Exterior Shutter Buying Guide

Exterior Shutter Buying Guide

You've decided you want to add shutters to your home but not sure which ones you should get? Well, you're in luck because we've done all the hard work for you. This buying guide is broken down into the essentials you need to know when it comes to buying exterior shutters.

Step 1: Functional or Decorative Shutters?


Originally, shutters were used to protect homes from the weather and intruders. Today, function is no longer a necessity thanks to glass window panes. But if you want that added protection, functional exterior shutters are a perfect way to add curb appeal and old-world functionality.



If you're looking for the authentic look but want them to be as maintenance free as possible, decorative shutters are for you! With the proper size, placement and hardware, no one will be able to tell they are faux shutters. Or if you simply want to add curb appeal and accentuate your windows, direct mount shutters are an excellent option as well.

Functional or Decorative Shutters

Step 2: Measure Your Windows for Exterior Shutters?



  • When measuring for functional shutters, the measurements need to be precise as to close over the window correctly
  • If your windows have a large offset or you want your shutters to overlap, take those measurements into consideration as well
  • Exterior Shutter Width = Window Width ÷ 2



  • When it comes to measuring for decorative shutters, it is really a personal preference since you don't need to worry about closing them over the window
  • Height of Window = Height of Shutters


Functional and Decorative Shutter Measure

How to Measure for Exterior Shutters

Step 3: Styles of Shutters


  • Matches Victorian, Italianate, Georgian, Spanish, Ranch, and Greek revival style homes
  • For Federal and Colonial style homes, install on 2nd floor

Board & Batten:

  • Matches Spanish, Ranch, and French Country style homes
  • For shutters measuring more than 54" in height and for double hung windows, 3 battens will give a more balanced look

Raised Panel:

  • Matches Victorian, Georgian, Ranch, French Country, and Greek revival style homes
  • Matches on the first floor of Federal and Colonial style homes


  • Bahama shutters can match just about any style home or commercial building
  • Traditionally they are mostly used in tropical areas to protect windows from storms
  • They work great for shading rooms from harsh direct sunlight and porches from strong winds while also creating privacy


  • Matches Victorian, Italianate, Federal, Georgian, Colonial, Ranch, and Greek revival style home
  • Combinations styles include Louvered, Operable Louvered, and Raised Panel
  • Customizations include Arched Top and Cut Outs on shutter panels


  • Cut-outs in shutters add an even more personal touch to your home
  • You can personalize Raised Panel, Board & Batten, and Combination shutters
  • Choose from over 40 cut out images
  • Or send us your own cut-out image!


  • Looking for a 100% original look? You're in luck because we can make just about anything when it comes to custom shutters!
  • If you know what Style, Size, Material, Color, and Quantity you want, give us a call and we will draw up an estimate for you then we can start making your shutter dreams into a reality! Or if you don't know, give us a call and we can help you!


Step 4: Which Material is Best for You


  • Lowest Cost
  • Decorative Only
  • Lightweight, long-lasting durability
  • Pre-finished wood grain so they're not shiny
  • 40-Year warranty against cracking, fading and structural failure
  • Paintable option or pick from fade resistant stock colors


  • Traditional and most authentic
  • Available in pre-painted or natural
  • Natural can be stained or painted
  • Acceptable for most historical districts
  • Available in cedar and rustic wood
  • Customizable upgrades available such as cut-outs and arched tops


  • Maintenance free: will not split, crack or rot
  • Long-lasting duability
  • Ideal for climates with high variation in temperature and moisture levels
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Storm rated Bahama style
  • Maintenance free; powder coated finish for long lasting durability
  • 14 standard colors and custom color matching
  • Ideal for any climate
  • Functional hardware included with every Bahama shutter


  • Real wood-like feel without the maintenance or cost of refinishing
  • Won't split, crack, warp, rot or fade
  • No need for annual touch-ups or resurfacing
  • Operable or direct mount available
  • Available in standard colors or for color matching
  • Can be painted with standard acrylic latex exterior paint
  • Acceptable for most historical districts
  • Variety of customizable options

Step 5: What Kind of Hardware do you Need:

Functional Shutter Hardware:

Functional shutters need to be able to cover the entire window so measuring precisely is very important. Important rules to follow:
  • Shutter pairs from 14-48" in height require the use of 2 pairs of hinges/pintels
  • Shutter pairs from 49-96" in height require the use of 3 pairs of hinges/pintels
  • Shutter pairs over 96" in height require the use of 4 pairs of hinges/pintels

Stainless Steel Shutter Hardware:

  • Stainless steel hardware supports the weight of operable exterior shutters
  • Works best for operable exterior shutters
  • Stainless steel lasts longest
  • No maintenance

Decorative Shutter Hardware:

  • If your shutters are going to be for purely decorative purposes, measurements for hardware are not required.
  • But to make your shutters look as authentic as possible follow the placement measurements as closely as possible.

Aluminum Shutter Hardware:

  • Cast aluminum exterior shutter hardware is a smart choice for non-functional exterior shutters
  • Best for direct mount shutter made of composite wood
  • Aluminum will not corrode with powder coated finish
  • Authentic Old-World look
  • Lightweight
  • No maintenance

Iron Shutter Hardware:

  • Decorative shutter hardware for non-functional exterior shutters
  • Long lasting
  • Rust resistant

Vinyl Decorative Hinge Set:

  • For decorative purposes on direct mount vinyl exterior shutters only
  • Low cost option
  • Sophisticated metal hinge look
  • 40-Year warranty
  • Fade resistant

Direct Mount Shutter Hardware:

  • Durable transparent direct mount brackets
  • Designed for decorative, non-operable shutters
  • Secure mount that stays almost completely out of sight
  • Eliminates need to drill holes into your designer shutters
  • Works on any shutter of at least 1" thick
  • Ideal for wood, composite, and fiberglass

Hopefully, we have answered all your shutter questions and you're ready to take the next step in your curb appeal project! If you do have any questions or would like to place a custom order, give us a call at 800-896-0978 or send us an email: sales@hooksandlattice.com

Beautiful Exterior Shutters for your Home