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How to choose between Poly Shutters or Real Wood Shutters

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There are 3 types of shutter materials if you keep it simple:  Real Wood, Poly (Hybrid between Poly/HighDensityFiberboard) and Vinyl.

Options 1:  Real Wood shutters used to be the only option, but as technology advance also did options for shutter materials.  The real issue with real wood is the fading of the paint on the wood surface and moisture problems.  Most manufactures have limited, some as soon as 3 years, for the colorfastness.  So if your shutter starts to chip, fade, crack or peel there is no warranty.  Real wood shutters also dent easier and have more crowning (slight bowing of louvers that you will see when the shutters are in the fully up position) than a Poly Shutter.  You will also see more imperfections because wood grows natural.  

Options 2:  Vinyl is not as popular due to it's aesthetics are not as appealing as a real wood or Poly shutter. For example:  you will have plastic connections between the tilt rod and the louvers, you will have plastic louver pins and there are several seams that cap off ends of the where the vinyl was cut.  A vinyl shutter is a great option for a bathroom window or high moisture area.

Options 3:  Poly Shutters are a great compromise between real wood and vinyl because they have real wood look with the durability of man made material.  Poly shutters look extremely similar to real wood when they are installed.  Manufactures usually provide a limited lifetime warranty.  

When investing in new shutters look closely into the details of the craftsmanship more than the warranty.  The best warranty that you will ever have is the one you never use!  Most companies will talk about lifetime warranties, but focus on the construction of the shutter panels, how long have they been in business, does the manufacture use mortise and tenon construction or do they use dovetail craftsmanship to construct their shutters.  What materials are they using and what kind of technology do they use to guarantee the durability of the louvers, louver pins, frame, staples, tilt rod and hidden tilt.  In addition to the construction of the shutter is the installation quality.  The installation could be one of the reasons your shutters will not last and could break down premature.  Make sure the company has experienced installers and have the company explain how they install shutters and why they believe their install is superior.