Types of Exterior Shutters: How to Choose the Right Ones

At Cool Shades AZ, we understand the right exterior shutter adds character and dimension to a home. Shutters come in many styles, but which shutter style is right for your property depends on your home’s architecture and your personal preference. To get started we are going to go over the types of shutters and materials you have to choose from.

Exterior Shutter Styles: The Basics

There are five types of exterior shutters: louvered, raised panel, board & batten,  Bahama & Bermuda, and flat panel. We are going to dive into a description of each of these.

Panel Shutters:

Panel Shutters are a very traditional and classic look for a home, that remains popular to this day. The panel design may be raised, flat, or recessed. Panel shutters provide great insulation so are more popular in house styles with colder climates as they used to be functionally used to cover windows. Today, insulated windows have removed the need for these shutters to be functional, however, they remain popular in these areas.

Louver Shutters:

Louver shutters are common in American architecture. They have noticeably angled slats that can be fixed or operable. These shutters are a popular choice for homes in a warmer climate like Phoenix as they can provide nice airflow and if operable can keep out the heat and sun.

Board & Batten Shutters:

Board & Batten Shutters most likely originated in the countryside.  The design is simple, just a row of planks aligned lengthwise and connector planks running horizontally at the top and bottom. Due to their simplicity, these work well on brick siding or farmhouse-style homes.

Bahama & Bermuda Shutters:

Hence the name, Bahama and Bermuda shutters are louvered shutters that are applied to the top of the window instead of on the sides. These are mainly seen in tropical areas to protect the windows from storms and debris.

Flat Panel

You may also hear these called shaker shutters, but you can identify this type of shutter by its flat, solid panels. Fundamentally, these shutters are great for blocking out bad weather and sunlight. These shutters have a very neutral design which allows them to work well with any home, but are popularly found on country-cottage and modern homes.

Exterior Shutter Styles: The Material

Now that you have selected the shutter style that is best suited for your home you now have to decide the best material to create the shutter. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages so you need to consider the durability, price, and appearance of the different material options.


Vinyl shutters are a great choice if you are looking for something inexpensive and low maintenance. Since they are made from PVC they are resistant to fading, rotting, or cracking. To make them look more elegant you can also opt for a wood grain finish to give the shutter more texture.


Wood shutters are a classic and add an elegant look to your home. However, these shutters do require some maintenance. Since wood ages over time, you will need to seal them annually so that they stay durable.

Composite Wood

For someone who wants the look of wood, but with less maintenance, composite wood shutters may be right for you. Composite wood is made out of a material that looks like real wood, yet doesn’t need the annual maintenance that regular wood requires. Also, composite wood is a more affordable option that can be created in a variety of styles.

To help you pick out the perfect shutter for your home please email us at Cool Shades AZ and we can put you in touch with someone to work with you to decide the perfect shutter for your home!