What Are the 5 Different Types of Exterior Window Shutters?

Window Shutters are an important exterior feature for many homes. They serve both practical and aesthetic purposes, providing privacy, security, protection from weather, and architectural enhancement. You might be thinking, what are the 5 different types of shutters that are best for every space? There are several major types of shutters and shutter styles to choose from when considering options for the outside of your house. Knowing the types of exterior shutters and their key differences can help you select what will work best on your property.

5 Best Types of Shutters

1. Traditional Panel Shutters

The most common type of shutters for outside are traditional panel shutters. These feature rectangular slats or panels that are hung vertically on hinges next to windows. Panel shutters may be crafted from wood, composite materials, or vinyl. They often have a slightly curved or arched top edge. This versatile exterior shutter style suits many home designs ranging from rustic cottages to stately colonials. 

2. Board and Batten Shutters

Board and batten shutters offer a more rugged, rustic look. They consist of wide vertical boards crossed by narrower horizontal battens screwed or nailed on. Extra crosspieces may divide the shutter into numerous small rectangles. These sturdy outside house shutters were originally made to protect frontier homes. Today they lend a cozy cabin feel whether rustic or more polished in finish.

3. Bahama Shutters

Bahama shutters are more of an awning than actual shutters. These metal or wood outside window covers are hinged at the top and positioned to provide shade and protection from sun or rain when open. When closed, Bahama shutters can guard against storms. With their angled capacity, they make an especially good choice to help regulate sunlight exposure for windows facing south or west.

4. Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters have an upscale aesthetic and tailored look. The long rectangular slats are thin and elegant, usually crafted from quality wood or synthetic materials. Plantation shutters can be easily adjusted by tilting the slats to control incoming light and privacy. When closed, they provide insulation and complete blackout conditions. This versatility and refined appearance make them well-suited to formal, stately architecture.

5. Cafe-Style Shutters

Cafe-style shutters are petite pairs of shutters intended only to cover the lower half sections of windows. They feature delicate, narrow louvers, often made from ornamental wrought iron or wooden spindles. 

Cafe shutters originated in Parisian architecture and maintain old-world European charm. They lend themselves well to classic French doors, Juliet balconies, and live-work townhomes. Some other outside window shutter options include composite, wrought iron for a Spanish flair or exterior window blinds for adjustable light filtering.

Some Factors To Choose the Best Shutters

When selecting new shutters, whether for installing new or replacing old ones, there are several important factors to weigh regarding your home and needs. After knowing what are the 5 different types of shutters, taking the time to consider these elements will help ensure you end up with the ideal set of shutters for both aesthetics and performance.

Home Design and Architecture

One of the top considerations is how potential shutters will complement or enhance your home’s existing design and architecture. Carefully examine your home’s features – the roof lines, materials used, window sizes and trims, and even small decorative details. 

Choose shutter sizes and styles that fit the scale and spaces appropriately. The best shutters will align with the home’s overall look rather than appearing tacked on. Whether modern, colonial, Tuscan, or another style, match the genre for harmony.

Intended Purposes

Before you buy new outdoor shutters, you should think about what they are most important for. Is protection from the weather, safety, better insulation, or just curb beauty more important? Will they mostly be for looks or do they usually serve a purpose? 

The goals can help you choose the right material and features. For example, if the vinyl is going to be used in direct sunlight, strong composite or wood may be a better choice. For shutters to sometimes completely close windows during storms, you would need panels that cover all the glass when they are closed.

Climate and Exposures

The home’s climate zone and exposure to elements impact options. Bahama-style shutters suit hot southern regions better than chilly north ones needing insulation. The western sun may dictate darker colors to absorb rather than reflect intensity. Make material selections suitable for coastal humidity, high mountain snow loads, or strong eastern winds, depending on location challenges. Installing the right shutters contributes to better energy efficiency and comfort.

Budget Considerations

Budget is an important factor in making choices because bigger homes need more shutters, which means the total cost is higher. For their unmatched quality, natural wood blinds cost a lot up front, but their long lifespan makes up for it over time. 

Cheap vinyl panel sets are great for people with limited funds. Before investing, you should think about how much upkeep you want, i.e. low vs. high. Smart choices will help you get the most benefits for the money.

Aesthetic Personalization

Think about your tastes in style: do you like traditional, rustic, or elegant? The update should look good so that you can enjoy it every day. You can choose how the end look will look, whether it’s painted in your colors or stained to look like natural wood. 

When painting the outside of a house with more than one color, paired shutter colors can draw attention to architectural features. Today, there are a lot of nice choices, and contract-grade vinyl shutters are one of them. Think about everything, take good measurements, and choose high-quality shutters that will protect and enhance the look of your house.


In conclusion, you know what are the 5 different types of shutters. There are many outdoor window shutters to explore. Choosing options suitable to your home’s size, curtains , architecture and exposure can help weatherize and beautify it for years to come – all while avoiding letting your indoor spaces feel too exposed. With the right set of shutters installed, you can more easily take command of light levels, privacy, and security in your home.