Shutters can be placed on the inside or outside of windows to offer privacy. Exterior shutters are often one tall panel. Shutters on the inside can be two panels with an upper and a lower panel. The first decision the homeowner makes is where the window shutters will go. Then the homeowner decides on the material, style and who will install these handy new additions to the house.

Exterior shutters are easily mounted on the sides of the windows. These can be a solid panel, raised panel, Board-n-Batten or louvered. Louvered panels allow air circulation and control as to how much light is allowed. A solid panel is opened or closed. Exterior shutters can also be decorative or functional. Decorative shutters are solely there for looks - they are fastened tight to the exterior of the home, and cannot move at all. Functional shutters are attached to the home with a hinge, so that they can be swung closed to protect the window in the event of wind, heavy rain, sleet, or other inclement weather.

Internal shutters have all the above choices and then some extras. They can also be a frame with a fabric insert. These also can be functional with a louver center to allow light and air to move through or solid pieces. If a split design is chosen, the lower panels can be closed and the upper ones left open granting the privacy desired and natural light at the same time.

The materials depend on the shutters in the choice. Most people choose cedar or PVC for exterior shutters. Cedar is a great wood as it is long lasting, light weight (for wood) and resistant to rotting and insects. PVC comes in a variety of colors and textures, is very light weight, never needs to be painted and is maintenance free almost.

Most interiors shutters would be wooden or PVC. Bass wood is the most popular wood here; it is lightweight, strong and delivers a beautifully stained finish. Best of all it is an easily renewed resource. PVC is very durable, long-lasting with minimal maintenance and highly recommended for areas with high humidity like bathrooms and kitchens or certain areas of the country.

Maintenance for most types of shutters is nothing more than inspecting them for damage on a semi-regular basis, and wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove debris. Wooden exterior shutters require painting and/or staining to keep the wood fresh, so this is something that should be considered before purchasing exterior shutters made of wood.

Privacy is assured with these wonderful and long-lasting shutters. Whether they are mounted outside or inside, the owner will have many years of pleasure.