Shutters for your traditional home or business

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

#ShuttersShutters add a distinctive appearance to traditional- and historic-style homes and businesses. Exterior shutters may be the perfect way to dress up your building! Opt for shutters made with quality materials and construction methods and you will be happy with the results for years to come.

Origin of Shutters

 The original shutters may have been developed by the ancient Greeks and made of marble. 500 years ago, it was common for homes to have wood shutters. But they were not like our shutters today. They were on the inside of the house! Not only that, the shutters only covered the bottom of the window opening. According to The Guide to Shutters, the top of the opening had glass and the bottom was open. Shutters only covered the open portion back then.

Early shutters were used to block light and air, to protect the glass, and to provide privacy and security.

As glass became more affordable, double hung windows became more the norm. In addition, thick stone walls were less preferred as wood framing was introduced. Wood walls were thinner than stone or brick. Now people could reach out of the window opening to open and close shutters mounted on the exterior.

Later, shutters became more elaborate. Louvered shutters were introduced to block out rain, but allow air and light in.

ShuttersDevelopment of Shutters

While early shutters were purely functional, later shutters were used more for esthetic effect.

During the period of rapid industrialization, window construction became more sophisticated. Windows were designed to keep out the elements and to provide security. Shutters were no longer necessary, but people still liked the esthetic effect.

We visited New Orleans over Spring Break and enjoyed seeing all manner of shutters in the historic French Quarter. Not only were they beautiful painted wood shutters, they also worked! The shutters were sized appropriately for the windows they covered. When the shutters were opened, they were held back with beautiful wrought iron shutter dogs.

In the 60’s, “fake” shutters were screwed or adhered next to windows of home facades. During the 70’s, I also remember having louvered shutters on the inside of the house for privacy and to take the place of curtains. Did your home have interior louvered shutters? Many homes did! This was the origin of what we know today as “plantation shutters”.

#ShutttersShutters Today

If you are using shutters on your home or business, there are many options to consider.

Begin your search by looking at good style examples of shutters in your area or online. Historic buildings are an especially good source of inspiration. Your new shutters should be chosen to complement the building architecture.

Shutters are readily available: custom-made to your building; ready-made and available locally or online; and kits for the do-it-yourselfer. Check prices for the best value. Evaluate manufacturers and installers for quality and reliability.

A Few Shutter Options

Design – flat, panel, louver, lattice, combination

Shape – flat top, round top, quarter top, pointed

Materials – wood, aluminum, plastic, vinyl, wood composite

Finish – natural, painted, varnished, oiled

Functionality – functional, fixed, tilting, swinging, sliding, bi-folding

We like shutters that function. Call us old-fashioned! They just look right. It might not be an option for your situation, but we think functional shutters look better. If possible, get shutters that cover the windows, even if they are never used for that purpose. The appearance is far superior to shutters that are stuck permanently on the wall.

Although cheaper options are found at home center stores, we recommend using wood or wood composite shutters. Custom-made cedar shutters are a nice choice. These will be more attractive, add value to your building, and will usually last longer than the alternatives.

Carefully finish the shutters to enhance durability and protect your hefty initial investment, especially if they are made of wood. Consider your location and make provision for harsh elements such as sun, wind, rain, and ice. 

ShuttersOur Recommendation                                        

When we have a choice, we specify custom-made, functional cedar shutters. The shutters will have attractive proportions, suitable to the windows to which they are paired. They will provide trouble-free use and long-term value for your initial investment.

For traditional or historic-style homes or businesses, shutters will add a distinctive appearance that enhances your building. Quality shutter materials and construction methods will pay for themselves in the long run and you’ll enjoy a trouble-free value for your investment.