Whether you are looking to give the exterior of your home a face-lift, or you have decided it is time to replace your blinds with more fashionable window treatments, you may want to take a moment to consider the benefits interior or exterior shutters could bring to your home. While shutters have been a staple of architectural and interior design for hundreds of years, with their use predating the glass window, they have seen a resurgence in their popularity amongst homeowners in recent years due to the many practical and aesthetic benefits they provide. However, homeowners who are considering adding shutters to their home may be confused by the options that are available. For instance, many may wonder what the difference is between interior and exterior shutters, what benefits they provide, and what type of shutter would be right for their home. To help you better understand the shutter options available to you, here is a quick overview of what you need to know about interior and exterior shutters.
The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Shutters
The first question you will likely have is "what is the difference between interior and exterior shutters?" While shutters are a general term used to describe a specific type of window covering, shutters can be installed on the interior or the exterior of a home's windows. While both of these window treatments serve similar functions, there are subtle differences between the two.
Ultimately, the primary difference between interior and exterior shutters is the basic purpose that they serve. While exterior shutters can serve a practical purpose by shielding your windows from the outside, they are primarily revered for their aesthetic value. These shutters can bring a classic, Mediterranean look to any home, and they can help to bring a much-needed pop of colour to the front of a house.
Alternatively, indoor shutters are often seen as the more practical of the two on a day-to-day basis, as they are easy to operate from within the home. This gives homeowners the ability to easily open and close their shutters, or adjust them as necessary, at any point throughout the day to provide the proper light and airflow without any hassle, whereas exterior shutters usually have to be adjusted from the outside. Interior shutters can also bring a unique elegance to any room in which they are installed, and they can enhance a home's interior design.
The shutter option that is best for your home will then depend on a variety of factors including your individual needs and preferences. You will also want to consider the benefits that each type of shutter provides (as outlined below) when deciding if shutters are right for you, and if so, which would work best in your home.
The General Benefits Shutters Provide
Regardless of which type of shutters you choose, there are certain benefits all shutters provide that has lead to their becoming such a popular window treatment. Here are just a few of the benefits both interior and exterior shutters provide that makes them a better option than blinds or curtains for many homeowners.
- Improved Light Control: One of the greatest things about shutters is that they provide superior light control compared to other window treatments. Not only do their louvres provide an excellent seal, meaning that they can block out more light than blinds and many curtains, but they can also be adjusted to various angles. This means that shutters provide excellent light control, as they allow homeowners to adjust the louvres to let in the exact amount of light they want, and they allow homeowners direct the light where they want it. This can be great for letting in reading light while maintaining privacy, or for directing light away from your bed in the morning.
- Protect Your Home's Interior: The superior light control shutters provide also means that they do a great job at protecting your flooring and furniture from the sun. Over time, the UV rays in sunlight that stream through your home's windows can actually cause your furniture, carpets, and rugs to fade and degrade, giving them an old, weathered look. However, shutters help to block out much of this light, and they give you the control to direct any light that does come in away from your furniture and flooring.
- Superior Privacy: Unless you live far out in the country and your neighbours are not very close, then it is likely that privacy is one of your primary concerns when choosing window coverings. Whether you are worried about nosey neighbours watching your every move, or you are afraid of burglars peeping into your home to scope out your property, shutters can help to provide you with the ultimate privacy. Not only do shutters close tighter than many blinds, which allows them to block out the outside world entirely, but they also provide a more solid cover than shades. Many shades and curtains are thin enough that people outside your home can still see shapes and outlines behind the curtains at night when the lights are on. Fortunately, shutters are thick enough that this is not a concern, ensuring that you have the utmost privacy in your home.
- Improved Energy Efficiency: In an era where people are more conscious about living Eco-friendly lifestyles than ever before, one of the best benefits shutters can bring to any home is added energy efficiency. Shutters provide excellent insulation, which helps to cut down on heat transfer and reduces the need to heat and cool your home. In fact, high-quality, well-fitted shutters can improve the energy efficiency of your windows by as much as 50%, which can greatly reduce the cost of your energy bills in the winter and summer.
- Increased Home Value: Regardless of whether you choose interior or exterior shutters for your home, they can help to increase the resale value of your home should you go to sell now or in the future. The fact is that many prospective home-buyers know the value that shutters can provide, and this is something buyers may be looking for when house hunting. Having shutters in your home can then improve your home's value and make it easier to sell. Depending on the value of your home, you may even be able to recoup the cost of your shutters when you sell your home due to the increase in your home's value that they can provide.
Interior VS. Exterior Shutters
Of course, while interior and exterior shutters share a lot of similarities, they also each have their own unique benefits that set them apart such as:
The Benefits of Exterior Shutters
- Improved Curb Appeal: Of course, one of the main reasons homeowners choose exterior shutters is to spruce up their home's exterior. For homes where curb appeal is lacking, shutters can help to brighten up the exterior and give the home character. In fact, exterior shutters do so much to improve curb appeal that this is the primary way in which shutters can improve home value.
- Weather Protection: Exterior shutters are also known for providing protection to windows in severe weather conditions. Considering windows are a major investment, you don't want anything to happen to them if there is heavy wind or if a tree branch falls against one of your windows. Exterior shutters can protect your windows and save you money in the long run.
- Added Security: Exterior shutters can also add an additional layer of protection to your home by helping to increase your home's security. If your shutters have the ability to be latched from the inside, they will provide another layer of protection to your home by making it more difficult for burglars to break in through your windows. In fact, seeing that a home has shutters can be enough to deter criminals entirely, as they would rather attempt to break into a home that is an easier target.
The Benefits of Interior Shutters
- They Enhance Any Room: When choosing window treatments for your home, it is important to think about your home's design and what will best compliment each room. With countless design and colour options available to choose from, you can choose plantation shutters that will complement and enhance every room in your home. Unlike window treatments like blinds, which often have a sterile look, you can choose warm, colourful shutters that transform the feel of your home.
- They Are Easy to Maintain: Interior shutters are also known for being easier to maintain than their exterior counterparts. Since interior shutters are protected from the elements, they do not require very much work to keep them looking like new. Additionally, even when interior shutters do need to be worked on or cleaned, they are easy to service from the inside of your home. Alternatively, exterior shutters generally must be worked on from the outside, which may require a ladder if you have a multi-level home.
- They Work on Any Window: Interior shutters also have the added benefit of working on almost any window. One of the problems you may encounter with exterior shutters is that they require substantial room around your windows to be able to open them. Depending on the layout of your house, or how close together your windows are, exterior shutters may not work as they could be blocked or would open into each other; however, this is not an issue with interior shutters.
Which Should You Choose?
Considering the differences between interior and exterior shutters, it can be difficult to decide between the two since they each provide their own unique benefits. Ultimately, the option that is best for your home will depend on your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you make this decision.
Choose Exterior Shutters if:
- You Live in an Area With Severe Weather: One of the most important reasons to choose exterior shutters for your home is if you live in an area where severe storms that bring high winds are common. During such storms, debris can come hurtling into your windows, which can cause severe damage and injuries. However, exterior shutters can be latched over your windows when there is a storm warning, which can help to protect your windows from the elements, and it can protect you from costly window repairs.
- Your Home's Exterior Needs a Face-lift: Have you been less than thrilled with the way your home looks when you drive by? If you feel as though your home's exterior looks plain or dated, adding exterior shutters can give your home a much-needed face-lift. Shutters can frame your windows to give them extra character, and with a variety of designs and colours available, they can help to make your home stand out.
Choose Interior Shutters if:
- You Are Redesigning Your Home's Interior: On the other hand, if you are satisfied with your home's exterior but are working on an interior makeover, then interior shutters may be the right option for you. Interior shutters can be incorporated into any home makeover project to transform the look of a room by replacing boring/dated curtains and blinds with classic and elegant interior shutters. No matter what style you are going for in your home makeover, you will be able to find shutters that enhance your home.
- You Anticipate Adjusting Them Frequently: Of course, many people decide to go with interior shutters mainly for the sake of convenience. If you see yourself wanting to adjust your shutters frequently to maximise your light control, privacy, and ventilation, then you will likely want to go with interior shutters. Interior shutters are easy to adjust without having to go outside or open your windows, giving you maximum control throughout the day.
Whether you choose interior or exterior shutters for your home, there are numerous benefits these window treatments can provide you with. If you are unsure which would work best for your home, an experienced contractor can help you to make a decision based on your needs. Feel free to contact us to learn about our shutters as well as to find out more about these window treatments and the benefits that they can provide homeowners with.