How to Choose Your New Residential Shutters

Residential shutters are a great choice for any home, as they fit well in small and compact spaces, and will work with any decor, even as you change your home's paint colour and furnishings over the years. There are a number of different materials and features offered for shutters today, which means you're sure to find just the right style for your home, but which can also mean that shopping for shutters gets a bit overwhelming! Note a few tips for choosing your new residential shutters, so you're happy with your window treatments for years to come.

Traditional versus plantation

Traditional shutters will have very small, thin slats, whereas plantation or California shutters will have larger, wider slats. The size of slats may not seem very important, but small and thin slats may easily look busy and cluttered against very large windows, while fitting better in smaller windows. Plantation shutters with wide slats may overwhelm a small window, so they're better for large windows and for a more uncluttered, clean look to the windows.

Hinged versus fixed

Hinged shutters open with hinges along the side, as the name would imply, whereas fixed shutters are mounted to a window frame and don't move. You might consider fixed shutters in rooms where you know you won't need to open the shutters, such as a laundry room or mudroom, so you won't need to worry about having those hinges come away from the wall or otherwise get damaged so that you need to eventually replace them. However, always remember to check local building and safety codes that might affect fixed window treatments; for example, a basement may need an accessible window as a means of egress, and a fixed shutter might violate building codes for that space.


It's a common misconception that wood shutters will need constant repair, as wood absorbs humidity and then expands and contracts, and easily suffers chips and other damage. However, interior wood shutters are very dense and coated with a sealant that keeps them durable for years, so they may not need as much maintenance as you assume.

While being durable, wood does tend to fade when exposed to lots of direct sunlight and other weather elements, so wood may not be a good choice for exterior shutters. Instead, choose PVC or vinyl, both of which hold their colour and appearance even in the worst weather conditions, and which aren't likely to chip or scratch under the pressure of a power washer.