Shutters are a relatively inexpensive way to add style and charm to any home. They come in two main types: indoor and outdoor shutters. The latter type has historically been used to protect homes and buildings from weather; and to provide residents with both privacy and a means of adjusting the amount of light entering a room. Certain shutter types can be beneficial for homeowners living in turbulent or extreme climates. For example, Bahama shutters provide storm protection, while louvered shutters are an excellent way to block large windows from various temperature shifts.
Exterior shutters, especially distinctive or carefully crafted wood pieces, can also add panache to many architectural styles. For example, Bahama shutters give the historical flavor of British colonialism to architecture, while brightly colored board-and-batten shutters lend a touch of the Old American West to homes and other structures. Homeowners today have a wide variety of shutter materials from which to choose, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.
Bahama shutters : A unique, top-hinged option
The design and functionality of outdoor shutters vary by model. Bahama shutters (also known as Bermuda shutters) have top hinges, so they stand in stark contrast to other side-hinged styles. The top-hinged design enables a homeowner to push his or her Bahama shutters out and away from the house. Most other shutter styles have side hinges, enabling the homeowner to open them from the center seam and push them away from the house.
Some common types of side-hinged shutters include:
-Board and batten shutters, which consist of large, shapely slabs of shutter material. The rough-hewn designs are crafted to mimic the shutter styles found on American frontier homes.
-Louvered shutters, which consist of wooden slats surrounded by a wood frame. Today, louvered shutters are often made of vinyl or fiberglass, as well. They are good choices for blocking off large panel windows or multiple windows in a series, and they can be customized to complement multiple building styles.
-Panel shutters, which are a European style of shutter and can be be customized to fit period architecture or décor. They are usually square, with one or more recessed rectangular panels set inside the shutter frames. Panel shutters also often come in fiberglass or vinyl models.
When people think of outdoor shutters, they are often imagining one or more of these side-hinged styles. However, the less-common Bahama shutter has some distinct advantages for homeowners. This style is worth considering as a quality, high-performing window covering option.
What are the advantages of Bahama shutters?
Bahama shutters are specifically designed to act as storm shutters. Because the hinges of these shutters run along the top of the window rather than down both sides, the shutters can be swung out quickly, and can be rapidly closed in preparation for inclement weather. The quick-close, storm-protective nature of Bahama shutters make them an excellent choice for homeowners living in storm belts.
The New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MI regions of the United States were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, rebuilding is rapid and ongoing. More importantly, architects and contractors have learned from past mistakes and are creating homes designed to withstand hurricane winds, rain, and flooding. Bahama shutters make highly functional window covering options in this Southeastern American hurricane belt. When coupled with intuitive architecture, such as housing foundations that are raised off the ground to allow for flooding, Bahama shutters can be useful assets during storm season.
Bahama shutters also aid in natural climate control. The top-set hinges are designed so that a homeowner can choose the angle at which he or she wishes to keep the shutters open. This enables the homeowner to control the amount of air entering a room, and allows him or her to set the shutters at angles that facilitate natural cooling by air circulation. Bahama shutters are smart picks for homeowners living in warm climates; the natural cooling properties allow homeowners to conserve energy while saving money on utility bills.
The Bahama shutter style benefits a variety of climates. In fact, homeowners residing in temperate climates can enjoy the advantages of Bahama shutters over different seasons. Many major American cities, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York experience rainy spring weather and hot, humid summer weather. Homeowners in these cities can reap the benefits of quick-close shutters during periods of rainy weather, and can enjoy the natural cooling properties of the shutter design during periods of summer heat and humidity. Furthermore, homeowners in all climates can enjoy the privacy protection and noise dampening properties of Bahama shutters.
Like other shutter styles, Bahama shutters are customizable. Reputable shutter companies have design staff members on hand to render the shutter style or shape that each customer desires. Talented shutter designers can often re-create shutter styles from customer sketches or AutoCAD files. Like most other shutter styles, Bahama shutters can be constructed of aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. Many wood styles and designs are elegant and sophisticated, and those made from Spanish cedar or mahogany are typically the longest lasting.
Homeowners who desire privacy, quiet, storm protection, and climate control can benefit greatly by choosing durable Bahama shutters.