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Choosing Exterior Shutters

"Shutters have been used for centuries as practical and aesthetic additions to buildings. The original purpose of exterior shutters was to provide light control, ventilation, and protection against inclement weather."

Exterior Shutters - Instant Facelift for Any Building


Website: All About Shutters

Few improvements can be made to the outside of a home without incurring significant costs and major construction. One relatively quick and inexpensive way to make exterior improvements is to install shutters.

Shutters have been used for centuries as practical and aesthetic additions to buildings. The original purpose of exterior shutters was to provide light control, ventilation, and protection against inclement weather. Shutters are still used for those practical purposes, but they are also increasingly used exclusively as a decorative element.

Shutter Materials

Whether shutters are selected for practical or decorative purposes, the material chosen is of paramount concern. Shutters are sometimes made from vinyl, and often vinyl shutters are less expensive. However, vinyl shutters cannot be stained, they cannot be installed as operable panels, and they have a molded, plastic appearance. A better option is to purchase wood shutters. Cedar is the best wood for all exterior applications because it resists decay and is extremely durable. Incense cedar specifically is a superior wood for exterior shutters because the tannin (oil) helps prevent moisture penetration and deters bugs.

Finishing Shutters

After purchasing wood shutters, they must be protected. Shutters can be stained, using a stain designed for outdoor or marine use. When shutters are stained, they may require more frequent maintenance to keep them in top shape.

For the least maintenance, it is best to paint shutters. The best way to paint shutters is to spray them to allow full coverage. Applying two coats of an oil-based primer in a fine mist will allow penetration between and around louvers and into seams, joints and corners. After the primer has dried, two coats of a premium exterior latex paint can be applied, and the shutters will be ready for installation.

Installing Shutters

When installing shutters, some ventilation is necessary to avoid trapping water. If panels are installed directly to a building, allow " of space between the panel and the building to let water stream behind the shutter panel. Shutters can also be installed so they are operable and they can be closed over windows for protection against storms. Many hardware options are available for installing operable shutters. Typically, hinge and pintle systems made of a solid material with a matte black finish look best. The final piece of protection for shutters is shutter caps. Caps keep water off the top of your shutters, protecting against moisture damage, giving shutters the longest life possible.

2005 www.allaboutshutters.com

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