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Shutters Pros And Cons (Must Consider Before Choosing Them)

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON April 1, 2024

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Everything you need to know about window shutters pros and cons. Listing the benefits and downfalls of choosing shutters for your windows will help you make an informed decision before taking the plunge and buying them for your home.

Shutters Pros And Cons (Must Consider Before Choosing Them)

Shutters are an increasingly popular window covering choice for many homeowners.

With a variety of options, they can be used in a range of different spaces and offer several benefits over traditional curtains or blinds.

They are definitely my favourite window treatment – bar none. In fact, we’re only a couple of windows short of having them in all windows in our house!

However, shutters also come with some downsides that should be carefully considered before making a purchase. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of shutters to help you make the best decision for your home.

14 Eye Opening Reasons Why Shutters Are Perfect For Windows

Shutters can be both functional and attractive, offering a range of benefits that set them apart from other window coverings. Some of the advantages include:

1 – Provide Privacy

Shutters in a living room

With adjustable slats, shutters offer more control over how much you can see in and out of the window – which gives you complete control over your desired level of privacy.

This privacy also makes shutters a great security help, by blocking potential intruders from seeing inside.

You can tilt the shutters as well, so if you’re away it’s not so obvious like if you had curtains that stayed open all night (or you closed so they’re closed during the day).

2 – Insulation Benefits

Shutters provide an extra layer of insulation that helps to reduce energy costs by keeping heated or cooled air inside your home instead of leaking out through the windows.

As such they can save on your energy bills over time.

3 – Improved Acoustics

The solid slats of shutters help to block out excess noise from outside, making them great for areas with busy roads or other distracting sounds.

4 – Low Maintenance Requirements

Unlike curtains or fabric blinds which require periodic washing / dry cleaning, shutters are easy to maintain.

They only need a light dust or wipe, and can last for many years with minimal effort.

5 – Improved Resale Value

Shutters in a bay window from outside

Shutters are a really desirable feature that can add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

Potential buyers will be sure to appreciate the aesthetic and practical benefits of shutters in any space – both from inside AND outside.

They also stay when you move, so they’re a cost that your buyers don’t have to pay out for, which can be a huge bonus.

6 – Choose light level and direction

Shutters are designed to operate in varying degrees of light, allowing you to control the amount and direction of sunlight that enters a room.

This is perfect for rooms where the sun can be too bright at different times of day, or a light outside at night is too bright.

With shutters being solid (usually made from wood or similar), they are great at blacking out a room as well.

7 – Durable construction

Shutters are made from durable materials such as wood which are designed to withstand years of use.

8 – Not bulky

Shutters behind a sofa

Shutters can provide a streamlined, unobtrusive look that helps to create the illusion of more space in a room.

This makes them really perfect for smaller rooms where curtains would be overwhelming, or any room where you want clean lines.

9 – timeless

One huge benefit to shutters is that they’re equally suited to both modern and traditional homes.

They truly provide a timeless look that will never go out of style.

10 – Lots of colour choices

Shutters are available in an array of colours and finishes, allowing you to choose the perfect complement for your home.

You can make a statement with a bold colour, or let them blend in more with a white or cream finish.

You could even go for a wood finish which can look amazing!

11 – Safer than blinds and curtains

Shutters are designed without the need for cords or strings, making them much safer than curtains or blinds for households with small children or pets – where these things can be hazards if left loose.

12 – Keep pests out!

Shutters are designed to keep out unwanted pests while allowing free flow of air in and out of a room.

You won’t have so many cats / insects etc… finding their ways through those slats!

13 – Can Be Waterproof

If you choose shutters in a bathroom, then a nice thing is that they have a waterproof option that works really well, unlike most blinds and curtains, which can collect mould…

14 – Can fit into awkward windows

Shutters in an awkward shaped window

You can fit shutters neatly into circular and oval windows – and lots of other shapes that you may well find it hard to add a window dressing otherwise.

8 Reasons Why Shutters May Not Be Suitable For Your Home

While shutters offer many benefits that make them a great choice for any window, there are also some drawbacks to consider before deciding if they are right for you.

1 – Costly

Shutters are one of the most expensive window dressing options. As such, they may not be within everyone’s budget.

2 – Permanent Fixture

Once installed, shutters are a permanent fixture and cannot be easily removed or replaced.

This means they are unsuitable for rooms that require frequent changes in style, or if you get bored with the same look a lot.

3 – Little less light comes in

Shutters reduce the amount of natural light that enters a room because of their structure, and the fact that they’re always over the window.

As such, they may not be suitable for spaces where bright lighting is desired.

4 – They Need Space When Open

When shutters are being opened (for light, for cleaning, for the view etc…) they need room to do so.

This can make furniture placement a challenge as to open the shutters fully, there needs to be enough space around them for them to move freely.

5 – Arguably less cosy

Shutters lack the soft, cosy feel of curtains which some people prefer.

6 – Shutters cannot be easily changed

Once shutters are installed, they cannot be easily altered or replaced.

This means that if anything breaks or gets damaged, they are harder to fix. Make sure that your installer does repairs and keep their number to hand (although hopefully never needed, better to be safe).

It also means that if you want to replace them with something else, you may well have to patch the wall or window where the shutters were fixed.

7 – Difficult to fit yourself

Full length white shutters

Shutters can be difficult to fit yourself and will usually require the assistance of a professional. This adds to the overall cost of installation, making them an even more expensive option.

8 – Don’t Look Good Against Leaded Windows

Leaded windows already have a lot of lines and stuff going on – and adding shutters into the mix can feel way too busy and cluttered.

So Should You Choose Shutters?

Whether or not shutters are right for your home will depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and lifestyle requirements.

Only you know what’s right for you, and you’ll work it out based on the pros and cons listed above.

Yes, they offer many benefits for sure, but it’s really important to consider the downsides before making a purchase – and not get carried away too much.

Another possible option that we haven’t looked at yet that’s worth considering, is to have a combination of window treatments, such as curtains AND shutters.

Cafe style shutters in a living room

This will allow you to get all the benefits of both without having to choose one over the other. It can also be cost effective because you could have shutters over the lower half of the window only.

Definitely worth a thought…

And lastly, if you do decide shutters are the perfect window covering for your home, be sure to shop around and compare prices to get the best deal possible.

Ordering Shutters – What You Need To Know

As said previously, I love shutters – and they really have transformed our home for the better.

But, there are a few things that I wish I’d known before I purchased them, so I had the answers to hand. As such, I thought I’d add them here so you can get the benefits from my experience! Hope it helps.

#1 – with or without a rod?

Wooden shutters close up
Bedroom shutters

A rod sits in the middle of each section of your shutters, and allows you to move the slats to slant them / open or close them.

I had in my head that this was an expensive ‘extra’, as I knew you could also get shutters without them as well. As such, I picked without rods for the first order, and then when talking to the shop for the second order I realised that the rods were actually cheaper!

Not having rods means you need extra mechanics inside the shutter frames to allow for the slats to move together when you move one.

#2 – Colour?

Shutters come in all sorts of colours – and the seller will help you with swatches of each one. I would always suggest choosing this in the room you’ll be putting the shutters in.

This is because you want to get a true colour match – and light changes from space to space. You’ll want to make sure that the colour you choose (or the shade of white / cream – there are a LOT!) will work in the decor you have.

#3 – Which Way To Open?

Although you may not want or need to open your shutters many times, it’s still important to know which way you want them to swing open.

As with a door in a room, I’d always suggest allowing the door to swing into a wall if possible – so when it IS open, it will be out of the way and not sticking into the room at all.

Also think about how easy it will be to open and clean behind it when you do your weekly chores…

#4 – Size Of Slats?

Interestingly not a lot of people tend to realise that you can get different sized slats on your shutters, from very thin, to very thick.

I opted for quite a thick slat for a few reasons:

  • Less slats to clean!
  • More space between slats will allow more of the view to be seen, and more light to come through.
  • I like the look of the thicker slats – to me it feels more luxurious. The thinner slats remind me of office blinds a little too much. This is purely my own opinion though!

#5 – Where Will Breaks Be?

Bedroom shutters

With taller windows if you’re not having any rods in your shutters you’ll need to work out where you want any breaks to be (By ‘breaks’ I mean that the slats all work in unison – but you can’t get tall windows to all work in one go).

As such it’s always best to think about where best to have the break. Our windows had a small pane at the top and a tall pane underneath in each section – so the break in the bay window panels should ideally have been where these two sections meet (like at the side window which you can see above).

I missed this, and wasn’t asked – and so the manufacturer just put the break at the halfway point.

It doesn’t matter too much, but does annoy me when I want to open the top half and it’s not in line with the window…

Just make sure to check yours!

Shutters Pros And Cons (Must Consider Before Choosing Them)

So there you have it – all the pros and cons of shutters for you to go through and carefully to determine if they’re right for you, and a few things to remember if you do choose to buy any.

The most important thing is to decide whether they will suit your style, lifestyle and budget – and then you’ll know whether they’re right for you.

So please do take the time to explore all of the options before making a decision – and if you go for them – I hope you love them as much as me!

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The benefits of shutters in your home
The downsides of shutters in your home

This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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