Exterior Window Shutters
Exterior Window Shutters are window coverings in the form of two panels located on each side of the window frame. Their original purpose was to either shut out light, ensure privacy or protect from severe weather.
In modern construction, shutters are typically used for decorative purposes as a way to add architectural interest to any home or building. Depending on your personal preference, shutters can look great in any material.
Functional vs. Non-Functional Shutters
Many shutters now are “fixed” or non-functional. This descriptor means that they are either bolted or screwed into the exterior building wall behind them.
Non-functional shutters only serve the purpose of looking decorative. They can still come in just as many styles and materials as functional shutters, but they often require less consideration in terms of material choice or installation.
Functional shutters can be closed to block out sunlight or even harsh weather from windows. While most people have indoor blinds or interior shutters for this purpose, functional exterior shutters are still used occasionally to evoke a sense of old-world utility and charm.
A functional shutter usually operates on a hinge, but they can also be fixed upon a track to slide in and out of use. Some track systems can even be controlled from inside the house.
Styles of Shutters
There are so many different styles of shutters that naming them all would be nearly impossible.
The most common design would be a frame filled with slats angled downward to diffuse light, known as louvers or sometimes “louvres.” Louvers can be oriented any way — horizontally, vertically, at an angle — to achieve different visual effects.
Other shutter styles are made of solid wood panels fixed with support beams, just like a barn door. These are often known as the “French” style, referring to French countryside houses that would display colorful shutters with arched shapes or quaint designs.
Another popular type of solid shutter has raised panels, usually stacked in one vertical line of threes or fours.
Shutters have been made from an enormous variety of materials throughout the ages, including the cycling popularity of recent synthetic materials.
- Wood — the traditional choice. Wood shutters should be made from insect and rot-resistant species, such as mahogany, Spanish cedar or teak. These options are expensive, but they last longer than cheaper options such as finished pine.
- Vinyl and PVC — these materials became popular shutter choices from the 70s to the 90s, but they are prone to sagging or warping after repeated exposure to sunlight.
- Fiberglass — a popular replacement for the former two materials. Since it is reinforced, it will not deform like vinyl would. The material is also exceptionally strong and can be finished or refinished in a multitude of ways.
- Aluminum — also popular currently. This material is lightweight, as well as insect and rot resistant. While they can suffer from corrosion over time, a simple refinishing every 10-15 years prevents this problem.
- Steel and alloy — works just like aluminum, but will be more corrosion resistant at the cost of being heavier.
- Copper — an unusual but nevertheless elegant choice. Can be coordinated with copper flashing, gutter or awnings for a stunning look.
- Wrought iron — not technically a shutter, wrought iron window accents have been used for centuries. They can be formed into a decorative frame, or they could partially cover the window for a Victorian or colonial effect.
Nashville Exterior Shutter Installation Experts
If you live in or around Nashville, Antebellum Roofworks Co Inc can order any type of exterior window shutter you want and professionally install it. We can even coordinate the choice to complement your roofing or gutter materials as part of a larger project.