When you are remodeling your home’s exterior, shutters are an important consideration that should not be merely an afterthought. Though they don’t cost nearly as much as siding or stonework, shutters can make or break a home’s look, so you must choose carefully.

Shutters come in two basic types: wood or vinyl. What’s better for you? Let’s look at some pros and cons.


  • They don’t rot.

  • They don’t attract termites and other insects.

  • You don’t have to paint them — ever.

  • They’re cheaper than real wood.

  • They require little maintenance.


  • They look cheaper than real wood.

  • Color selections are limited.


  • They’re beautiful.

  • You get lots of style choices.

  • You can get them custom-milled to the exact shape you want.

  • You can paint them any color, even to match other parts of your exterior.

  • You can stain them.


  • They won’t last as long as vinyl.

  • They require more maintenance, including periodic painting.

  • They can become infested with bugs.


When measuring for and ordering shutters, choose pairs that will be the same height as your windows. Remember to measure each window, because some may be only a few inches shorter than others and you want to be sure you are ordering the right sizes.

Although most exterior shutters today are purely decorative and do not open or close, many homeowners choose to install shutters that are half as wide as their windows, to give the impression that they would cover the windows, if they closed. If your chosen width is not available, going with one that’s a few inches narrower is better than one that’s wider.


Style-wise, if you’re shopping for exterior shutters online at a big box store, you basically will get three choices: louvered, raised panel and board and batten. This is because these are the most popular styles you will find on most homes.

If you’re going for a distinctive look, you’re likely not going to find it in vinyl at a chain store. For shoppers who like to touch before they buy, artisan or specialty dealers might be good options. If your area is short on these types of outlets, try shopping online — you will find a good variety of unusual shutters for sale, and if you don’t like them once you get them, you can always send them back. Consider ordering just one set if you’re not sure, to cut down on the cost of shipping them back, if necessary.


One good option for making your home’s shutters stand out from the crowd is to add decorative hardware — iron hinges, S-hooks, pintles and holdbacks. This way, you don’t have to be as concerned with the shape and style of the shutter itself.

If you’re considering an exterior home renovation, call the professionals at Renovation by Burbach. We are the experts at installing all types of home coverings, including siding, stucco, wood and stone. Give us a call when you’re ready to talk home renovations, and don’t forget the shutters!