Why Your House Deserves Real Exterior Wood Shutters

Published: June 01, 2020

Exterior Wooden Shutters

So you have reached the point that you want wood shutters for your house. You realize that wooden shutters will add to the value and appeal of your home, but you are not sure whether you want real exterior wood shutters, or vinyl, PVC, composite or any other substitute that is out there. Here are some great reasons why you should go with real wood. It's what you really want anyway!

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1) Real Wood Looks the Best. For most of recorded history, architects and designers have been using real wood to make shutters. The newer material types attempt, to varying degrees, to match the look of real wood, but they can't. And the discerning eye can immediately tell the difference. Vinyl shutters are the worst -- they are flat, mono-chromatic, boring, or even horrid to look at. Because of the limitations of the injection molding process, many aesthetic compromises have to be made in their production. The shutters are also flimsy, thin, easily deformed and can be detected from hundreds of feet away. Other composites do a better job than vinyl in mimicking the true quality look of wood, but still, are easily detectable as they do not have the subtle variations and imperfections that add so much more detail to a wood shutter. The best fakes are actually more expensive than the real wood exterior shutters, and still need to be painted! What's the point of spending more to get something that looks worse, has to be thrown out sooner, still needs to be painted (if it even can be painted) and makes you feel like you have cut corners?

2) Real Wood Matches the Best. Most fake materials come in only the most common stock sizes, and run on the inch or every two inch, so if you have a window that is 31 1/2 high, good luck. You have to take what you get, and it will show. Compare the look of a factory injected piece of plastic that is "close" to the right size, to a piece of architectural millwork that is the exact size and style for your window. Modular homes (those dwellings found in trailer parks) are notorious in their use of cheap fake shutters of the wrong size. If you have a distinctive home, do not diminish it's intrinsic charm, instead, buy the right solid exterior wood shutters for your style of home, for your size of window, and for your taste. Custom wood shutters can be given many additional details that further tie the shutter your home, including matching window casing details, custom cut outs, and varied panel profiles and sticking. Real wood shutters can be painted to match or complement your home, with any color that you can think of, rather than a stock set of 3 or 6 colors of plastic.

3) Real Wood Lasts Longer When properly maintained, exterior cedar shutters can last decades and longer. Estate Millwork uses premium materials, premium joinery (the business of holding the different parts of the shutter together), and premium finishes. Yes, you will have to re-paint your shutters from time to time, but isn't that better than looking at ugly, fake, vinyl for five years, and then throwing a house full of them out? PVC and Vinyl, depending upon exposure, begin to degrade both in color and structure as they are exposed to the elements, and they can not be painted again. Well maintained wood shutters can last for decades, or centuries. Monticello, Mount Vernon, Montpelier, and Ash-Lawn Highland are homes that predate the founding of the country, and they all have real wood shutters. Yes the shutters might have been changed out over the course of 2 1/2 centuries, but not every five years. And they look great! In fact, Estate Millwork shutters are on both the newer and older section of Ash-Lawn Highland, President James Monroe's home.

4) Real Wood is Authentic and Traditional. No builders from the 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century would or could use anything but the real thing. Most homes built in America before the 1940's, and especially those distinctive Victorian, Edwardian, Colonial, Georgian and Tudor homes that we built in the 1920s and earlier -- the realy lovely homes, have real exterior wood shutters, real wood windows, real wood trim (and real brick, and real slate and real copper) -- homeowners of those periods were unwilling to compromise -- why should you? Shutters are featured prominently in the interiors and exteriors of the great stately homes of England and Europe, the great homes of the American architectural traditions. Does your sentiment for your home run along those lines, or along the lines of the trailer parks - the biggest showcase of vinyl.

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