Choosing House Shutters, Both Inside and Out

Room Shutters
Shutters today are not only used for protection but also often for decoration.(midascode/pixabay)

Before the invention of glass, house shutters provided protection for homeowners from pests and the elements.

Then, in the nineteenth century, shutters slowly made their way to the house exterior.

Today, you can find house shutters, painted or stained, in a variety of sizes and styles on both the inside and outside of homes.

Read on to learn more about the different types and styles of house shutters.

Outer Shutter
Exterior shutters are available in two styles: fixed and operable. (Jupiterimages/Photo Images)

Exterior Shutters

Fixed shutters permanently attach to the outside of a house. Since the shutters cannot be moved, they simply serve as a decorative feature. Adding this type of house shutter can help increase its curb appeal by adding color and architectural accents.

Operable shutters are hinged, so they can close over the glass of your windows. This type of shutter helps ward off intruders, provides protection during storms and protects you from the glare of the sun.

When it comes to shutter materials, the options for shutters are numerous. Some of the most popular shutter materials are:

  • Wood Shutters

    Wood shutters are the most common shutters on the market. They’re available in a variety of patterns, so they can fit any home’s style. In order for wooden shutters to last, you must properly maintain them.

  • Composite Shutters

    Composite shutters provide a great alternative to wood shutters. These shutters are virtually maintenance-free custom and manufactured from state-of-the-art PVC and thermally stable fiberglass.

  • Vinyl Shutters

    Vinyl shutters, the most reasonably priced shutters on the market, are lightweight, easy to install and readily available in most home centers or even online.

  • Storm Shutters

    For those of you who are concerned about hurricanes or tornadoes, you may want to invest in storm shutters. These aluminum shutters protect glass from high winds and blowing debris. Storm shutters are available in several different types.

    • Colonial shutters have hinges on the side and fold into the window and lock into place.
    • Rolling shutters roll down either manually or electrically from the top of the window opening (similar to a garage door).  
    • Accordion shutters consist of folding interlocking slats that move vertically on a track to cover your window opening.

A slidebolt provides shutters with a locking mechanism. (naveebird/Getty Images)

Shutter Hardware

To enhance the look of your wooden or composite shutters, add shutter hardware. This hardware has evolved over the years into stylish accessories for your shutters. Hardware is now available in many styles and finishes.

  • Shutter Dogs: This type of hardware keeps the shutters open and attached to your house
  • Ring Pulls: Pulls that allow you to close the shutters from inside your home
  • Slidebolts: Bolts lock the shutters when closed

Wooden Shutter
Interior shutters are used for protection and to eliminate unwanted light. (real444/Getty Images Signature)

Interior Shutters

Interior house shutters can be either louvered or paneled and are becoming more popular with homeowners.

Wooden plantation shutters with working louvers serve as interior window treatments that allow you to control both light and privacy. You can paint or stain this type of shutter and use it on almost any type of window or door.

A few of the benefits of wooden plantation shutters are that they require virtually no maintenance, they enhance your home’s resale value, consist of a one-time investment, and the insulation and reflecting properties of shutters help conserve heating and cooling costs.

Interior shutters can also be made with a flat or raised panel surrounded by a frame.

While they provide the ultimate in privacy, paneled shutters block all the outside light. Therefore, you’ll need another light source if the shutters are closed.

Faux wood interior shutters are also available from different manufacturers across the country.

Outdoor Shutters
Many DIYers like to use shutters for a surplus of different projects around the house. (Marje/Getty Images Signature)

Salvaged Shutters

Many homeowners are finding clever ways to use old house shutters.

One way to repurpose salvaged shutters is to create a room divider or screen. Simply take several shutters and install small hinges on the edges so they can fold and be freestanding.

Most of these salvaged shutters will require scraping and painting to improve their appearance.

One way to do this is to have a furniture refinishing company dip the shutters in a stripping solution. This saves lots of time and effort to make the surface suitable for repainting or staining.

Further Information


  1. We’ve been trying to find a source for the Rolling Shutters that roll down from the top and are positioned outside. We think they are made of vinyl but might be metal. We saw some at a distance as we drove down the road and it looked like the homeowner was lowering them by remote control standing inside the room. Any ideas what company might make these? Thanks!

  2. I love that you talked about how interior shutters provide more privacy to homeowners. We live in a county where rowhouses all the rave. It’s great because it fosters a tight-knit community but the spaces in between are also very limited. I’d check with a contractor that sells affordable interior shutters and have them installed within the week. Thanks for this fun read!

  3. I’ve recently moved into a home near the coast and I can already feel its difference from the city just from the breeze. I think it would be best if I buy some roller shutters for my windows before summer ends.


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