The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Shutters

When you think about window shutters for your home, what do you picture? Is it colorful shutters on either side of the exterior window, or elegant interior shutters that allow you to filter light into your home while offering shade and privacy? You can find both exterior or interior shutters for your home, but they will likely look very different. The biggest difference, of course, is that interior shutters are on the inside while exterior shutters are on the outside. But beyond that, it’s useful to know the difference in what each type of shutter offers, so you know exactly what you’re getting. 

Exterior Shutters Are Mostly Left Open

Exterior shutters, like interior shutters, can cover your window and offer you more privacy; but they are primarily left open. This is because it would be a pain to have to go outside every time you wanted to open or close the shutters, especially when windows usually include interior window treatments that are far easier to operate. Exterior shutters are primarily closed only when you intend for that window to be closed off for a substantial amount of time.

Interior Shutters Are More Customizable

It’s not just that interior shutters are easier to open and close. Interior plantation shutters also have adjustable slats, so you can have the shutters closed but the slats open, letting in sunlight while still offering privacy and protecting your window. You can use the tilt wand to adjust the slats to let in as much or as little sunlight as you want.

Exterior Shutters Are Decorative

You’ll find exterior shutters in brighter or bolder colors than interior shutters, which are often white or cream or stained wood. This is because exterior shutters are primarily there to boost your curb appeal. Even if they aren’t used often, they add to the overall style of your exterior walls and create a more homey appearance. They can also add contrast to your siding by matching the trim of your home, giving the walls a more varied look. 

Interior Shutters Have More Options

Exterior shutters can come in different shapes and sizes, but these are largely to fit the shape of the window. For instance, windows with a domed top will have shutters that curve at the top. Interior plantation shutters have yet more options, such as cafe shutters which cover half the window and leave the other half exposed. Softedge shutters have subtle frames so that they seem to be part of the window, while traditional plantation shutters have more of the classic elegance.

Exterior Shutters Are Exposed To the Elements

While wood shutters are lovely, homeowners have to be careful choosing wood plantation shutters. Exposed to wind, rain, humidity, and harsh sunlight, wood shutters require frequent treatment in order to keep from warping, swelling, or rotting. Fading paint can also be an issue. Exterior shutters, though rarely used, can require regular maintenance in order to keep their fresh appearance. Because of this, many homeowners opt for vinyl exterior shutters.

Interior Shutters Are Mostly Made With Wood

Interior shutters, however, are not exposed to the elements and are therefore lower maintenance. These shutters can enjoy the beauty and feel of authentic wood. Of course, they still need to be made with care. Our stained wood plantation shutters are made of basswood, but our painted shutters are made with less porous poplar shutters, so these shutters will be as durable and low maintenance as possible.

The truth is both exterior and interior shutters have their merits: exterior shutters are best for boosting your curb appeal, while interior shutters are perfect for enjoying privacy and customizable sunlight in your home. Contact Shenandoah Shutters today to learn more about our interior plantation shutter options.