Thursday, November 10, 2011

Functional Exterior Shutters - A Good Investment For Your Home


!±8± Functional Exterior Shutters - A Good Investment For Your Home

Functional exterior shutters can be a great investment in your home. For starters, they add curb appeal and boost your home's value. Furthermore, the fact that they are functional provides critical storm protection for your home, which can be especially important if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes. When purchasing and installing functional exterior shutters, there are a lot of important considerations that must be taken into account. The following article contains a checklist of questions that homeowners should ask themselves before investing in functional exterior shutters.

Is hurricane protection a consideration?

If you answered no to this question, then you can skip right on to the next question. If you answered yes, then you'll need to do some homework before purchasing shutters. First, contact your local building department to inquire about building codes and/or product approvals that are applicable to your area. A local building department may also be able to guide you toward a good installer, too. Look for shutters that have received Miami-Dade County Product Approval. This approval is considered to be the highest standard in the industry for shutters and other hurricane protection products.

What type of functional shutters are you installing (material and style)?

There are many different types of functional exterior shutters on the market today. The most common material for functional shutters is wood. Types of wood can vary, though cedar is a common choice because it weathers quite well. There are many different styles of shutters on the market. What you choose depends on the size and style of your windows and architectural elements of your home. Exterior shutters play a big role in your home's appearance and curb appeal. Be sure you take time to choose something that suits your tastes and compliments your home's architecture.

What type of hardware will be used in the installation?

Functional shutters require hardware, including hinges, pintels, tie backs, and hook latches and or center slide latches. The quality of hardware you choose is closely related to how much you want to spend. Steel hardware is by far the most common choice. There are two types of steel hardware to choose from: carbon steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is economical; however, it will rust, particularly in salty, coastal areas. Stainless steel hardware will not rust and is a much better choice, although it is also much more expensive. Not sure if what you're looking at is carbon or stainless? Check it with a magnet. Carbon steel is ferrous, and therefore magnetic, whereas stainless steel is not. If you do choose carbon steel hardware, be sure is it covered with a durable powder coat painted finish, as this will delay the rusting process.

Aluminum shutter hardware is also available, though it is not as common. If hurricane protection is a consideration, then aluminum hardware is probably not the best choice.

Remember, functional shutters are a homeowner's first line of defense against hurricane damage. When a window is broken in a hurricane, the high speed winds enter the home and put enormous pressure on the interior walls and roof. In most cases, when a home collapses or a roof is torn off, it's usually because a window was blown out first. Functional exterior shutters (whether or not they have been approved by Florida Building Code or Miami-Dade County Building Code) are an excellent investment in protecting your home and your life.

Many insurance companies now offer reduced premiums and discounts on deductibles for homes with functional exterior shutters. Be sure to check with your insurance company before purchasing and installing shutters to find out if you qualify.


Functional Exterior Shutters - A Good Investment For Your Home

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