Best Material for Exterior Shutters: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the best materials for exterior shutters. Learn about wood, vinyl, and composite options to enhance your home's curb appeal and durability.

Choosing the right material for exterior shutters is crucial for both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your home. Exterior shutters not only enhance the visual charm of your house but also offer protection against the elements and can sightly increase the value of your home. With a variety of materials available, making an informed decision is essential. This guide will explore the best materials for exterior shutters, focusing on their benefits and drawbacks.

Exterior shutters are an investment in your home’s exterior, so understanding the options can help you select the most durable and visually appealing choice. This article will delve into the most popular materials used for exterior shutters and provide insights into their suitability for different climates and architectural styles.

Wood Materials for Exterior Shutters

Wood Materials for Exterior Shutters

Wood is a traditional and popular choice for exterior shutters due to its timeless appeal and versatility. Different types of wood offer various benefits and characteristics, making it essential to understand the options available.

Types of Wood


Cedar is a top choice for exterior shutters because of its natural resistance to rot, decay, and insects. Its fine, straight grain and uniform texture make it easy to work with and finish. Cedar shutters can be stained or painted to achieve the desired look and provide a durable option that can withstand harsh weather conditions.


Mahogany is known for its rich color and fine grain, which gives a luxurious appearance to exterior shutters. It is highly resistant to moisture and insects, making it an excellent choice for longevity and durability. Mahogany can be more expensive but offers unmatched beauty and resilience.

  • Rich color and fine grain
  • Highly resistant to moisture and insects


Teak is prized for its exceptional durability and natural oils that provide resistance to weather, pests, and rot. It is a dense hardwood with a beautiful golden hue that can be left to weather naturally or sealed to maintain its original color. Teak is ideal for shutters in harsh environments due to its robustness.

Benefits of Wood Shutters

Aesthetic Appeal

Wood shutters offer a classic and elegant look that can enhance the curb appeal of any home. They can be customized with various stains, paints, and finishes to match the architectural style and color scheme of the property.

Insulation Properties

Wood shutters provide excellent insulation, helping to keep homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This can lead to energy savings and a more comfortable living environment.

A study by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association found that wood shutters, when properly maintained, can last over 20 years, adding significant value to your home (WCMA, 2020).

Maintenance Requirements

Regular Care

While wood shutters are durable, they require regular maintenance to ensure longevity. This includes periodic sealing, staining, or painting to protect against moisture and UV damage. Inspections should be conducted to check for signs of wear, rot, or insect damage.

Arsenal Exterminating Insight

One of our clients, Emily, had cedar shutters installed on her home. By following a routine maintenance schedule that included sealing and repainting every few years, she has kept her shutters in excellent condition for over a decade.

Environmental Considerations


Opting for sustainably sourced wood is crucial for environmentally conscious homeowners. Many suppliers offer wood from managed forests, ensuring that the material used for shutters is renewable and environmentally friendly.


Wood is a biodegradable material, which means it has a lower environmental impact at the end of its life cycle compared to synthetic alternatives. This makes it a more sustainable option for those looking to minimize their carbon footprint.

Understanding the different types of wood available for exterior shutters and their benefits can help homeowners make an informed decision. Wood shutters offer a blend of beauty, durability, and insulation that can enhance any home's exterior. With proper care and maintenance, they can provide long-lasting value and aesthetic appeal. By choosing the right wood and maintaining it diligently, you can enjoy the timeless elegance and functionality of wood shutters for many years.

Vinyl Materials for Exterior Shutters

Vinyl Materials for Exterior Shutters

Vinyl shutters are a popular choice for homeowners seeking a low-maintenance and cost-effective option. Their durability and resistance to elements make them an ideal material for exterior shutters, especially in climates with high humidity or frequent rainfall.

Advantages of Vinyl Shutters

Cost-Effective and Low Maintenance

Vinyl shutters are generally more affordable than wood or composite alternatives. They require minimal maintenance, as they do not need to be painted or stained. Simply cleaning them occasionally with soap and water keeps them looking new.

  • Affordable initial cost
  • Minimal maintenance required

Durability and Weather Resistance

Vinyl is highly resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for areas prone to rain and humidity. Unlike wood, vinyl does not warp, crack, or rot, ensuring long-term durability. Additionally, vinyl shutters are resistant to insect damage, which can be a significant advantage in pest-prone areas.

Color and Style Variety

Vinyl shutters come in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose options that complement their home’s exterior. While they cannot be painted, their factory-applied colors are designed to withstand fading from UV exposure, ensuring they maintain their appearance over time.

Installation and Longevity

Ease of Installation

Vinyl shutters are lightweight, making them easier to install compared to heavier wood or composite shutters. This can reduce installation costs and time. Their design often includes pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware, further simplifying the installation process.

  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware included


With proper care, vinyl shutters can last many years without significant wear. Their resistance to environmental factors such as rain, sun, and insects ensures that they remain functional and attractive for an extended period.

According to a report by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, vinyl shutters can last up to 20 years or more, depending on the quality of the material and environmental conditions (AAMA, 2021).

Customization Options

Design Flexibility

Vinyl shutters are available in various designs, including louvered, raised panel, and board-and-batten styles. This variety allows homeowners to choose shutters that match their architectural preferences and enhance their home’s curb appeal.

Color Stability

The color of vinyl shutters is molded into the material, providing consistent color throughout. This means scratches and dings are less noticeable, and the shutters maintain their appearance without the need for repainting.

Arsenal Exterminating Insight

A customer, John, chose vinyl shutters for their durability and low maintenance. He found that the easy installation process and variety of available styles perfectly suited his needs, and his shutters have remained vibrant and intact despite harsh weather conditions.

Environmental Impact

Energy Efficiency

Vinyl shutters can contribute to energy efficiency by providing an additional layer of insulation to windows. This helps reduce heat transfer, keeping homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which can lead to energy savings.


Vinyl is a recyclable material, and many manufacturers use recycled vinyl in their products. This can reduce the environmental impact of producing new materials and supports sustainable practices in home improvement.

Vinyl shutters offer a practical and durable solution for homeowners looking to enhance their home's exterior without the ongoing maintenance required by other materials. Their affordability, weather resistance, and variety of styles make them a versatile choice for many. By choosing vinyl shutters, homeowners can enjoy long-lasting beauty and functionality, contributing to the overall value and appeal of their property.

Poly Materials for Exterior Shutters

Poly Materials for Exterior Shutters

Poly materials, including polyethylene and polyurethane, are increasingly popular for exterior shutters due to their durability, weather resistance, and low maintenance. These synthetic materials offer various benefits that make them an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing option.

Durability and Weather Resistance

Resilience to Elements

Poly shutters are highly resistant to environmental elements, including moisture, extreme temperatures, and UV rays. Unlike wood, poly materials do not warp, crack, or rot, making them ideal for areas with harsh weather conditions. They maintain their structural integrity and appearance over time, ensuring long-lasting performance.

  • Moisture and UV resistance
  • No warping, cracking, or rotting

Impact Resistance

Poly shutters are also known for their impact resistance. This makes them suitable for areas prone to storms or other conditions where debris might cause damage. Their robust construction ensures they can withstand significant impacts without compromising their function or appearance.

Aesthetic Flexibility

Design Versatility

Poly shutters are available in various styles (like plantation shutters) and finishes, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their home’s exterior. Whether you prefer the look of traditional wood or a modern design, poly shutters can be manufactured to mimic these appearances convincingly.

  • Various styles and finishes
  • Customizable to mimic wood and other designs

Color Retention

One of the key advantages of poly shutters is their ability to retain color over time. The color is often integrated into the material, ensuring it remains vibrant and does not fade with exposure to sunlight and weather.

A report from the American Chemistry Council states that poly materials, due to their inherent color retention properties, maintain their appearance longer than many other materials, reducing the need for repainting (American Chemistry Council, 2021).

Maintenance and Longevity

Low Maintenance

Poly shutters require minimal maintenance compared to traditional wood shutters. They do not need regular painting or sealing, and simple cleaning with soap and water is sufficient to keep them looking new. This makes them an attractive option for homeowners seeking low-maintenance solutions.


The durability and weather-resistant properties of poly materials contribute to their long lifespan. Properly installed and maintained poly shutters can last for decades, providing a cost-effective solution over time.

Arsenal Exterminating Insight

A client, Laura, installed poly shutters on her beachside property. Despite the harsh marine environment, her shutters have remained in excellent condition with minimal maintenance, showcasing the material's durability and suitability for various climates.

Select Shutters in Phoenix shared a success story about a client who chose poly shutters for their home's exterior. The client found that the shutters required minimal maintenance and showed exceptional durability even in harsh weather conditions. As a result, their investment paid off with long-lasting, beautiful shutters that maintained their appearance for years【Select Shutters】.

Environmental Considerations

Eco-Friendly Options

Many poly shutters are made from recycled materials, contributing to environmental sustainability. Additionally, the long lifespan and low maintenance requirements reduce the environmental impact associated with frequent replacements and upkeep.

Energy Efficiency

Poly shutters can also enhance energy efficiency by providing additional insulation to windows. This helps maintain indoor temperatures, reducing the need for heating and cooling, and leading to potential energy savings.

Poly materials for exterior shutters offer a blend of durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic versatility. Their resistance to environmental elements and impact, coupled with design flexibility and longevity, make them a smart choice for homeowners. By choosing poly shutters, you can enjoy a beautiful, durable, and environmentally friendly option that enhances your home's curb appeal and functionality.

Aluminum Shutters

Durability and Strength

Aluminum shutters are known for their strength and durability. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them an excellent choice for areas prone to severe weather conditions.

  • Highly durable and strong
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion

Security Benefits

These shutters also offer additional security benefits, as their robust construction can deter potential intruders. Aluminum shutters are often used in hurricane-prone areas to protect windows from high winds and flying debris.

Maintenance and Aesthetics

While aluminum shutters are durable, they can be prone to denting and may not offer the same aesthetic appeal as wood or composite shutters. They are available in a variety of finishes, but their primary appeal lies in their strength and protection capabilities.

Fiberglass Shutters

Advanced Material

Fiberglass shutters are becoming increasingly popular due to their advanced material properties. They are lightweight yet incredibly strong, resistant to warping, cracking, and splitting.

  • Lightweight and strong
  • Resistant to warping and cracking

Weather Resistance

These shutters perform exceptionally well in extreme weather conditions, making them a suitable choice for homes in harsh climates. Their durability ensures they maintain their appearance and functionality over time with minimal maintenance.

Customization Options

Fiberglass shutters can be customized with various colors and finishes, providing a wide range of design possibilities. They offer a sleek, modern look while maintaining the practical benefits of durability and low maintenance.

Making the Best Choice for Your Home

Choosing the right material for exterior shutters depends on your specific needs, including aesthetic preferences, budget, and the climate of your location. Each material offers unique benefits and potential drawbacks, so it’s essential to weigh these factors carefully.

Investing in high-quality exterior shutters not only enhances your home's curb appeal but also provides functional benefits such as improved insulation, added security, and protection from the elements. How will you enhance your home’s exterior with the right shutter material? Consider your options carefully to make a choice that combines beauty, durability, and practicality.

At Serious Materials, taking all things into consideration, we recommend composite materials for exterior shutters as the best overall option. Composite shutters, made from a blend of wood fibers and synthetic resins, offer a perfect balance of aesthetics, durability, and low maintenance. They mimic the classic look and feel of wood, providing a high-end appearance that enhances curb appeal, while their synthetic components ensure superior resistance to moisture, rot, and insect damage. Unlike pure wood, composite shutters do not warp or crack and require minimal upkeep, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run. Additionally, their ability to be painted or stained offers versatility in design, allowing homeowners to match their shutters seamlessly with their home's exterior. This combination of beauty, resilience, and practicality makes composite materials the top choice for exterior shutters.

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