A home is one of the most important investments you can ever make in life and for this reason; you need to give it the best treatment. Little wonder then that homeowners always look for the best ideas to upgrade their homes. If you have been thinking about a good idea to give your property a fresh breath of life, you need to consider exterior shutters. Windows are a prominent part of both the indoor and outdoor décor and when treated right, they give an otherwise ordinary looking house a dash of style and elegance. Window shutters are not only aesthetic fixtures but they also have functional value for your property. If you have picked this type of window treatment, you have to choose between the two most popular shutters; wood and vinyl.
This article highlights the pros and cons of the two window shutters to help you make an informed choice for your home improvement project. Keep reading.
About Wood Shutters
Wood shutters are the most common type of window treatment and they have been around for decades. They have a classic look and give your property a vintage look. The best shutters come from hardwoods and their beautiful, unique grains add a stylish classical touch to the house and warmth.
Benefits of Wood Shutters
- Durability: Hardwood is a solid, hard wearing material which lasts long with proper care making it ideal for exterior window treatments.
- Variety: There are myriad stains and color options of wood making it easy to find the perfect shutters for your home décor.
- Strength: Wood has natural strength and it is thus ideal for making large window shutters. These shutters boast a better strength-to-weight ratio than other materials used for making these window fixtures
- Classical/timeless beauty: These shutters add an authentic and warm feel to your home with their natural imperfections such as small knots, wormholes, and grains of the wood. They offer rich color variations to redefine your home’s aesthetics
- Natural light control: Shutters made from wood are ideal for blocking out sunlight and UV rays.
- Increased privacy: The opaqueness of the shutters provides privacy in your home.
Cons of Wood Shutters
- High cost: Finding the best wood to make window shutters costs a lot and this makes wooden shutters very expensive.
- Need for maintenance: While these shutters can last long, they need proper care and maintenance which is costly and time-consuming.
- Water damage: Wood is prone to moisture damage making these shutters a poor choice for areas exposed to moisture
- Pest damage: Wood is susceptible to pest damage and if not properly treated; your shutters might fall apart.
About Vinyl Shutters
Benefits of Vinyl Shutters
- Cheap window treatment: Vinyl shutters are readily available at a cheaper price than wood or other materials.
- Moisture and pest resistance: These factory-made shutters are not prone to moisture or pest damage making them ideal for exterior use.
- No-maintenance shutters: You don’t have to provide special care for these shutters which save you a lot of money.
- Practical window treatment: These shutters will not peel, crack, fade or suffer damage easily compared to wood and other window treatments.
- Flame-retardant: Vinyl is inherently flame-retardant making it perfect for use in the kitchen and other areas close to open fires
- Damage resistant: This hardy material is not prone to scratches and dents making these shutters ideal for kids’ rooms.
Cons of Vinyl Shutters
- No uniqueness: The fact that they are cheap makes vinyl window treatments too common and they don’t have that authentic feel
- Low strength material: Vinyl is too flexible and requires other support materials when used on large windows and this adds to the cost. On such openings, they risk of sagging when not well supported
- Poor customization options: It is not easy to find vinyl colors to mix and match your home’s décor
Comparing Wood Shutters and Vinyl Shutters
Now that you understand these exterior shutters better, it is easier to compare them and make a final decision for your home improvement project. To do this, use the following factors:
Window shutters have to withstand exposure to the elements and regular use. As such, you want the strongest materials for your shutters. In this case, wooden shutters take the vote here because you will use the best basswood for your shutters which is tough, sturdy and durable. With proper care, these shutters can last for years without any need for replacement.
If you want shutters to suit any size of your window opening, it is advisable to go for wood-made shutters. These can work for both small and large windows because they are strong enough. Vinyl-made shutters, on the other hand, don’t work well on windows larger than 29 inches wide. They will sag and become an eyesore in your home. You will have to look for extra support for your vinyl covers which affects the décor and adds to the cost.
With vinyl, there are limited color options and it is not easy to find the perfect blend for your home décor. You can’t paint, stain or refinish these shutters to get the desired effect and this makes wooden shutters a better option in this regard. There is a large variety of species, finishes, and colors all which give homeowners variety of choices in colors, texture and other finishes.
When it comes to maintenance, vinyl window shutters win hands down because they require minimal care compared to their wooden counterparts. You can use vinyl window shutters in high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens without any risk of damage or any need for special care.
Wood window shutters are costly and you can save 10-30% by opting for vinyl window shutters.
Regarding aesthetics, wooden shutters take the vote because they ooze timeless classic beauty and add a dash of style to your home. Vinyl-made shutters imitate wood can come with a faux-wood finish but they can never give your home the warmth and authentic feel you get from wood window shutters.
Wood window shutters pose no risk to your home’s occupants but this is not the case for their vinyl counterparts. With exposure to sunlight, vinyl releases toxins linked to neurological damage, cancer, diabetes, reproductive and congenital disabilities. Wood window shutters don’t pose such health risks and are perfect for any living space.
Well, choosing between wood and vinyl shutters is not the easiest of decisions but with these tips, you can now make an informed choice. Look at all qualities of the two popular window treatments and make your decision based on your needs.