red house with blue shutters

Decorative vs. Operable Shutters: What’s Right For You?

Shutter Man

Historically, operable shutters served to protect the glass of windows, increase the privacy of your home and provide insulation against the elements. These days, with improved window technology, the original purpose of operable shutters isn’t as necessary — yet, some homeowners still swear by them. So, how can you know if operable or decorative shutters are right for you? 

yellow home with tan half opened shutters


The answer is that, in most cases, decorative shutters are all you need. However, here are some reasons you may be considering going the operable route: 

  1. You have a historic home.

    Since shutters were historically operable, including operable shutters on your historical home can maintain the accuracy of the time period it was built.
  1. You want to limit sun exposure.

    Limiting the amount of sunlight that gets into your home can help reducing your cooling bill in the summer. While it can be laborious to open and close the shutters, you may like to have this option on particularly hot and sunny days.
  1. You want better window insulation.

    On the other end of the spectrum, when it’s windy and cold in the winter months, shutters can provide an extra layer of protection to your home’s exterior.
  1. You like options.

    Maybe you’ll want to keep them open most of the time, but at least having operable shutters will give you the option to close them, if you ever choose.
pink home with black closed shutters


Consider these above reasons carefully, but ultimately make your decision based on your own needs and interests. Whether decorative or operable, you can find shutters that suit your home perfectly.

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