Are wood shutters really worth the expense?

Just got the house painted (finally!) and now we are considering shutters.

I love the look of real wood shutters, but the prices are ridiculous!!!

Pine run for about $350+ a pair and are the cheapest option. But how long will pine last? Pine is hardly a good exterior wood.

Cedar is a better option but the prices are even more ridiculous ($450+).

The cheapest option is of course Vinyl but does not look great.

I really would love to go with the wood but I am just having a hard time justifying spending 2K on shutters.

When does such an expense make sense?

Our house is not a historical home (sadly) and it has aluminum siding which, well is not our first choice either. In addition these are for the second floor windows.

Would it be foolish to add wood shutters in this case?



You can order cedar exterior ones from Home Depot website for between $200 and $260 a pair depending on which standard size. You have to paint them yourself.

I cannot attest one way or the other to their quality but if you paint them well, they should last.


A friend just ordered a custom-sized replacement pair from Lowes. She was very pleased with the price.

FWIW, very few homes have shutters on more than one side (the front) of the house, even corner ones. When we first moved here decades ago, our corner house had shutters on all four sides--think almost 30 windows! Eventually, some of them wore out and I've been in the process of painting those that are still good (probably 80 years old). I'm considering getting a few replacements so I can do the third side, but after looking around at other homes in our towns, I'm already in the vast minority with shutters on 2 sides.


We have 4 front windows so we would need 4 pairs.


What I am reading is that if you want them to last you have to have them primed, painted, sealed and capped. Plus add the hardware which adds another couple of hundred bucks. I got a decent quote from http://www.shuttercraft.com/ which has the best pricing I found, but still a good $1800 for Cedar when all is said and done.




pmartinezv said:
We have 4 front windows so we would need 4 pairs.

What I am reading is that if you want them to last you have to have them primed, painted, sealed and capped. Plus add the hardware which adds another couple of hundred bucks. I got a decent quote from http://www.shuttercraft.com/ which has the best pricing I found, but still a good $1800 for Cedar when all is said and done.




When I had my house painted 4 years ago, I decided to get really nice wood shutters. My contractor/friend said: what, are you nuts? He painted the existing plastic (or whatever they are) ones and they look beautiful. My shutters are only on the second floor in the front, so you can't tell what they are -- only that they make the house look finished. If yours are on the first floor and you can see them up close, I can understand wanting wood -- but there's so much you can do with that money other than buying shutters (at least that's the way I think). Good luck!


I think I would go vinyl, but the best quality you can find. I would find it hard to put expensive, cedar shutters on top of aluminum siding... just doesn't seem like a good fit. And I'd rather put the money you save into getting a better product for the siding down the road.

One important question to ask is how they will look from the road, from the front lawn, to guests coming up the walkway... because no one is going to stand a foot away from them and inspect with a magnifying glass the way you do when you are considering which product to buy.



pmartinezv said:
We have 4 front windows so we would need 4 pairs.

What I am reading is that if you want them to last you have to have them primed, painted, sealed and capped. Plus add the hardware which adds another couple of hundred bucks. I got a decent quote from http://www.shuttercraft.com/ which has the best pricing I found, but still a good $1800 for Cedar when all is said and done.




$1,800 for 8 custom cedar shutters with mortise and tenon construction is a good deal. The option is to buy the materials and make them yourself.


For the second floor vinyl should be fine. No one will really be able to tell the difference since they won't be visible up close. You need to be careful, however, that they are exactly the correct size. When the size is off, particularly if too small, then they instantly look fake.



xavier67 said:


pmartinezv said:
We have 4 front windows so we would need 4 pairs.

What I am reading is that if you want them to last you have to have them primed, painted, sealed and capped. Plus add the hardware which adds another couple of hundred bucks. I got a decent quote from http://www.shuttercraft.com/ which has the best pricing I found, but still a good $1800 for Cedar when all is said and done.
$1,800 for 8 custom cedar shutters with mortise and tenon construction is a good deal. The option is to buy the materials and make them yourself.

Yes, indeed. Not a bad price for the quality, but still expensive.


How much did the vinyl cost? At some point it's worth looking at the difference in price and asking yourself whether you will always look at the vinyl and mind that it's vinyl, or would you really miss the extra money it would cost to get the wood.

Over however many years you will be looking at those shutters, the difference of a thousand or so might not seem as huge as it does when you are writing the check. oh oh



krnl said:
For the second floor vinyl should be fine. No one will really be able to tell the difference since they won't be visible up close. You need to be careful, however, that they are exactly the correct size. When the size is off, particularly if too small, then they instantly look fake.

Yes...get the size right. A shutter "should" look like it could actually be closed to protect the window. Ideally it would have some hardware that looks like it could be used, rather than like it was just glued to the side of the building.

We haven't bought new shutters yet, but once we started researching them, we began calling overly small plastic shutters glued to the sides of homes "Lee Press-On Shutters"

Vinyl upstairs is tempting, but I'd be worried about long-term color match between upstairs and down.


That's one of my pet peeves: ridiculous shutters that could never, ever cover the window they are attached to. I love the idea of putting up shutters that look functional. Much more authentic, even on a non-period house.


Indeed the appearance of real vs fake is what gets me. I would not mind vinyl if they would allow hinges as to look like the real thing, since they require much less maintenance. The thing about wood is that they are solid so you can actually attach them with hinges and they are not "pressed" onto the siding. They are wood though so in about 10yrs or so you will likely need maintenance since the paint may chip or fade. So that is an additional cost to keep in mind. Personally I love the composite ones which are solid like wood but have a layer of vinyl on top so they are "real" shutters with no maintenance. Unfortunately those are like $800 a pair so definitely not in the budget.

If we do go with vinyl I will definitely do the right size, much like what we had up before and will add some hardware such as the S holds, so that at least look real, but vinyl does need to be "pressed" onto the siding, since it is hollow.

BTW, vinyl runs about $50 per pair for the nicest ones in the sizes we need. Also you do need to 'settle' for the closest size since they are not typically customizable, unlike the wood which you can get at almost any size. So the difference in price is significant, from $200-$250 to $1800.


I bought cheap wood Home Depot shutters second hand (on MOL classified, actually). I think buying them new is still pretty affordable compared to the hard wood ones, but I wouldn't buy the plastic ones. I screwed an "L" bracket on each corner since I didn't trust them to stay square under their own weight over time. Then I got the shutter hinges at Schneider's Hardware in West Orange. Some shutters had to be cut to look like they'd close into the window. Then they were all painted and hung on the original pins that the house had from the original shutters. Then you have to place the shutter "S" on each to keep it from swinging in the wind. If you have a ladder, can turn a screw, and know how to paint, this is a DIY. If you go cheap on the wood shutters, just reinforce with brackets and I think you'll be fine. I think it looks better when the shutters are on a hinge, particularly if you have an older home. As for the aluminum siding, if you ever plan on redoing that, it'd be nice to have some shutters to be pround to hang back up. Good luck!

Does anyone ever use shutters, for shutting?



Tom_Reingold said:
Does anyone ever use shutters, for shutting?

When we get ours fixed, we intend to. They can be closed to keep out the sun's heat, or the slotted ones to ventilate and keep out the rain. Or close them to protect the windows during a hurricane.

Kurt


Has anyone ever checked an architectural salvage shop for shutters?


There's a modest ranch on the uphill side of Wyoming, at Curtiss, and they just put new shutters on their windows. They look liked stained wood and they are gorgeous. First time I've ever noticed shutters before, but I think it totally "makes" their house even though it's not a fancy colonial or anything. Might be worth a drive-by.



kthnry said:
Has anyone ever checked an architectural salvage shop for shutters?

That's a cool idea. Where do you look for a place like that?


Habitat For Humanity Re-Store is a good place to look.


Great thought. An MOL ex-pat down south recently bought all new kitchen cabinets for her house for something absurd, like $600. All wood, very nice looking. (Through Habitat for Humanity, that is.)


If you want top quality cedar shutters, check out timberlane.com. They are in PA. Luckily, we only needed two pairs because at $400 a pair, they certainly were not cheap. But they are gorgeous and since we don't have many other interesting features on the front of our house, we figured it helps with our "curb appeal".


Also Kestrel Wood Shutters in PA as well.


Are Pine shutters not worth it at all?  How long will they last or fall apart vs cedar?  Thanks


For what it's worth, I go by the axiom "form follows function."  If it were up to me, shutters would be functional, and they would actually get some use in the summertime.  I know it's customary for colonial revival homes, as most of those around here are, to be equipped with decorative shutters, but I prefer the clean, shutterless look, with trim painted an interesting color.  I also think installing wood or vinyl shutters over aluminum siding would be an architectural contradiction.  If you're looking for curb appeal, how about adding window boxes?  


Elle_Cee said:

For what it's worth, I go by the axiom "form follows function."  If it were up to me, shutters would be functional, and they would actually get some use in the summertime.  I know it's customary for colonial revival homes, as most of those around here are, to be equipped with decorative shutters, but I prefer the clean, shutterless look, with trim painted an interesting color.  I also think installing wood or vinyl shutters over aluminum siding would be an architectural contradiction.  If you're looking for curb appeal, how about adding window boxes?  

Sadly window boxes require a significant amount of on going work like watering the plants which I will probably forget to do regularly and well, dead flowers just do not look nice. I have thought about it, since I love the look, but I know I won't keep it up the way I should LOL.


Wood shutters are more expensive, but also more versatile. Those in the market will be delighted at the amount of styles and designs available. Whether you prefer a modern look or have more classic tastes, a http://www.blindsandshutters.u... can add that extra touch to make a nice house truly stunning. Easy to install and hard to ignore, a simple set of shutters can make a sophisticated change in the appearance of your home.


All this former Maplewood 1880s home owner has to say is Vinyl.  Put that money either in your child's college fund or your retirement fund.

DJT in the WH, save that money!  Protect Your Future!

Seriously!

Best Regards,

Ron Carter



rcarter31 said:

All this former Maplewood 1880s home owner has to say is Vinyl.  Put that money either in your child's college fund or your retirement fund.

DJT in the WH, save that money!  Protect Your Future!

Seriously!

Best Regards,

Ron Carter

Not endorsing the Houstonwhatever advertisement, but -1 Ron.

Wood shutters > No shutters > Vinyl shutters.



If you gotta have shutters...

Best Regards,

Ron Carter



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