Some Terminology to Learn When Shopping for Outdoor Shutters

Posted on: 28 April 2016

Outdoor shutters can add style to your home while also protecting the windows from hail, flying debris, strong winds, and other such damage. Since outdoor shutters are a bit different than indoor shutters, you would do well to learn some terminology you might come across when shopping, so you can choose the best type for your home. This will ensure you don't overlook any needed features and are happy with your shutters for years to come.

Fixed versus operable shutters

Fixed shutters are permanently attached to the side of your home and don't have hinges to move and close them. These are purely decorative shutters, versus operable shutters which have hinges to close them over your windows. If you want to protect your windows from storms, you need operable shutters you can open and close.

Storm shutters

Storm shutters are like roller doors for your windows; they roll up into a casing that sits above the window frame. Storm shutters are usually made of aluminum or another lightweight metal, and provide maximum protection against hurricanes, high winds, and the like. Typically storm shutters will have a rod that attaches inside the home so that you can twist them open or shut without having to go outside. When open, the shutters are completely rolled into the housing above the window frame and are out of sight, for a clean and simple look to your windows.


The hardware for shutters will vary according to what features you choose; a ring pull allows you to actually pull shutters closed from inside the home. Slide bolts are like a deadbolt that goes over the front of the shutters, locking them in place. This can be a good choice for when you want a bit of added protection against storms, as the shutters are less likely to just fly open when you have them bolted shut. Shutter dogs are hardware that attach to the home on the outside of the shutters and which lock them in place when the shutters are open, also reducing the risk of having them get caught in high winds.

Composite shutters

Composite shutters are made of PVC and fiberglass materials, although they are stamped and formed to look like wood shutters. They are more durable than wood as they won't rot, chip, or crack. They also won't fade under direct sunlight or when exposed to constant rainfall and other potential damage. They are often a good choice when you like the look of wood but don't want to constantly repair the damage that is often suffered by wood shutters.

For more information on external shutters, talk to a professional like Shutterflex.