The Best Place to Buy Vinyl Shutters?

How to Measure for Exterior Shutters

So I'm looking for white shutters for the two lonely windows on the right side of my house. Keep in mind the link goes to my old images, I haven't posted new pictures of the landscaping transformation, but I will very soon.

Okay so back to my story, since I currently have vinyl siding I decided to buy vinyl shutters.

I found a big site on-line with many images of high-end homes showcasing their shutters. They had a bunch of colours and only one white. In my experience, when there is only one white option it's a standard bright white. So that's the one I chose as my trim is white.

When the shutters arrived, they were cream, not even remotely in the category of even an off-white. They said "Too bad, so sad, you did not order a sample so you're stuck with them".

Not to mention they were really cheap looking and just plain ugly. So, I will drop them off at a Habitat for Humanity at some point but now I'm on the hunt again.

This time, I thought I'd just check with you since ordering on-line can be such a crap-shoot.

The Correct Way to Measure Shutters for your House

 

Here's when shutters look the best. When they look like they can cover the windows when they're closed even though they are decorative.  Mine will not be that large but the maximum width in vinyl shutters seems to be 18" which would work on my windows.

If you're thinking of installing shutters on your home, I would not use them on large, wide windows. I have never seen a home where this looked good.

So over to you my lovelies, can anyone give me a lead on where I can purchase shutters that will look good and actually be white?

 

Related posts:

Can you Mix Brick and Stone on your Exterior?

White to Green Exterior: Before & After

Sweet Cottage Blue Exterior

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32 Responses to The Best Place to Buy Vinyl Shutters?

  1. susan says:

    Timberlane, Inc. is a good place to start. Not sure if they make vinyl, but pretty sure they offer a composite.
    xo,
    ~s

  2. tricia says:

    Hi Maria,

    Try Homedepot.com Search Builders Edge shutters. They offer a louvered, board & batten and possible a flat panel shutter in Bright White is several sizes and the price is very good. Not sure if they are composite or vinyl. They also offer a paintable if you would like to pick your own color. They also sell the black hardware. I have just ordered the board and batten but have not received them yet. I'm planning on painting them pink to go with my gray shingled cottage. Any suggestions on a nice pink for the front door along with the shutters?

  3. Jennifer Smith says:

    Maria,
    Please check out some wood shutters. They truly have the best look. One of my best friends gave me that advice years ago. You can paint them to match your siding. Since you only need 2 pairs, it shouldn't be too expensive. All your improvements are beautiful btw!

    • Paula Van Hoogen says:

      I heartily agree here, Maria. No fake stuff–the Real Deal, shadow lines & all….
      an acrylic finish will give them a great protection–just be sure to prime! (I know YOU know THAT!)

  4. Diane says:

    I second the wood recommendation. They're simple to have made if a custom size is required, and they look so much nicer than vinyl. Even on a house with vinyl siding, they can elevate the look of the house. And, complete color control. Isn't that what it's all about?

  5. teresa says:

    No advice, but a question: Except with black door and shutters as in the above photo and som other exceptions you've shown), I don't really like it when the shatters completely match the front door. I feel it should be the focal point and matching it draws the eye away. Same thing when there are two doors of differing sizes in the front…I think only one should be highlighted Any thoughts on that, or is there some rule?
    Glad to see you show the correct way to hang them. It drives me crazy when they're just stuck on the side of the window…so cheap looking.

    • Maria Killam says:

      I agree that in general shutters shouldn't necessarily match the door, but sometimes it just works the best. Maria

  6. BillP says:

    Maria, Everything you are doing to your house is so substantial- DON'T go with vinyl shutters. No reason to stick with vinyl just because you have vinyl siding. Get wood and paint them the same as your wood trim. The vinyl discolors anyway, and ultimately will have to be painted.

  7. Martha Hughes says:

    I have vinyl shutters and I have painted them once with good results. I am getting ready to paint them again. No problem with the first paint job, I just wanted a darker color. My shutters are not the louvered ones, but the more flat ones like on the bottom of the house above.

  8. Maryann says:

    I purchased custom wood shutters from Timberlane, Inc. for my home. They were expensive but well worth it. I am very pleased with the look. They also had vinyl shutter available.

  9. Anne says:

    Maria,
    With all the good paint on the market to paint vinyl & plastic I would at least give that a try first.
    If you do not want to do that, is there a rule that say you need vinyl shutters when you have vinyl windows? I would look at a composite or wood and paint them the color of the windows.
    Good luck! You will figure it out. :-)

  10. Betty says:

    I have spent considerable time researching shouters this spring. I vote for composite or wood, installed as if operable, but operable if at all possible. I'm with the other posters and an not a fan of vinyl shutters.

  11. Judy says:

    Mid-America seems to be a popular, easy-to-find brand of vinyl shutters, here in the US anyway. We just had our house sided but our Midnight Blue panel shutters are on order, so I can't say how they'll look installed.
    I still have 2 rings of MA color samples our siding contractor provided. Mid-America makes White, which looks bright white to me. I compared the shutters against the Certainteed vinyl siding sample set. Certainteed has Colonial White siding, a bright white. We choose Snow, which is flatter and creamier. (It's on the house now and I absolutely love it!) I remember comparing the shutters to the siding colors and the Mid-America white shutters were much brighter and whiter.
    The trim samples the contractor gave us were by Mastic. I don't know if they make shutters also.
    All the contractors who gave us estimates left a Mid-America shutter sample set. We also went to Harvey Industries, were the contractors buy their materials, and were able to look through the showroom and talk to salespeople. There must be a similar place near you.
    Also, Home Depot and Lowes carry Mid-America louvered shutters in stock in stores here in a few colors, including white.
    As an aside, our front door is now yellow and we're painting the storm door today. I love the look without the storm/screen door but I can't live without it.
    What to you think of our colors: white with dark blue shutters and yellow door? Our roof is a variegated gray. I was nervous about picking white. I love bold colors! Our house had been a deep blue since we bought it 17 years ago. Your post that you would pick white if you were re-siding bolstered my confidence. Thanks! I am thrilled already! Can't wait for our shutters to be up!

  12. Maureen says:

    I vote for wood, too. If you want to keep the vinyl, try painting them. I have wood on my vinyl siding, and it looks much classier.

  13. Lisa Porter says:

    Maria,
    You are so great to share your wisdom & your journey – not only in creating a beautiful home for you & your partner, but also creating a gathering place where so many can share & learn from your personal and professional knowledge! Thank you! Now get out your favorite quart of cream (paint) my dear!

    But first, (my apologies for the War & Peace) I thought I'd share my story to help you and maybe another reader with your same predicament.

    When we first saw our house 10 years ago, we liked the khaki colored siding with white trim, ignored the faded cranberry shutters and front door knowing that a fresh coat of black would be an easy face-lift
    .
    About died when I walked up on the porch and realized everything was vinyl – siding, windows, shutters – and the worst – a metal front door. Not a stick of wood anywhere! I wanted to walk away. I was not about to move from my charming 1920's beach bungalow with wood everything to a plastic house 3 times the size!

    However, my husband and I had traveled from Los Angeles to Lexington for 5 days strictly to find a house and we were quickly approaching the cocktail hour of day 4. The property, potential, location (school district) and interior won.

    The following spring I focused on landscaping and changing the 7 sets of vinyl flat panel shutters and metal front door from faded cranberry to black.
    Maria everything was builder grade that I could have walked out of Lowes with in fresh factory painted satin black. I was blown away by the cost and not in a good way. We made the decision to stick with our original shutters & door – but to get the most bang for our buck, we painted those suckers ourselves and added fresh hardware.

    After one week & several gallons of high gloss black paint, things were starting to look pretty darn spiffy. I used a high quality exterior high gloss knowing that within a few months everything would mellow to a nice satin.

    In the end, (aren't you glad) I was pleased to have laid my own hand on the exterior and watch it become somewhat of a neighborhood beautification project as other home owners around us inquired and followed suit.
    The End.

    XO Lisa
    p.s. After 10 years of heat, humidity, ice, and snow, we've re-painted once.

  14. SandyCGC says:

    Maria, don't know much about shutters but I think I'd vote for wood as well.

    Enjoyed Lisa's shutter tale – sharp cookie there! Thinking about her comment about their house becoming a neighborhood beautificaiton project – I bet you've got something similiar going on. Remember you mentioned your neighbors were nice and you mentioned being concerned about overimproving for the neighborhood. It seems as though everything you've done to your home is "champagne" quality on a "beer" budget which should resonate well in the neighborhood for the future. I bet if you have an open house party just for the neighborhood, you'll spark all kinds of questions about all kinds of projects and all kinds of great learning will take place. Just think down the road when people are selling in your neighborhood, realtors can tap in to the fact that renowned color and design expert Maria Killam was involved in updating/remodeling the home. Sorta like buying a Ralph Haver home here in Phoenix. Not everyone in the world knows who Ralph Haver was, but lucky, lucky those who do. Could be another whole new field for you, Maria.

    Looking forward to the completed project tour – be sure you do a 360 degree visual like the realtors do.

  15. Mary says:

    Can you just paint the ones you have?

  16. Rhonda says:

    Maria, PLEASE use real wood shutters! Also, PLEASE make them actually workable. Use real hinges and shutter dogs. You will forever be thankful if you do. Shutters are intended to be used even if you don't actually use them. Never ever use shutters on a window where the shutters would not actually cover the window perfectly when closed. This is a huge no-no!

  17. Please don't put vinyl shutters on your house – don't do that to your neighbors. Visit my website and you will understand why – I have a webpage on explaining the correct look for shutters. Once you read this you will never see shutters the same way again.

    • Netty says:

      THANK YOU for such an educational article on shutters. We are getting ready to put shutters on our two front windows and your information was invaluable. I do clearly see the difference now! Can't wait to show my husband the article (as he is the one doing the bulk of the work to this old house of ours).
      I hope Maria was able to read your article as well.

    • BillP says:

      Ken, what a wealth of information! Thank you. Regarding Maria's house, interested in your thoughts regarding shutters (other than to stay away from vinyl). My initial suggestion to Maria was to build up the window casings and avoid shutters. I question the appropriateness of shutters on those windows.

  18. Linda says:

    Talk to your Hunter Douglas gal. Their new shutters are amazing. I wouldn't buy anywhere else.

  19. bfish says:

    I agree with everyone else that wood shutters are the way to go! However, we've had pretty good luck with painting vinyl shutters using custom colors, since the colors they come in are so limited.

    The vinyl shutters were on Cape Cod houses we remodeled that were built in the 1950s. When we remodeled a beautiful 1917 wood foursquare house, we went for real wood, custom made to fit the windows and actually cover them if closed. We still had to paint them.

    All of these were investment properties. On our own house we've done everything we can to restore the original 1920s shutters with acorn cutouts on the top and real operable louvers on the bottom.

    To be honest, I hate white shutters and can't think of any house that I've seen them on that they look good/couldn't be improved upon by using a color. No offense intended to Maria or anyone else, but white shutters are bazooka target #1 to me!

  20. Pop O Color says:

    We have vinyl shutters on our house but we painted them. I am sure if you primed yours that you could paint them your favorite shade of white.

  21. Ellen Rush says:

    Maria, shutters just like anything else can be painted any color you want and transformed! Don't bother donating them until you try that. I bought disgusting cheap shutters at a garage sale once, painted them the right trim color and WOW what an instant transformation. They are still on the house although its not ours any longer.

  22. MrsMickeyMac says:

    You need wood – Vinyl will not stand up to wind and will crack.

  23. Maria Killam says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. The reason I'm not painting the ones I have is that they look really cheap to begin with. So if that's the way all vinyl shutters look then I'm off to search for wood ones!

    I really appreciate your contribution to my shutter dilemma! xoxo Maria

  24. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    OK! Good choice!!!
    Now, you COULD use them on a little Fort/Playhouse in the yard for the boys :))

  25. karen says:

    Love shutters…I found my vinyl shutters at Home Depot. They had different styles and I was going with black at the time. I do believe they can be painted?? Good luck.

  26. Sue says:

    Try:
    http://www.architecturaldepot.com/

    ….and search vinyl shutters (or wood)

    I got all my vinyl shutters from them (in a dark graphite grey) and we LOVE them! The smartest thing about this site is that you can order a "fan" of all the colors the come in, and the "fan" is made out of mini shutters!! TIP: great to use for a doll house later; just paint them all in the same color!!! They also sell wood shutters! Good luck:-)

    -Sue

  27. Pingback: Do my shutters make people shudder? | GemOfTheWeek.com

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