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How Much Does It Cost To Install Exterior Shutters?

National Average Change Location | View National
$657
Typical Range
$523 - $1,152
Low End
$150
High End
$1,500

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On This Page:

  1. Cost Factors
  2. What Types of Exterior Shutters Are There?
  3. Popular Shutter Brands & Where to Get Them

Exterior shutters are not only a popular aesthetic addition to many homes, but they can also serve important functional purposes such as sun and weather protection. Different types of shutters, including fixed shutters and storm shutters, each offer you a different set of benefits and features that can add to the value of your home.

Exterior shutters come in a variety of sizes as vast as the windows of a home, including standard 48- and 60-inch rectangular windows as well as custom sizes and shapes. Different styles like paneled and Bermuda are also available, along with upgrades such as cutouts and custom materials. All of these options affect the prices of shutters, as do the total number of windows in your home. However, on average, most homeowners pay between $20–$320 apiece for stock shutters in regular or custom sizes or as much as $400 per panel for designer or motorized shutter options.

Cost Factors

There are several factors that impact the final cost of exterior shutters, beginning with the number of shutters your home needs. In addition, other factors include:

Material

The most expensive exterior shutters are made of wood, while less expensive materials include vinyl and plastic. Among wooden options, different species, including oak, ash, pine and cedar, all have different price points as well. It’s important to note that wooden shutters also cost more to maintain because they need periodic restaining and other maintenance to ensure their looks and structural integrity are preserved.

Size

Standard shutter sizes match standard window sizes, most popularly including 48-, 60- and 72-inch models with a number of sizes in between that offer your home a more custom look. Any other window size or shape, such as quarter rounds, will require a custom cut, which increases cost. Among the standard sizes, larger, wider shutters cost more than shorter, narrower ones, but the difference is usually minimal, in the range of $10–$20 per unit.

Type

The type of shutter you choose may include everything from a fixed, aesthetic-only shutter to a fully-motorized hurricane shutter. The latter is obviously a more expensive choice with options in between, which include moveable sun and shade models as well as lower-graded storm shutters.

Customization

Depending on the type of shutter you choose, there’s a number of customization features that you can add to each unit to make it more personal or to match your home and style. Such options include the design and cutouts as well as opting for handcrafted shutters or those in custom colors engineered to match or complement the exterior colors of the home.

Accessories

While fixed exterior shutters are usually good to go as-is, moveable shutters require a number of accessories in order to function, including hinges and locks. Like any feature on a home improvement project, the amount you pay for these accessories can vary dramatically, from as little as $5 for each hinge to $25 or more for decorative additions and premium materials such as cast iron.

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DIY Job?

Installing basic fixed shutters or even swinging privacy shutters is certainly in the range of an intermediate DIY job. Motorized and storm shutters, on the other hand, are best installed by a professional who can insure (and possibly provide an installation warranty for) them and therefore prevent major damage to the home in the event of a severe storm.

When installing, there are a few key points to keep in mind in the interest of safety and the long-term viability of the shutters themselves:

  • Mark and drill a pilot hole with a self-tapping screw at each space where the shutter attaches to your home (if not already provided). This ensures that the screws fastening the shutter are parallel to the window frame and make installation onto the house itself easier.
  • When attaching shutters to a brick exterior, take care to line up screw areas with mortar joints.
  • Don't over-tighten screws on fixed shutters mounted to vinyl siding. This causes the vinyl to dimple and affects the beauty of the shutter.
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What Types of Exterior Shutters Are There?

Exterior shutters come in a variety of styles made to match different home designs as well as your preferences. Among fixed and swinging privacy shutters, the most popular styles include the following choices.

Board and Batten

One of the most popular handcrafted styles, board and batten shutters add an element of timeless, traditional craftsmanship style to a home. The design consists of three to four flush vertical boards transversed by two or three horizontal ones. The width of each board can be customized for a more stylized look meant to match your home and each window’s size.

Louvered

A popular addition to French- and Colonial-style homes, louvered shutters are notable for their versatility and classic appearance. Also known as Colonial shutters due to their ubiquitous association with this style of architecture, they are available in fixed and moveable styles. However, the moveable style is, by far, the most useful for the majority of homes. This is because movable louvered shutters allow you to change the angle of their slats to increase privacy or sun shading as needed.

Paneled

While not as versatile in terms of function, paneled shutters are one of the easiest styles to customize. As their name implies, these are made of a single, large panel that you can custom-design with cutouts that match your tastes and home's style. Options include everything from flowers to anchors to sailboats. The frames of each panel can also be custom designed with recessed or grooved wood cutouts to fit a variety of home styles, such as Shaker or even contemporary architecture.

Bermuda or Bahama

Only available as moveable shutters, Bermuda or Bahama shutters got their name because of the distinct tropical feel they add to the exterior of a home. Although they resemble louvered shutters on first glance, Bermuda shutters are unique because they hinge from the top of the window casing rather than at the sides. Thus, these are almost always used for primarily practical applications. They are also versatile, with positioning options that allow you to block the sun's rays while still enjoying a pleasant breeze.

Storm and Hurricane Shutters

Unlike the mainly decorative nature of fixed and even moveable exterior shutters, storm and hurricane shutters have a very real, very functional purpose: to protect a home in the event of severe weather. They are required, often by insurance companies, on many homes in hurricane-prone areas such as Florida and the Gulf Coast.

While some of these can still be aesthetically pleasing, and in fact are the same or identical to the styles listed above, what makes hurricane and storm shutters different is their composition. Their design, materials and function are related entirely to protection rather than aesthetics. Different styles of hurricane shutters include:

  • Steel or aluminum panel shutters
  • Accordion shutters
  • Steel or aluminum Colonial (louvered) shutters
  • Steel or aluminum Bahama shutters
  • Roll-down hurricane shutters

Wood vs. Vinyl Exterior Shutters?

Among the most important factors when it comes to the cost of exterior shutters is the materials used to make them. In fact, based on material alone, the cost of increases by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. The two most common materials are vinyl/plastic and wood. With abundant options for each material, deciding on the right selection for your home involves carefully weighing benefits and drawbacks to the of each type.

Wood Exterior Shutters

The most obvious benefit of choosing wood shutters is the classic look they lend to the home. Traditionally, all shutters were wood, which also makes them the best option for historical and period homes, adding both value and authenticity to their look. For large homes or those with unique window sizes and locations, choosing wood is an easier option because a carpenter or woodworker can design a custom shutter that meets your dimension and design requirements exactly. Once complete, these handmade wood shutters are easy to paint or stain to match or compliment the home's exterior, adding a true craftsman touch to the home's aesthetic.

On the other hand, wood shutters are also more expensive than their vinyl counterparts. There’s a range of options, however, including stock shutters, which cost around $100–$150 apiece. On the other end, custom-made selections cost several hundred to over $1,000 each. Furthermore, wood shutters are less durable than vinyl, subject to damage from water (rotting and warping as a result) as well as pests. They are also not fire resistant and require more maintenance than vinyl or plastic. Basic maintenance includes periodic repainting and staining as well as repair and replacement of damaged shutters.

Vinyl Exterior Shutters

Vinyl or plastic exterior shutters are generally the most affordable option for most homeowners and many are made to look just like real wood. In fact, on the low end, standard-sized vinyl shutters cost only around $25 each. Even custom-sized or specially designed vinyl shutters are reasonably priced, starting at about $200 each. When it comes to durability, vinyl is also a better option because it resists cracking and fading. Fire-retardant and weather-resistant, vinyl is considered a more durable material that’s the better choice for homes in areas prone to severe weather. Moveable vinyl shutters even offer better insulation than wood.

The main downside to choosing vinyl shutters is their reputation as a cheaper alternative to real wood. In some neighborhoods or on historical homes, choosing vinyl over wood may actually devalue the home. They are also harder to find in custom sizes and shapes. While many companies do produce custom vinyl shutters, they are less abundant than woodworkers and their products cost significantly more than stock models, negating much of the cost savings between these two materials.

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Popular Shutter Brands & Where to Get Them

When buying exterior shutters for a DIY installation, there’s a number of affordable and easy-to-access selections you can purchase at big box retailers and local home improvement stores, including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards. Popular brands include in-house (store) brands such as Builder's Edge as well as material-specific brands such as Pinecroft (wood) and Alpha (vinyl). When buying these types of off-the-rack options, average prices vary according to materials but range from a low of $25 per panel to $500 or more for real wood.

Another popular option to consider if you want a more customized and personalized look is to buy custom-made shutters from online retailers or local craftspeople. Though more expensive, costing upwards of $500 per panel, you can not only choose the style and size of the shutter to your exact specifications but also add in personal details such as cutout designs, color, hardware and more.

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