Exterior house shutters don't only look great. The best shutters can also protect your home from weather damage and secure it against theft. We've already written about how to pick the best shutter colors and styles for your home. This post goes further into the best exterior shutter material you can choose for your location and budget.
What’s the best exterior shutter material?
There's no single shutter material that's everyone's best option. However, there are a few materials that provide unparalleled protection in a variety of environments. What you choose will depend on:
- Where you live
- Your budget
- What you need shutters for (hurricane protection, theft deterrent, or decoration)
You'll typically be able to choose from the following materials:
- Wood or wood composites
For the majority of people, powder-coated aluminum shutters are the best option for their home. After that, wood (preferably Cedar) is a good choice depending on your climate. For budget-friendly options, check out higher-quality wood composites. Exterior vinyl shutters are another low-cost option, however, we generally don't recommend these for a number of reasons we'll discuss below.
Why do we recommend aluminum exterior shutters first?
LAS Shutters + Windows has been the most trusted window and shutter provider in the Gulf South for over 60 years. Living and working in this area means we know how well certain types of shutter materials compare after hurricanes or other high-power weather events.
And, for us, we know that aluminum is the best exterior shutter material, especially for those who live in hot and humid climates. Benefits of aluminum shutters include that they:
- Don't rot, crack, or warp in the sun
- Provide protection against hurricanes and other weather, with storm-rated options
- Are highly-customizable, with different styles and RollGard options
- Have the classic look of wood, but are easier to maintain over time
- Require little on-going maintenance
- Provide great quality at an affordable price
- Are easy to operate, with manual and automatic options for opening and closing
If you're looking for New Orleans shutters, or for shutters anywhere in the Gulf South, your best option is aluminum shutters. These shutters can last up to 20 to 30 years (or another 30 years if stripped and recoated!), for an affordable price, with little maintenance.
LAS Manufacturing Process
What about exterior wood shutters?
If you live in a dry climate, wooden shutters may be a good shutter material for you. However, these shutters are more expensive than aluminum and vinyl and require on-going maintenance. Compared to high-quality aluminum options, wooden shutters can cost twice as much.
If you do choose wood shutters, look for ones made from eco-sustainable forests, such as cedar. Cedar also helps insulate the home, protecting it from extreme heat or cold. Compared to other types of wooden shutters, cedar is less liable to warping and twisting. Other good options include redwood, cypress, or mahogany.
To get the most value from your exterior wood shutters, you will need to put in some work. Wooden shutters need to painted or stained, and then sealed, regularly.
Wood composite shutters are more affordable if you're on a budget, but won't last as long as aluminum or wooden shutters. They're typically made of engineered wood that's MDF wrapped in a vinyl or PVC coating. Well-made ones can be fairly sturdy and resist some weather and humidity.
Should I get exterior vinyl shutters?
Vinyl shutters are typically your least expensive option, at least up-front. They're often hollow PCV shutters with finished end-caps, or you can find full vinyl options for more support.
Some issues that can occur with vinyl shutters include:
- More liable to crack or warp
- Larger installations may sag over time
- Have a plastic appearance
- Tend to stain or yellow easily
- Can be harder to clean
- Unable to fix or repair common problems
- Have a short lifespan
While there are some higher-quality options for vinyl shutters, the lower-end options will be more liable to have these problems. So, they may cost less up-front, but replacement costs will add up over time. It's because of this that we never recommend vinyl shutters for a home.
Find the best exterior shutter material for your home
If you're looking for New Orleans shutters, call LAS today to figure out which materials will work best to protect your home. Our team will work closely with you to create a free estimate for crafting and installing shutters perfectly matched for your home and needs.