shutters in sunny beach kitchen

How to Choose Shutters for a Coastal Home

Living by the ocean has many perks, like constant access to the beach, breathtaking views, and a laid-back lifestyle. However, the salt air and humidity can be tough on a home. When choosing fixtures and features for a coastal home, you need products made to stand up to the elements.

Shutters are no exception. With the right pairings, they can provide protection, privacy, and aesthetics. The wrong type can quickly corrode, warp, and wear out. When selecting shutters for your beach house, durability and material are key.

What to Consider When Choosing Beach House Shutters

White Hunter Douglas plantation shutters framing ocean views

When exploring your shutter options, keep these factors in mind:


You need a material tailored to withstand coastal conditions. Moisture-resistant woods, synthetics, and composites make ideal options. Here are some top materials for oceanfront homes:

  • Teak Wood
    Teak has a high natural oil content, allowing it to withstand wet weather. This tropical hardwood has a rich color and beautiful grain. Properly sealed and finished, teak wood can enjoy decades outside.
  • PVC
    For a budget-friendly yet durable pick, opt for vinyl or PVC shutters. They hold their shape in humidity and won’t warp. PVC resists moisture absorption and stands up to the elements. Vinyl is also a low-maintenance choice.
  • Engineered Composite Wood
    Materials like hardboard combine wood fibers and resins to create a strong, stable finished product. Often used for decking and siding, many composite woods also work for exterior shutters. They won’t crack or peel, even in intense UV exposure.
  • Style
    You want your shutters to complement your coastal house. Analyze the features and design details of your home before deciding on options.

  • Full-height or café-style shutters often suit historic homes and cottages. Louvered choices add a classic look to coastal colonies. For a contemporary beach house, sleek panels or Bahama shutters may vibe best.

    Take color cues from your home’s existing palette as well. Cool tones like gray and blue go well with seaside schemes.

  • Functionality Beyond aesthetics, you want shutters that protect against intense weather. Built for impact resistance, storm shutters safeguard windows from wind, rain, and flying debris. Roll-down and accordion hurricane models provide sturdy defenses during hurricane season.

  • If you are looking to block sunlight and heat during warmer months, customizable louvers allow you to control light filtering. Their adjustable design gives you flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coastal Home Shutters

Along with the considerations above, many homeowners have additional questions surrounding beach house shutters. Here are answers to some common inquiries:

1. How often do I need to replace coastal home shutters?

With proper installation and care, quality shutters can enjoy a long lifespan. On average, with maintenance, you can expect 20 or more years out of wood and composite shutters in coastal conditions. PVC and vinyl exceed that estimate, with a 30-year lifespan.

Many modern shutter systems integrate motors and automation. That lets you control them via remote, smartphone, or voice control. Opting for motorized shutters means no manual opening and closing. These systems protect against intense weather even when you aren’t home.

While the names sound alike, the two have differences:

Storm shutters: Defend against wind, rain, branches, and debris in storms; don’t have to meet strict impact codes.

Hurricane shutters: Built and tested for hurricane-force winds and impacts. Generally, it has to meet impact codes—for instance, the impact standards from the The Building Codes Council in South Carolina.


Ready to Choose Your Coastal Shutters?

Hopefully, this breakdown helps you understand what to look for when it comes to shutters for salty, humid environments. Taking material, style, functionality, and more into account while exploring your options allows you to make the most informed choice.

Remember, not all standard window shutters stand up long-term in harsh coastal conditions. So opting for specialty products designed specifically to thrive in the seaside is key.

When you’re ready to search for shutter inventory tailored to the unique demands of waterfront living, contact the experts at Made in the Shade, Hilton Head. Our team specializes in shutters, storm protection models, and more made to withstand the elements in Hilton Head and beyond. Reach out for product recommendations and professional guidance you can trust.

Rod Badakhsh

Rod Badakhsh, owner of Made in The Shade Hilton Head, brings his passion for excellence and customer service from his celebrated tennis career, where he was named Tennis Pro of the Year four times, to the window treatment industry. Together with his son Sadri, Rod is dedicated to providing exceptional, faith-based service and high-quality window covering solutions to families in the area.