If you have exterior shutters on your Los Gatos home, at some point in time you are going to need to determine whether to replace them or to have them repaired. Depending on the type of exterior shutters they are, repairing may not be a reasonable option. However it should be the first thing that you consider with all shutters throughout your home.
Repairing something is, for the most part, a cheaper alternative to replacing. However, during the past 20 to 30 years, throughout the United States, we have gotten used to the notion that new products are simply cheaper to replace than to repair. For exterior shutters, if you have vinyl shutters then this can certainly be considered the case. Replacing vinyl shutters with new shutters is often a more cost effective and timely solution to returning your home to the condition that it once was in.
However, if you have wood shutters on the exterior of your home, the vast majority of times it will be more cost-effective to repair and repaint them than it will be to replace them. Determining whether your exterior shutters can or should be repaired or whether it’s time to consider replacing them can be a challenge. We have developed four steps, or ideas, that you should consider and look at more closely to help you determine whether it’s time to replace the shutters or if they can still be repaired.
Assessing the Current Conditions of Your Shutters
The first step is to assess the current condition of your exterior shutters. While this might seem easy to do from ground level, you should take a couple of the shutters off from the house first.
Don’t just take shutters from one window and assume that all of the shutters are in the same condition. Get a decent sampling from different sides of the house that are exposed to the sunlight more and any shutters that may be exposed to more moisture or even high winds.
Before removing any exterior shutters, see if there are any wasp or hornets nesting in the slats or behind the shutters if there is a gap behind. If there are, get a wasp and hornet spray and target the nest in the evening or very early morning hours. Once you can confirm that the nest has been destroyed, then you can remove the shutters.
Observe the condition of the exterior shutters on both sides. The underside (the side not exposed to the sunlight) will be in much better condition for the most part. The outside will likely have become faded and it may be cracked in places. If the cracks are just to the paint surface, and the wood is intact and you do not notice any significant damage to the wood shutters, then the shutters can be sanded down and repainted. If one or two slats are damaged, these can be repaired or replaced as well. If the shutter appears to be in poor condition, or it is an old vinyl shutter and you want to change the color, you may want to consider installing natural wood shutters or potentially purchasing new vinyl shutters that matched the color you want now.
Shopping around for Options
The next step is to shop around and see the various options that are available to you at this time. While you may instinctively visit one of the major home improvement outlet stores, they generally don’t have a wide range of shutters to choose from. The best place to find exterior shutters for your home is at a store that specifically sells all types of interior and exterior shutters.
For the exterior of your home, there are generally going to be two basic types of shutters to choose from. You will have your fixed shutters which will attach to the exterior part of the house but will not be functional. In other words, this type of shutter cannot be opened or closed. It is only there for aesthetic purposes.
The other type of exterior shutter is a functional. Throughout Los Gatos, we do not need to be overly concerned with major storms such as hurricanes. Not only that, but the fact that modern windows are much stronger than they were in the past, we do not need to be overly concerned with closing exterior shutters to protect the home.
This means that most exterior shutters are more than adequate being nonfunctional.
Cost of Professional Repair
If you decide to look into repairing your exterior shutters, then you should find an individual who has a long history of experience repairing shutters. Working on wood shutters is different than doing other types of wood work. Many shutters happen to be made from a soft wood, though you can also find hardwoods in use today.
If the shutters are valuable, then it will be worth the investment in hiring a professional to repair them. If the shutters are cheap, can be easily replaced, or are vinyl, then it might not pay to hire a professional to repair them. This will be a determination you will need to make based on your own assessment of the condition and type of shutters that you have. If you need an expert opinion on whether your exterior shutters are worth repairing or replacing contact a professional shutter store to send somebody out and assess the condition of those shutters.
Your Own Abilities
If you have some woodworking ability, you may be tempted to repair the exterior shutters yourself. Stripping down the paint to repaint them is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. If you are talking about functional shutters and some of the slats or components are broken, repairing them can end up being a complicated process.
You can certainly attempt to repair your own shutters, but don’t hesitate to ask for help if you reach a point where you don’t understand how to make the proper repair.
Protecting your Los Gatos home sometimes means assessing whether exterior shutters need to be repaired or replaced. Don’t ignore them as they will impact the visual and monetary appeal of your home.