functional shutters guide

Shutters can transform a home from simple and plain to attractive and unique. Exterior window shutters can add a pop of color and round out your home design. But good looks are just one benefit of shutters. Functional exterior shutters serve a purpose and add to the functionality of your home. But what exactly are functional shutters? How are they different from decorative shutters? What functions do they provide? If you have questions about We’ll answer all of these questions in this guide.

You may also like: Choosing Exterior Shutters: Guide For FL Homeowners

Functional Exterior Shutters: An Overview

Below we discuss what they are, what functions they serve and where they are commonly used on homes.

What are functional exterior shutters?

This category of exterior shutters do more than just make your home look good. They have a purpose, or in other words, they serve a function. Because of this they are very different from decorative shutters, whose only purpose is to sit on your home for decorative reasons.

What functions do they serve?

functions of functional exterior shutters

Depending on the type of shutter they can serve many different functions. Common ones include storm protection, security protection, shade and UV control, and more. Some functional shutters can even enclose outdoor spaces, such as patios and lanais.

Some types of functional shutters serve a single function. Others serve multiple functions.

Who needs functional shutters?

A great example is if you own a home in Southwest Florida or Southeast FL. These coastal areas of the sunshine state are beautiful. But they also have hurricanes and extreme heat. So in order to protect your home and make it more enjoyable you could install an exterior shutter that provides storm protection, shade and UV control. So installing exterior functional shutters with these benefits are a great fit for homeowners in this area.

But even for homeowners who aren’t in Florida, functional shutters offer benefits above and beyond just looking nice. For example you could install security shutters for added security.

Or you can add shutters that provide shade or control UV in your home. Controlling shade makes your home more comfortable, usable and enjoyable. So it’s a function that many folks could benefit from.

Where are they used on a home?

Functional exterior shutters can be used on multiple areas on your home. The most popular ones are for your windows, doors, and outdoor spaces.

Each location is briefly described below:

  • Functional Window Shutters are installed on the outside of your home’s glass windows. Since shutters are mostly designed for windows
  • Exterior doors: several types of shutters can be installed on the exterior or interior of your entry doors and serve many purposes. They provide similar functions to those installed on windows. But the types available for doors are more limited vs those designed for windows.
  • Outdoor spaces: some types of shutters and hurricane screens are good for wide openings. This means they can be used for outdoor spaces, such as patios, backyard kitchens, screened in porches, lanais and more.

Types of Functional Shutters

There are several types of shutters that serve a function. Below are a few examples and details of popular types.

Roll Down Shutters

functional roll down shutters on a home in cape coral fl

Rolling or roll up shutters serve a lot of functions. They are extremely popular in Florida because they can be used for many purposes. You can use them for your residential home. But they are also commonly used on commercial buildings for security protection. They also look clean and go with most home designs

Functions they provide:

  • Storm protection
  • Security protection – both residential and commercial
  • Shade
  • Privacy
  • Temperature control
  • Enclosing open spaces, such as patios

Where they are used:

Roll shutters are designed for both small and wide openings, which means they can be used in mostly any location. These include:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Exterior spaces (patios, lanais, wide entry doors, etc.)

Learn more about PTX™ Roll Down Hurricane Shutters

Accordion Shutters

functional accordion shutters on a home in estero fl

Accordion shutters are also highly functional. While accordions aren’t as functional as roll downs they are also popular in Florida because they do serve multiple functions, which are listed below.

Functions they provide:

  • Storm protection
  • Security protection – but to a lesser extent than roll downs
  • Privacy – they can completely block out your windows, doors, etc.
  • Temperature control – if used to block out sunlight
  • Enclosing open spaces, such as patios

Where they can be used:

Like roll shutters accordions can also be used for both small and wide openings. These include:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Exterior spaces (patios, lanais, wide entry doors, etc.)

Learn more about Eurex Shutters PTX™ Accordion Shutters.

Bahama Shutters

functional exterior bahama shutters on a home in englewood fl

Bahama shutters are also known as Bermuda or Caribbean shutters. They a great fit if you are looking for drop dead attractive shutters and some added functionality. They are a great fit for homes with both modern design or Caribbean design. Their looks are a main reason why they are so popular in coastal areas of Florida. But they are also functional.

Bahamas come in both impact resistant and non-impact resistant materials. So if you need storm protection go with ones made from impact resistant aluminum.

Learn more: What Are Bahama Shutters & Pros and Cons For Your Southwest FL Home

Functions they provide:

  • Storm protection (for those made from aluminum)
  • Privacy – the way they are positioned blocks visibility into your home
  • Shade – their position helps deflect and block sunlight from entering your home
  • Temperature control – via shade and UV control

Where they can be used:

Bahama shutters are made to be functional window shutters. They are not suitable for use on large openings or doors. So these really are just for your home or business’ windows.

Learn more about Eurex Shutters PTX™ Bahama Shutters.

Are functional shutters worth it?

Functional shutters generally cost more than purely decorative shutters. But they offer more value due to the functionality they offer. So if you need functions such as storm protection, security protection or shade then functional exterior shutters are definitely worth the extra cost.


Unlike decorative shutters, functional exterior shutters serve a purpose. While they do provide good looks they also increase the functionality and enjoyment of your home. Different types will provide different functionality and benefits. So there is surely a type that is right for you and your needs. And while they do cost more than decorative shutters they also provide a lot more value and benefits.