For years now, I've been around homes that have pretty, decorative, ornamental window shutters that don't do anything except accent the windows. I can't help but think that long ago, window shutters were actually functional. That is, window shutters could actually be drawn over the windows to shut out northern winds, etc.
Has anybody tried making window shutters that actually work? If so, how are they attached to the outside of the house windows? I started thinking of this idea years ago when the lower states were being pounded by hurricanes and tropical storms. Working shutters (not their decorative counterparts) could also be used during the winter, and make a house greener by using efficient shutters that can actually close around windows during the frigid winter months, reducing heating bills.
By Carol from South Bend, IN
You can still buy working shutters anywhere they sell building supplies for your outside windows, but due to the cost and upkeep most people use decorative ones. Many of the decorative shutters are made of plastic and are affixed to the house with screws. Not only are they less expensive, but they also never need to be painted!
The hardware used with working shutters is expensive; not only do you need the hinges, but you also need the turnbuckles that keep them from flapping in the breeze when open. Depending on how many windows you have, this can add up fast.
I'm not sure how efficient working shutters would be against the elements since they are not air tight. and with the shutters closed there would be no light to the interior rooms.
When I was a kid we had storm windows that fastened to the outside window frame with turnbuckles for the winter and then they were exchanged for screens in the summertime!
I googled "making real windows shutters" and got a lot. Good luck, I think they are wonderful!
i live in a 200 year old cottage in the mediterranean and i have the real working shutters which are probably as old as the cottage. quite honestly, they are a pain in the neck. A big hassle to keep clean when its windy and they make the room darker plus the upkeep maintenance. The only advantage in having shutters is if, like me, you live in a hot climate.
The shutters allow you to open the windows to let in fresh air without the sun plus giving you privacy. my shutters are on the ground floor opening straight into the street, so they are essential. other than that, I don't think they are very practical especially in winter as they keep the sun out which is what you don't want when its cold.
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