Custom Exterior Wood Shutters Add Style and Flair

by Derrick Rexford on June 24, 2010

Exterior wood shutters come in many styles, including louver, raised panel, combination, board n’ batten, Bahama, and Bermuda. The louver style features downward-angled slats and is the style most people are familiar with. Some have mullions that break up the slatted sections, while others have faux tilt rods. Others utilize both features. Bahama or Bermuda style shutters are similar to louver shutters in style. Instead of two shutters that open in the middle, however, they are one big shutter that opens from the bottom horizontally. The idea behind this is that it increases airflow and keeps out the sun. Bahama and Bermuda shutters are perfect for hot climates, hence the names.

Raised panel shutters don’t have slats, Instead, they have raised panels that are outlined with grooves in the wood. These can also be broken up by mullions. Raised panel shutters open in a traditional way and feature two shutters. Utilizing both raised panel and louver styles is known as the combination style. In this option, mullions are used to separate the two styles on the same shutter. These are also two shutters that open the traditional way. The last style is board n’ batten. This is a simple shutter style that incorporates three long boards and two to three battens that cross the boards. The battens can be also be connected with a z board if you so choose.

Exterior wood shutters are available in several different wood species. The most popular options are pine, redwood, Western red cedar, cypress and Sapele mahogany. The type of wood that you choose will help you customize your exterior wood shutters. You can further customize your shutters by painting them. Choose the same color as the house for a blended look or an accent color to accentuate the shutters – the choice is completely up to you. If you plan to paint your shutters, you can purchase them factory primed so that they will arrive you your house completely ready for your coat of paint. Primer will also help the paint stick and last longer on the wood.

Another way you can customize your exterior wood shutters is through your hardware selection. Hardware includes hinges, tiebacks and latches. The hinges enable the shutters to open and close, the tiebacks hold the shutters in the open position, and the latches keep the shutters latched closed. Shutter hardware is generally sold in stainless steel or coated in paint to add color and style. The one exception to shutter hardware is for Bahama of Bermuda shutters. In the case of these styles, the hardware generally comes prepackaged in a kit with instructions that includes female hinges, tilt arms, clevis pins and nylon hinges to hold the shutters open.

When choosing exterior wood shutters, it is advisable to look at all of your options, check out shutters that you like on other homes and make your decision based on your personal taste and what will compliment the exterior of your home best.

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