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By A.Caxton

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to dress up the exterior of your home, consider adding shutters (or changing the color or design, if your home already is fitted with these affordable elements).

Shutters used to have a functional purpose, rather than a decorative one. They were used to protect the fragile glass windows of the day during storms, and as an added barrier against intruders. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, the shutters still perform the function of protecting your windows – and are made of steel or aluminum. However, in most regions shutters are used in a purely decorative fashion.

Decorative shutters are made of either wood or vinyl. The vinyl of course can be made to look like wood, but require less care – they won’t warp, crack, swell, or need to be painted, and are cleaned easily with the use of a power washer.

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Decorative shutters come in many designs: including raised panel, flat panel with cut out, false louver with flat panel cut out, board and batten, false louvered,flat panel, quarter-circle single and double panel.

The raised panel and flat panel shutters are self-explanatory – solid squares of vinyl or wood with no openings. A false louvered shutter gives the impression that the shutter has louvers (a series of overlapping slats whose angle can be adjusted to let in the sun or breeze). Cutouts in the design of trees, half-moons, or other shapes provide a unique appearance to the shutter. If you’ve got windows that have rounded tops, then you’ll need quarter-circle shutters. A board and batten is a shutter made out of three separate pieces of wood, affixed to battens at top and bottom.

If you purchase your new shutters from a large home improvement store such as Menards or Home Depot, the hardware used to fasten the shutter to to the window may or may not be included. It’s important to have the best quality hardware possible – nothing looks more tacky than a nice looking shutter with rust and water stains running down from the hinges.

If you’d like to accent your shutters with a more ornate design than the hinges that come with your shutters, you can always buy them separately, as well. There’s as much of a range of hinge designs as there is of the shutters themselves.

Be aware that window sizes can vary from house to house, and for the shutters to give an elegant appearance they must be properly fitted to your window size. If you’re going to install your shutters yourself, therefore, make sure you measure not once, not twice, but even three times! And if you have a two story house the window sizes can be different on the second floor, so bear that in mind as well.

Shutters can make your windows appear larger, and give them a finished appearance. If you’re thinking of a a new look for the exterior of your home, give a thought to shutters.

About the Author: Andrew Caxton is a syndicated editor of http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com. A focused website that offers the best articles on

vinyl shutters

and decoration.

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