There are currently four basic types of shutters. From a fabricator’s perspective, what are their strengths and
- Wood shutters offer the most flexibility in design of french door cutouts and special shapes. They generally have retained their longstanding reputation of quality in the eyes of the consumer. However, they typically require a paint booth and the cost, expertise and shop space that come with that.
- Hollow Vinyl Shutters are inexpensive to build after you pay for the specialized equipment to make them. As such, a large volume of sales is required to justify the cost of start up. They are generally considered the low cost/low quality option by consumers. Consumer acceptance varies by area.
- Solid Poly Shutters are easy to build with little start up cost, and components are often pre-finished. Their weight and lack of rigidity require more “T” posts and narrower panels. However, the addition of aluminum core louvers has expanded panel widths. Strong marketing efforts have made them as desirable as wood to many consumers, though this does vary somewhat by region.
- Poly wrapped LDF/HDF. Currently only built by Hunter Douglas and Norman International. They are inexpensive to make, have a good appearance and therefore have captured a large segment of the market. However, US Polymers is introducing its new poly encased HDF shutter components to the market in 2016. This will allow US fabricators their first opportunity to compete in this market segment.