Exterior Shutter Replacement

cindyb_vaDecember 12, 2006

Hi all, I need some help.

I have a 1930s brick, English-cottagy type house. Currently it has working wood shutters, but they have dry rotted in spots and need to be replaced.

In doing my preliminary reserarch, I see three different kinds of working exterior shutters that I would consider: wood, composite and fiberglass.

Anyone know the pluses/minuses of these and any recommendations? Although I am getting working shutters, I don't actually use them, I just want to do what is historically correct for the house.

Many thanks in advance!!

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We have wooden,We had them made.Ours are the panels.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 2:25PM
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How rotted are they? I've seen mentioned here before a product by which some swear can save what seems to be trash due to rot. Sorry I don't recall the name but someone else may.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 2:49PM
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How rotted are they? Well, very, LOL. They are the louvered kind. When I went to inspect them a month ago, I discovered that many of the louvers are held onto the shutter frames solely by the 75+ years of paint. Some of the individual louvers are also missing.

I think I am going to get panels next go round. Or board and batten, which is a very English cottagy country look. I just don't know what the best material to have them made out of is.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 3:17PM
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If you want historical accuracy, replace your shutters with the same material as the originals - wood.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:23AM
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Wood shutters hung on hinges achieve a look that is IMHO the only look appropriate for an old house. They also make new houses look better. Of course, anything that has authenitcity costs more; new hardware $ really adds up, so if you can reuse what you've got, you'll save some hundreds.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:34AM
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I've installed 4 different types of shutters over the years: used vintage, homemade wood, custom wood, and custom vinyl.

The used shutters were by far the least expensive. I ran an ad in the paper and paid $25 a pair. They all needed scraping and painting and minor repair, but looked great in the end. We screwed them directly into the front of the house, with the inner edges propped up by the old shutter hardware still on the windows. Looked like a correct installation. Even though they weren't functional, at least they weren't flat against the house.

The home-made shutters (old pantry doors) turned out surprisingly well, although I had to paint them several times. A worthwhile experiment, although somewhat crude.

I got new custom cedar shutters from Timberlaneshutters.com for my current house. Expensive, but drop-dead gorgeous. They've been up for 6 years now and look good as new. We stained them and used correct hardware and they do open and close, handy for cleaning behind. Money well spent.

On the side of the house, I recently tried a custom vinyl shutter, from Shutterland.net. When I took the shutter out of the box, I loved it. But when we installed it, the screws slightly depressed the vinyl (even with backer boards added) and you really can tell that it's made of plastic. Plus, it's flat up against the house, very fake-looking. I won't be using any more vinyl shutters.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 5:51PM
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I have to agree with pipersville_carol. My new Timberlane custom shutters are also drop-dead gorgeous. I absolutely LOVE them and have gotten tons of compliments from the neighbors.

Given what I paid for them, I expect them to hold up well. No way to know for sure though except with the passing of time!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 11:37PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Here is a site to replace with cedar,lasts much longer.

Here is a link that might be useful: cedar shutters

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Wow, thanks for all the good feedback. Between you guys and the many neighbors I chatted with at holiday parties, it seems the decision is actually pretty clear.

I have decided to go with traditional wood and a board-batten style (current shutters are louvered). I reall do want the new shutters to be working, just like the originals. I still have all the original hardware, so that will save me a bunch of cash.

Also, thanks for the Timberlane site. I will get their catalog and an estimate from them, as well as from a few other places. I think the cedar is the best wood, too. I love the mahogany, but I think that's mostly for those who want to stain or clear-coat, rather than paint.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Shutters are attached to house by long screws. Holes now too large.What material can i use in screw holes. ONE TIME USE WOOD TOOTHPICKS. Any other tips?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 9:48AM
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to C ryan:

lead or plastic anchors like these

Photo: Naturalhandyman.com

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:18PM
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CindyB, if the existing shutters have places of rot that are not too too big, you might look into a product called
GITROT, which I used several times in the past.

I got it at a boat supply store. You use it as a two part mix, like an epoxy. What you do is make sure the woody parts are all dry. VERY DRY. Then you use an ice pick or a tiny drill bit, and penetrate the rotted area with holes. Next you put the mixed compound of GitRot into the holes and let it soak the rotted area thoroughly.

When I used it on my houseboat, the frames around the really big sliding doors were about to fall through. To remove them and replace the wood which also had the fiberglass boat deck there, would have been very expensive. So I was advised to use this GitRot, and it really fixed the problem. Not a single water leak for the 10 years I lived on the houseboat.

So if it is not convenient to replace your shutters now, you might consider this as an interim measure anyway. You can paint over it, don't know about varnish.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 5:02PM
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Quality wood shutters will last many years, and are far more authentic than synthetic materials. Many people have mentioned their expensive purchase from Timberline. Consider ShutterLand which sells similar quality solid cedar shutters for far less.

Here is a link that might be useful: Louvered Exterior Shutters

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:50PM
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