Are you about to add shutters to your home? Whether you're getting decorative shutters for the outside or actual shutters to help you control the effects of storms and sun on the windows, you've got three serious considerations to deal with. These considerations will help make the shutters easier to use, maintain, and, well, be around without worrying about what's behind them. Shutters are a fantastic addition to a house, and once you get these three issues settled, you'll have one good-looking home.
Ventilation and Anti-Bat Space
If the shutters are going to be fixed to the house (i.e., decorative), or if they're going to be movable but you think you won't be closing them very often, leave at least 3 inches of space between the back of the shutter and the side of the house. This creates a space that is a little too big to be comfortable for bats that can end up living behind the shutters. (If your area is prone to bats, try placing a bat box on your property so the critters still have a home.) The space also allows better ventilation that, on muggy days, will help prevent mildew from forming.
Reaching the Shutters
For shutters that you plan to use occasionally to protect windows, consider how you're going to open and close them if the window has a screen. Some shutters can be connected to controls inside that you adjust to open or close the shutter. You might also be able to get screens with sections you can open so that you can reach the shutters by hand. Another option is to get temporary screens for each window that will have shutters; undo a side of the screen, reach out to get the shutter, and then button up the side of the screen again.
Older shutters were generally made of wood, but you can get vinyl and fiberglass versions now as well. These materials better resist mold and rot, and pests aren't attracted to them as much (rodents do occasionally like to live in fiberglass insulation, but the harder fiberglass used to mimic wood shouldn't have this issue). If you do get wood, be sure it has been sealed properly, and inspect the shutters frequently for signs of infestation.
You can get shutters in different styles, with and without movable louvers, and in any color you want as long as there is a paint in that color. These are a great addition to homes that need extra protection for the windows or that even just need a little more detailing for curb appeal. With the right placement and materials, you'll love those shutters. For more information, contact a company like Beard's Window Coverings.