Designing Exterior Custom Shutters Designing Exterior Custom Shutters

Many homes require custom shutters for the exterior. Most manufacturers allow for custom measurements. If you are trying to replace old shutters on a very old home, you may be forced to design a shutter for replacements. Even with a new construction, if there is a specific look you have in mind and are unable to find exactly what you want, the design process for custom shutters is not nearly as intimidating as it seems. In general, the measurement is the deciding factor as to how much leeway you will have for design. Very small and excessively large openings will be limited as to what type of shutter will be practical.

Take Accurate Measurements

The proper measurement of the window for custom shutters is of the exact glass area. Measure the opening at several points across the width and height. Check the square of each opening by taking diagonal measurements, corner-to-corner. Also measure the depth of each window from the face of the frame to the face of the house. After measurements, make note of each dimension. Draw each opening as you measure. For second story or higher windows, use a ladder to access. After you complete measurements of each window, draw accurately on graph paper. This will give you a better grasp of the variance between openings. If you are lucky, you may find a manufacturer that can fill your order easily.

Once all your openings have been sketched, you can decide which type of shutter you are interested in placing on your house. Different architectural styles suit each home. For example, if you have a classic Florida bungalow, Bahaman custom shutters are perfect. If your home is older and you are more concerned about maintaining the architecture, your design will be more conventional.

Decide on Shutter Material

Custom shutters are manufactured from wood, aluminum, vinyl, steel and fiberglass. If your shutters are purely aesthetic, your decision will depend on color availability. For storm shutters, you must comply with local codes. There are shutters that perform hurricane protection, as well as add to the look of your home. Wood and steel shutters can be painted any color, while vinyl shutters will have the color imbedded.

Determine Shutter Purpose

Custom shutters that are purely for design are generally made of aluminum or vinyl. The homeowner can choose from a variety of colors to enhance their windows. If your material choice is wood, you can pretty well paint them any color desired. On functioning shutters, the only hardware choices would be for hinges, locks and handles. Decorative shutters are generally louvered with no exposed hardware. Depending on your choice, hardware may need replacing from time to time.


Now that you have the basics decided, check out manufacturers. Choose according to your most important feature first. This will be determined as to whether the shutter must be hurricane certified. If your most important feature is low maintenance, you will likely choose a company that specializes in vinyl or fiberglass. If authenticity to the architectural style of your home is most important, you will want to choose a manufacturer that specializes in historic preservation. Generally, each manufacturer has its own measurement guidelines. Be certain to follow the directions for measuring your custom shutters closely.

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