S. and have slats which are more widely spaced apart, thus letting in more light. They are most often installed in the interior of the home rather than the exterior. They’re a flexible style of shutter, as you can use multiple shutters for a single window, giving you the option to close all or some of the slats. That’s definitely an advantage this shutter provides over other interior shutter styles. This shutter is a great option if you find yourself regularly adjusting your lighting. It can also improve temperature regulation because of your ability to adjust the lighting to your situation.

 

Louvered Shutters

Louvered Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Louvered Shutters
Louvered Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Louvered 2 2 3 8 2 8 7 4 2 2 2 3.8

 

A louvered shutter has horizontal wooden slats which can be angled in such a way to allow sunlight in while also keeping the elements out. They are similar to Plantation shutters, but these are mounted on the exterior of the home, where louvered shutters are mounted on the interior of the home. This shutter allows you to adjust lighting from the exterior of the home, and it can also provide some protection from the elements as well. Reducing the amount of sunlight entering a room can also allow you to adjust the room temperature. One of the potential downsides of these types of shutters is that it can be hard to adjust them to open or close because they are mounted on the exterior of the home. Having to open the windows to adjust them, or adjust them from the outside of the home could become an annoyance for you. If you are looking for a great shutter option to adjust for lighting in the interior, you should go with the plantation shutters instead of the louvered shutters.

 

Café Shutters

Café Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Cafe Shutters
Café Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Cafe 1 8 2 5 7 3 8 8 8 8 4 5.6

 

Café-style shutters cover just a part of the window, typically the bottom. They are usually mounted on the interior instead of the exterior. The name comes from the style of shutters that French cafés used to provide to patrons for privacy while allowing natural light to flow in. The cafe’s would put shutters on the lower half of windows and leave the top open. This style works well in an exposed room like the kitchen or living room, so you can enjoy open windows while maintaining privacy from nosy neighbors. The main benefits of the Café-style shutters are great for privacy and for adjusting the lighting to the amount of lighting you want in your room. One of the cons of this shutter is that it’s mounted on the interior and it won’t provide much interior climate control.

 

Board & Batten Shutters

Board & Batten Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Board & Batten Shutters
Board & Batten Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Board & Batten 2 2 2 9 2 9 2 1 2 2 5 3.5

 

Board and batten shutters are exterior shutters mostly made for the curb appeal of your home. They’re usually installed on the sides of the window and can open and close similar to how French doors open and close. They’re often made of custom wood or have a wood-like appearance, and they can be cut in a variety of shapes and sizes for the best fit. The shutter also provides some alleviation of harsh sunlight, but it is difficult to adjust the shutters on the exterior of the home. If you are looking for a shutter for natural lighting adjustments, we would suggest going with an alternative shutter style. These shutters are a great choice if you are looking for a well-designed appearance.

 

French Door Shutters

French Door Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | French Door Shutters
French Door Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
French Door 1 5 2 7 5 8 5 7 6 6 7 5.4

 

Shutters are becoming a more popular choice for french doors than curtains. There are interior and exterior shutter options specifically tailored to fit your French doors, and they can also match the aesthetic and interior decor of your home. The main benefits of these shutters are they look better than curtains and they also allow you to adjust just how much light shines into the room. One of the cons of the french door shutters is that the insulation is not superior to shutters mounted on the exterior of the home.

 

Multi-Tier Shutters

Multi-Tier Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Multi-Tier Shutters
Multi-Tier Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Multi-Tier 1 6 2 7 8 5 5 6 7 7 5 5.4

 

Multi-tier shutters (also called tier-on-tier shutters) likely found their inspiration from café shutters. They are interior shutters, and they have a very similar design and function to café shutters. Rather than an all-or-nothing effect, multi-tier shutters give you flexibility to keep some areas of a window covered and private, and other areas can be left open. These shutters are ideal for bay windows and other large areas. If you are looking for versatile shutters that allow you to open one side and keep another side closed, these are the shutters for you!

 

Arched Shutters

Arched Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Arched Shutters
Arched Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Arched 2 2 2 7 5 9 2 2 1 1 9 3.8

 

If your home has arched windows and doors, you may need a custom-designed arched shutter. Arched shutters are mounted on the exterior of your home, and they provide improvements to the exterior look of your home. These shutters are usually measured and cut to fit the specific areas of your home. These shutters are not intended for adjusting lighting, providing privacy, or protection like some of the other shutter options. So if that’s what you’re looking for, we’d encourage you to look at some of the other shutters that would be a better fit for your situation.

 

Raised Panel Shutters

Raised Panel Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Raised Panel Shutters
Raised Panel Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Raised Panel 1 1 1 5 3 8 1 1 1 1 2 2.3

 

Raised panel shutters feature a unique three-dimensional design. They are mounted on the exterior of your home. Rather than a number of slats like we’ve seen with some other options, it’s made of rectangular sections. An example can be seen in the image above. Each of these sections look similar to a picture frame. The design of these shutters adds dimension and style, and it’s a great option to go with if you’re looking for an improvement to your exterior style. These shutters are purely for looks. They don’t provide the ability to adjust for lighting, protection from the elements, or any other improvements to temperature regulation.

 

Barn Door Shutters

Barn Door Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Barn Door Shutters
Barn Door Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Barn Door 4 5 4 8 9 9 5 6 6 6 8 6.4

 

Barn door shutters are great choice if you’re looking for rustic interior shutters. Like their name suggests, they have a similar appearance to barn doors and typically operate with a wheel and pulley system, allowing you to open or close the shutters as wide as you like. They operate similarly to sliding barn doors that are becoming more commonplace due to an increased interest in rustic decor. If you are looking for unique interior shutters, these are a great option to choose! You can also find exterior options for barn door shutters, but they are more commonly seen in the interior of homes.

 

Scandinavian Shutters

Scandinavian Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Scandinavian Shutters
Scandinavian Style Shutters
Source

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Scandinavian 2 1 1 9 2 9 2 1 1 1 9 3.5

 

Scandinavian shutters, also known as cut-out shutters, demonstrate a strong focus on custom wood design. They are commonly found on the exteriors of homes. As their name suggests, they feature cut-outs of a particular material, similar to what you might picture on a traditional gingerbread house or found on a home in a European alpine village. These shutters are mostly for the looks. They don’t provide any other functions rather than improving the look of the exterior of the home. So there’s very little benefits for lighting adjustments, temperature regulation, or window protection from storms. However, if you are searching for custom shutters to improve the look and feel of your home, these are a great option!

 

Exterior Rolling Shutters

Exterior Rolling Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | ERS Exterior Shutters
Exterior Rolling Style Shutters from European Rolling Shutters (ERS)

 

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Exterior Rolling 8 8 8 9 7 7 7 9 9 9 7 8.0

 

Exterior Rolling shutters are, as the name suggests, able to roll in and out to provide covering to windows or doors. Exterior rolling shutters are a great exterior option for many reasons. They offer great features and benefits offering protection, versatility, ease-of-use, and so much more. And they also make a great addition to the exterior look of your home. These shutters maintain a great balance between protecting your home and also providing an improved curb appeal. One of the potential downsides may be that they aren’t as customizable as some of the other options we’ve seen throughout this guide.

 

Storm Shutters

Storm shutters are more focused on their function rather than their design. However, that’s not to say that some storm shutters are also a great option for their appearance. Some storm shutters do look very good in addition to providing great protection to your home. As mentioned, these shutters are specifically made to protect your home from the elements. These are common shutters in areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions.

 

 

Storm Protection UV Protection Security Durability Versatility Curb Appeal Temp Regulation Light Controls Convenience Privacy Investment Overall Score
Bahama Storm 9 9 9 9 4 5 1 1 2 5 9 5.7
Shaker Storm 9 9 9 9 4 1 1 1 1 5 7 5.1
Accordion Storm 9 9 9 9 6 1 1 4 2 5 9 5.8

 

There are many styles of storm shutters.

Storm Shutters

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Bahama Shutters
Bahama Style Storm Shutters
Source

 

Bahama

These shutters are non-removable (and not the prettiest in terms of looks), and are permanently installed on the exterior of your home. They’re typically attached at the top of the window area, so you can easily prop the shutter open or pull it shut when you need to. These are common in tropical and sub-tropical areas where hurricanes and tropical storms are likely to occur.

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Solid Panel Storm Shutters
Solid Panel or Shaker Style Storm Shutters
Source

 

Solid Panel/Shaker Style

These shutters are made for extreme weather and attach directly to windows, doors, and buildings with bolts or tracks. Shaker shutters are very important for protecting your home from a tropical storm or hurricane. They’re inexpensive and removable, though installing them can be a cumbersome process and require more than one person to make sure they are secured.

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | Accordion Storm Shutters
Accordion Style Storm Shutters
Source

 

Accordion Hurricane

Accordion hurricane shutters are used in areas where tropical storms and hurricanes regularly occur. Like an accordion, these shutters can be folded down and put away for easy storage for the next hurricane season. The purpose of these shutters is for protecting your home from extreme weather. Unlike solid hurricane panels like the ones above, these shutters are easy to put up and take down, though they’re not as durable. These are also an affordable option compared to some of the other storm shutters on the market today.

 

Conclusion: Choose What You Need, But Consider Our Exterior Rolling Shutters

 

Homeowners Guide to Choosing the Best Window Shutters | ERS Outdoor Shutters
Exterior Rolling Shutters from European Rolling Shutters (ERS)

 

The right shutter really boils down to what your wants or needs are. Your best bet is to write down your priorities, set a budget, and find the options that best fit what you’re looking for. We would highly recommend checking out the options we provide for your shutter needs. Our exterior rolling shutters mounted on windows, doorways, garages, or other openings protects inhabitants from the harmful rays of the sun and adds cool comfort.

Do you want a shutter that provides everything you are looking for all at the touch of a button? Then exterior rolling shutters are what you’ve been looking for! The best shutters for your home should match your interior and exterior design, serve a purpose of protection or some other function, and also be affordable with the budget you have. When compared to other shutter options, the award-winning exterior rolling shutters offer great features and benefits into one great package.

When it comes to choosing the best shutters for your situation, we recommend choosing the European Rolling Shutters (ERS). Our award-winning ERS shutters offer you one of the most versatile options available today because it maintains a balance between form and function at an affordable price.

 

European Rolling Shutters is the Shutter Leader You Need

As you’ve seen in this shutter guide, we’ve compared the pros and cons and features and benefits of each shutter to help you make the best decision when it comes to picking shutters.

Now we’d like to hear from you!

Is there anything that we didn’t cover in this post that you’re looking to know more about? Or are you interested in learning more about the European Rolling Shutters (ERS) we offer?

Contact us to get connected with one of our experienced team members who can help you choose the best shutters for your situation.

And we’re even offering free in-home consultations because we believe in giving you the best value for your budget.

GET A FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATE

(408) 629-3740

Contact ERS with your shutter needs for a free quote and to see our extensive line of other solutions such as retractable awnings and exterior rolling shutters.

 

Check Out Some of Our Other Shading Products