Find the Best Exterior Shutter

The best exterior shutter can be defined using many different criteria. Each of these factors plays a role in determining the best exterior shutter for your specific application. To answer this question, consider price, function, durability, required maintenance, size, style, color, ease of installation, the building on which the shutters are installed and production time. This may seem like a long list, but that is why ShutterLand is here to help simplify the process.

The right color and size is necessary to select the best exterior shutters for your home.

What Traits Make a Great Exterior Shutter?

The construction of great exterior shutters starts with high-quality raw materials. These materials must have a track record of exceptional performance and then be milled and assembled by skilled craftsmen. Each step of assembly requires attention to detail. Lack of precision in any step can lead to failure. ShutterLand’s focus on training and quality control ensures every customer receives great exterior shutters.

Purchasing exterior shutters is similar to buying a great pair of blue jeans. The style, fit, color, feel, versatility and durability must be just right. Likewise, exterior shutters should integrate with other featured elements of the house. The shutters need to be the correct size to fit the window and the color has to complement the overall aesthetic. Finally, outdoor shutters must be able to endure harsh weather conditions for an extended period of time. ShutterLand address each of these aspects to find you the perfect exterior shutter for your home.

The Best Overall Exterior Shutter

Let’s first answer the burning question of what is the best overall shutter. Our conclusion is based on material strength, functionality, projected life span, authenticity of appearance and customizable options. PVC shutters are the best exterior shutters. They rank highest in almost every category, including specifications and dimensions to meet historical guidelines. This very impressive exterior shutter material is solid, impervious to moisture, and extremely straight. PVC shutters are offered in louvered, Bahama, solid panel, combination and board & batten styles. The only criticism of PVC shutters is that they are heavy and are priced at the higher end of the material spectrum.

Raised panel composite exterior shutters shown on an American house.

The Best Exterior Shutter for Your Home

The best exterior shutter for your application may not be what is right for another type of building. The exterior shutters used on a Midwest farmhouse may be very different from the shutters necessary for a Northeastern lighthouse, a house in the Florida Keys or a New Orleans home in the French Quarter. We first need to identify your primary exterior shutter purchase criteria.

Buy Exterior Shutters by Price

The most affordable exterior shutter material is vinyl. The simplified construction begins with 1/8” thick vinyl molded into individual components that are heat welded and stapled together to form a shutter. The material can be perceived as cheap, but it will flex under pressure to resist dents from impact and the color is molded all the way through. Factory volume of all four styles (louvered, raised panel, combination and board & batten) allows us to keep costs as low as possible.

Pine shutters are the most budget-friendly solid shutters. They are constructed with the same time-tested techniques as premium wood shutters. The economy wood can expand and contract with fluctuating temperatures, resulting in a shorter life expectancy. All wood shutters need to be painted and can be hinged to swing open and closed.

Composite shutters are milled from a solid synthetic material composed of small wood fibers and marine grade resins. They simulate the appearance of true wood shutters with a few minor differences. Composite shutters are a great balance of price and durability.

Premium wood, PVC and aluminum wood shutters are all on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. They each have attributes that justify the cost increase. These materials may not be the best solution for homeowners shopping exclusively based on price.

ShutterLand maintains focus on the value of exterior shutters. Your home is a commodity and should appreciate in value over time. New or replacement exterior shutters will help in maintaining or increasing that investment.

Functional Exterior Shutters

Three outside shutter materials can be hinged to operate as functional units: wood, PVC and aluminum. Natural wood has been employed for centuries for multiple purposes. Authentic shutter hinges allow colonial wood shutters to swing horizontally. PVC can also be hinged for operation, yet it is very heavy and may require more hinges than wood for support. Hardware for both wood and PVC is sold separately. Aluminum shutters come with hinges pre-attached to the side stiles.

Bahama shutters hinge from the top and prop out from the bottom. This popular coastal style is sold in wood, aluminum and PVC.

All materials can be mounted in a stationary position. Vinyl, composite, PVC and aluminum all come with the necessary installation brackets or hardware. Vinyl and composite shutters are the only materials that cannot be installed with functional shutter hinges.

Durability of Outdoor Shutters

ShutterLand builds window shutters to withstand harsh exterior climates. They are constantly exposed to the elements and need to repel a variety of moisture variations and remain stable in drastic temperature fluctuations. Aluminum shutters are the most durable exterior shutter we offer. Some varieties are impact rated to endure hurricane force winds and shield from flying debris. Unless you reside in a region that anticipates regular hurricanes, aluminum shutters are probably excessive.

PVC shutters rate exceptionally well in durability tests. They are incredibly dense to resist dents, gouges, termites and other bugs. Installation of PVC shutters is a long term play with an extraordinary projected longevity.  

Low Maintenance Window Shutters

Nobody needs another chore. Low maintenance exterior shutters minimize the frequency at which the window shutters need to be inspected. All shutters installed outside the home need to be periodically cleaned. Dust can settle on all surfaces and spraying with water and a light scrubbing can instantly restore the luster. A yearly light scrubbing with soap and water can help prevent vinyl shutters from oxidizing.

All painted outside shutters should be inspected in the fall for cracks or chips in the finish. Early detection and repair of paint deterioration will extend the life of a shutter. Exterior shutters need to be refinished on average every 10 years or as often as the home needs to be painted.

Exterior Shutter Sizes

Exterior shutters should reflect the size of the window they surround. Each material has a set range of available widths and heights. Both wood and composite shutters are sold in quarter inch increments. Vinyl shutters come in limited widths. The height of PVC and aluminum shutters is determined by the louver spacing. Odds are you can come very close to the necessary shutter size. Navigate to the desired style and material combination to view the custom sizes sold.

Outdoor shutter style should not be entirely determined by popularity. While most exterior shutters sold are louvered, that does not mean they are best for your application. Exterior shutter style should take into account house design, personal preference and shutters on other buildings in proximity to the target property.

Select Exterior Shutter Colors

The color of exterior shutters need to complement other tones presented on the home. That is why it is important to have a wide selection of colors from which to choose. Fortunately, ShutterLand has the ideal procedure to obtain the perfect color.

There are nine standard paint colors available for wood, PVC and composite shutters. These basic colors include black, white, gray, brown and few popular blues, greens and reds. These colors work great for many homeowners. Otherwise, a custom color may be specified, giving you an unlimited selection of paint colors.

Vinyl colors are molded through the material. 19 standard colors integrate with most home color schemes. Alternatively, a paintable version is offered to finish after the order is received.

Aluminum hurricane shutters are finished in one of 25 standard colors. There is also an opportunity to specify another RAL color from a list of over 200 tones.

The Easiest Shutters to Install

Vinyl shutters are lightweight and arrive with the necessary hardware. They effortlessly lift in place and can be secured within minutes. The simplicity makes exterior vinyl shutters the easiest to install. PVC and composite shutters both arrive with clear polycarbonate mounting brackets. The brackets can be quickly attached, and the shutters lift and screw in a stationary position. This process is also quite achievable. Installation with functional metal hardware can be more time consuming but is usually straightforward.

Production Time and Availability of Exterior Window Shutters

ShutterLand’s up-to-date production times are posted online. Vinyl shutters have the quickest production time at about 1-3 weeks. This paired with the ease of installation make vinyl shutters a great solution for rapid curb appeal. The fastest production time for solid material shutters is PVC at 4-5 weeks. PVC shutters can be ordered pre-painted to be ready for installation immediately after receipt. View our current production times for exterior shutters for a full comparison chart.


These are most of the factors that are commonly considered when purchasing exterior shutters. It is easy to conclude that the best exterior shutter is truly the one that works best for your specific project.