Exterior Shutters
Home Improvement

What is the Best Material for Exterior Shutters?

Exterior shutters can be both decorative and functional. They add a finishing touch and elegance to any home, with multiple style options available to customize the look. They can also be hinged to close, protecting the window from weather and intruders.

Because they play such an important role, you need to purchase shutters that will stand the test of time. The material plays a significant part in how well exterior house shutters perform. Let’s look at four common materials along with their advantages and disadvantages.


If you are looking for cheap exterior shutters, vinyl is a good option. This type of shutter is made with a thin layer of vinyl cast into a mold. You can get it any number of colors and styles to coordinate with your home’s exterior. It is lightweight and an excellent choice for homes with weak exterior construction.

Unfortunately, vinyl shutters have definite disadvantages when compared to other shutter materials. They are hollow inside, which makes them unsuitable for hinging. That means they are always bolted directly to the house purely for decorative purposes.

Exposed to direct sunlight, vinyl will start to breakdown in just a few years. It also fades easily and is hard to repaint. It is difficult or impossible to make common repairs. This means the shutters have to be replaced every few years to keep your home’s exterior looking good.


Natural wood exterior shutters have been used for centuries. They offer natural beauty with defined wood grains and multiple wood tones. They are solid, which makes them easy to hinge, perfect for protection against weather damage and intruders. The wood can be left natural, stained or painted as you desire. Because of their popularity, wood shutters can be found in any number of styles and can be customized as needed.

The downside of natural wood is that it can begin to rot over time. As the wood absorbs moisture, it can swell and lose its shape. Moist wood provides an ideal home for termites and mold.

Wood Composite

Wood Composite
An alternative to natural wood is wood composite outdoor shutters. Made from wood fiber material, usually MDF, encased in vinyl or PVC, these shutters are more durable than natural wood. They resist rot and can withstand more weather. They are built as a solid mass, so they can be hinged like natural wood. They are made to look like and feel like wood.

Depending on the manufacturer, the shutter may or may not be paintable. If not, you are stuck with the color it comes in.

Another problem with wood composite shutters is that the outer coat can eventually crack or split. While the composite resists weathering better than natural wood, it will eventually start to rot. Once the wood composite starts to absorb moisture, it’s only a matter of time before the shutter needs to be replaced.

PVC Composite

PVC composite exterior shutters bring together the best aspects of the other shutter materials.

They do not rot, which means they can last as long as the house itself. The PVC won’t split or crack like vinyl or wood. The shutters are solid and can be easily hinged, keeping your windows and home protected. They look and feel like natural wood, offering beauty and elegance to any home. They can be painted in any color you desire, making it easy to coordinate them with your existing exterior colors.
PVC Composite
They are available in a number of styles, giving you the ability to enhance your home’s exterior effortlessly.

Selecting the best shutter material will ensure you get the most use out of your purchase. You can be assured of the highest quality when you purchase exterior window shutters from Flower Window Boxes. Browse our selection of outside window shutters today and see for yourself.

Author Bio

Matt Buquoi works at FlowerWindowBoxes.com, a company that offers premium-quality, no-rot flower window boxes, exterior shutters, cedar gables and outdoor planters at affordable prices.

What is the Best Material for Exterior Shutters? was last modified: by