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Composite Shutters Cost Guide

Shutters installed in the interior window openings of a home are not only attractive, but can serve a practical purpose as well. They offer additional privacy to existing window treatments or provide a cleaner, more streamlined look without using drapes or curtains. Shutters can also help to keep sun and cold out of the home, saving money on heating and cooling bills.

The Costs

  • Average lowest cost for composite shutters: $216
  • Average highest cost for composite shutters: $313

There are several different styles and associated hardware to choose from that can affect the cost of composite shutters. The most popular styles with basic hardware are less expensive than custom designed shutters with premium hardware. Having them installed by a professional contractor is an additional expense. Figure the estimated cost by adding up the materials and labor and count in any extra options desired. Estimates are based on the unified distance, made by adding the desired height to the width. Be prepared to estimate additional costs where there is an unusual shaped window or casing,or for any special requests that are out of the ordinary. Add in another five to fourteen percent for unusual installation configurations and be sure to communicate special requests with the contractor bidding the job.

With a few basic tools and a few hours' time, a handy homeowner can install shutters and save a great deal of money in the process. A professional installation will cost $17 to $91 per shutter depending on the level of expertise and whether or not the installer is bonded and licensed. A local handyman service may be a thriftier option, but be sure that whoever is hired has some experience working with composite materials and window treatments. As always, when hiring a contractor, confirm references and previous work done.

Shutter Designs to Complement the Home Décor

Matching the home’s décor will be simple enough as there are many styles, sizes, colors and finishes to choose from. In addition, the quality of the shutter may make a difference in sun blocking and insulation properties. Keep in mind that the more specific the home’s needs are, the higher the cost the shutter installation may be.

Additional options should be available depending on the look desired for the window space. Add a valance or a window top to complete the design and tie it into the home decorating scheme. The above price guide is for basic shutters only.

Determine What Function the Composite Shutters Will Serve

Shutters can be installed to serve different purposes. When planning for shutter installation determine whether they will be decorative only or whether they will be used in a more practical energy-saving or privacy application. Will they be opened and closed frequently or only occasionally? If they will be adjusted daily, the hinges, louvers, levers and clasps must be able to withstand the heavy usage. Those that will be installed and remain in place somewhat permanently and without adjustment may be installed with standard hardware.

When planning a shutter project, it will be necessary to decide whether they should be single-hung or double-hung. A single shutter will cover the entire area. Double-hung shutters are installed in two separate sections. This is useful for a room that needs the privacy of closed louvers at the bottom half while the top half lets the light into the room. This is also useful where sunlight beats down and closing the top half would be useful, while still allowing homeowners to enjoy the view from the bottom section. In a room where natural light is important but the budget doesn’t allow for double-hung shutters, consider installing them on the lower half of the window only, providing privacy and light at the same time.

How Composite Shutters are Made

Composite shutters are manufactured from a variety of wood products and mixed with an adhesive to hold it all together. The wood material is often the scrap left from trees that have been milled for larger continuous pieces of lumber. If the home is designed to be green and free from harsh chemical products, the materials used will make a difference.

Ask the sales representative or the manufacturer about the actual materials used if organic concerns are important. Composites are considered engineered wood and are made using wood fibers, straw, hemp or sometimes sugar cane. The fibers are bonded together with adhesive or resins that may or may not contain formaldehyde.

The wide variety of materials used creates a marketplace of shutters that can accommodate every need. They may be waterproof or water resistant, or they may reflect and resist heat damage. The only way to be sure is to research the company that will supply the materials for the project. If cost is the bigger factor, the composite woods provide a lower cost alternative to the more expensive wooden shutters.

Advantages of Installing Composite Shutters

There are a number of good reasons to install composite window shutters. Shutters add value to the home. They create a finished look to almost any décor. Properly installed shutters block heat, cold and UV rays. They provide additional privacy where needed. Shutters add curb appeal to real estate when seen from the outside.

Composite material is lighter than wood, making it a better choice for large windows. They are less expensive in general than real wood shutters. Fewer trees are needed to manufacture composite shutters. Less drying out and shrinkage occur due to extreme dry climate. Less warping occurs than in real wood shutters in humid climates. They have better insulation properties due to the density of materials used.

Disadvantages of Installing Composite Shutters

Though the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, there are a few. Shutters can be challenging to clean and dust. Composite shutters may show their manufacturing flaws over time. Some materials used may not be acceptable to those with health or environmental concerns. Composite materials should be painted, not stained as wood shutters can be, as the joints and imperfections may show through.

Last updated on May 20, 2016

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