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How Much Do Wood Shutters Cost?

Installing exterior wood shutters to a home is one of the easiest ways to add instant charm and character to the overall look. Curb appeal, a most important factor in real estate value and sales, can be significantly enhanced with a three-color painting scheme that includes shutters around the exterior windows as trim. The return on investment makes shutters one of the better options for home improvement.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost - materials only (shutters, hardware): $78

  • Average Maximum Cost - materials only (shutters, hardware): $95

Costs vary according to what material is chosen, the style, hardware used and who installs them. A homeowner can save significantly by doing the work instead of hiring it out to a professional contractor. When calculating the full costs, be sure to add in the time factor and labor costs if needed. Here is a basic cost guide for materials only. Costs may be higher or lower depending on location and type chosen.

The labor costs to have exterior shutters installed can be the largest expense of the entire project. Handy homeowners with a basic knowledge of measurements and use of tools can do their own installation work and realize significant savings though it does take time to hang shutters properly. If hiring a professional contractor with license and insurance, expect to pay between $200 and $250 per shutter in addition to materials. Permits are not usually needed to add shutters as a single improvement unless it's part of a larger remodeling project.


The hardware needed to install shutters is available in a wide range of options from simple and traditional to elaborate. Some homeowners prefer to use authentic antique hardware from historically reclaimed buildings or reproduction hardware that mimics the original hinges and clasps used when shutters were functional rather than decorative as most are today.

Wood Type Options

The type of wood used can also make a difference in cost. Each type has a unique use, and some are better than others for specific climates. Pine is generally less expensive than the more naturally weather-wise redwood or cedar. If the lower cost wood fits into the project budget better, it can be treated with an exterior varnish similar to that used in boats. Waterproof sealant can be expensive too, so be sure to consider all costs when choosing the right material for the home’s location. Some options include cedar, redwood, pine and wood composite or faux wood.

Wood composite or faux wood shutters are quite popular and reduce time spent finishing or painting them. They don’t always last as long as real wood shutters, though, and are more permanent in color. Real wood is easier to refinish if the home’s color scheme is updated. Real wood can also be stained, treated and left natural or painted to match the color scheme as desired.

Functional or Decorative?

Shutters can be either permanently affixed to the building for trim and appearance or operable. Real shutters that can be closed to protect the windows in extreme weather events require more installation technique and additional hardware. Hinges, clasps and hold-downs will be necessary for the shutters to swing open and closed as needed.

Operable shutters are also good to have when privacy or security may be an issue. Some homeowners in exceptionally warm climates install Bermuda-type operable shutters to help keep the sun out while allowing fresh air into the house. Bermuda shutters are usually louvered and hinged at the top rather than from the sides, allowing users to prop them open from the bottom.

Decorative shutters are easy to install and come in many different styles to complement the overall look of the home. The hardware required for decorative shutters is designed to hold the shutters in place though additional pieces are available to give them the look of functional window coverings. Installing decorative shutters requires only that they are firmly fixed to the building alongside the desired windows. They can be mounted with appropriate screws, and any optional decorative hardware can then be added as desired.

Shutter Styles

Though louvered-style shutters may be the most common, especially in the U.S., there are several other styles to choose from. Panel styles are more solid and don’t have the individual slats that louvered ones do. Another style to choose from is the board style, composed of several long, slender vertical boards with cross-boards running horizontally across  the top and bottom. This type is more open in nature and usually mounted as fixed, decorative shutters instead of operable protection for the windows. 

Custom shutters are available from specialty shops that design them for the specific home or to accommodate an individual and unusual look. Other more unusual shutters are handcrafted by DIY homeowners who wish to create a sort of monogrammed trim for their home. These shutters can be made from the solid panel type, individualized by carving cutouts of pine or other trees, the monogrammed initials of the family or a simple crest or symbol into them.

Advantages of Installing Shutters

Shutters have a number of advantages that make them a clear choice when a home needs a new look. They add character and attractive focal points for extra curb appeal. Shutters can be used as a reflection of the homeowner’s individuality. The addition of shutters is a relatively low-cost way to protect the windows from extreme weather. With tight-fitting operable shutters, energy savings can take effect in the summer cooling and winter heating bills.

Disadvantages of Installing Shutters

The disadvantages of installing shutters on a home are few. The cleaning and maintenance is essential and can be tedious. As they weather and age, they will need to be repainted or refinished. The louvered type is perhaps the most labor-intensive since individual slats will need to be addressed. Shutters may attract pests as they provide a sheltered hiding place or nesting area.

Last updated on Jun 25, 2014

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