Decorative hardware or functional hardware? That is the million dollar question. We all know shutters need to be attached to your home somehow, but how do you decide which option is best? Let’s walk through the options you will have when it comes to shutter installation and hardware to make the best decision for installation.

To begin, what do we mean by functional vs decorative? “Functional” means the shutters will be installed so that they can open and close like a door over your windows. “Decorative” simply means that they will be installed in a fixed position unable to open and close. Installation options start with the shutter material that you purchase. For example, vinyl shutters have a hollow cavity on the backside so they do not have the option of being functional, they can only be installed for decorative purposes. However, Wood Composite, Wood and Fiberglass shutters can be installed with either option. So if you are looking for functional shutters, you can automatically exclude vinyl shutters from your options.

When it comes to functional shutters, you have several options to choose from. Below you will find a breakdown of the types of hardware you will need for your shutters to be functional. Functionality requires a bit more hardware than decorative options but the tradeoff is that you will have an authentic and beautiful display around your windows that will certainly be an upgrade. Functional hardware consists of the following:

  • Hinges (The hardware installed on shutter to fit on pintel)

  • Pintels (What the hinges fit on that allows the shutter to open and close)

  • Holdbacks (The hardware that holds the shutters in the open position)

Decorative hardware is much more simple when it comes to installation. For shutters excluding the vinyl material, all you will need are Fixed Mounting Brackets for installation. Many people ask “Why can't I just drill holes through the shutter to install”? There are a few reasons why we recommend you don’t drill through the face of these types of shutters:

  • Drilling through these shutter materials may void the warranty

  • By using Fixed Mounting Brackets, there will not be anything showing on the face of the shutters which will display a clean profile

  • If done incorrectly, you may damage the shutters

For Vinyl Shutters, they will include all of the installation hardware required for installation and with these shutters, you can drill through the face of the shutters without compromising or damaging the shutters. These shutters will include the following hardware:

  • 3” Metal Screws (same color as shutters)

  • 3” Vinyl Fasteners (same color as shutters)

  • Screw Head Caps (Optional: may depend on the brand of exterior shutters)

As you can see, there are several options to consider when it comes to shutter installation so make sure you take some time to think about your strategy before you make your purchase.