Choosing your swing shutters is not trivial. They are among the first elements that visitors see and they help give character to your home.
Beyond this aesthetic aspect, their qualities are important for insulating your home and protecting your windows. But which models to choose?
Between wood, aluminum, composite, and PVC, you are asking yourself questions and that’s normal. I compare the advantages of each option for you.
To help you in your choice, I offer you a comparison of the thermal and acoustic performances of the different materials, as well as their solidity.
Other criteria are important: the maintenance and aesthetics of each model in particular. You can also check if your municipality requires certain types of shutters.
The wooden shutter is the most insulating: it protects you from cold, heat, and outside noise.
PVC and aluminum offer good value for money. The aluminum shutter is even more advantageous: it is more durable, even if it is more expensive.
In terms of strength, aluminum and composite are the best options. Wood is durable but requires regular maintenance to maintain its quality.
The criteria for choosing your swing shutters
The best swing shutters are those that best meet your expectations. And your needs are not necessarily those of your neighbor. I give you a list of elements to keep in mind when choosing swing shutters that suit your project.
Wood, aluminum, composite, or PVC?
As with a rolling or sliding shutter, the material is an essential criterion for choosing a shutter with a swing opening. PVC, wood, composite, and aluminum each have their strengths and limitations.
- Don’t limit yourself to white and gray: PVC shutters are now available in a wide range of finishes and colors.
- PVC requires little maintenance and has good thermal and sound insulation qualities.
- It is more economical: an advantage for the budget.
- But it also has limits. It is less resistant than wood, aluminum, or composite to shocks or intrusion attempts.
- Wooden shutters are very popular for their aesthetics and authenticity.
- Wood is naturally insulating: a good point for your thermal and acoustic comfort.
- It is also resistant and solid but requires regular maintenance to reinforce its durability against bad weather or humidity. In particular, plan for a stain every 2 to 5 years, new coats of paint every 5 to 7 years as well as the application of a fungicide and insecticide treatment.
- Aluminum shutters are often chosen for a contemporary or modern home and you have the choice of color.
- Aluminum requires little maintenance and is resistant to corrosion, bad weather, and shocks.
- It has good insulation qualities.
- Its limitation lies in its price: it is the most expensive option.
- Its design, with a fiberglass or resin structure and polyurethane insulating foam, ensures excellent insulation.
- It is also very resistant to shocks and intrusion attempts: an asset for security. It does not deform, does not corrode, and is not affected by humidity.
- Like aluminum or PVC, it is easy to maintain.
The budget can be an important selection criterion for your work, and this is understandable! Shutters with a hinged opening are available in entry-level or high-end models, which implies a significant difference in price.
But the cost also varies depending on the materials chosen. Here are the prices for swing shutters without installation.
|€50 – €300
|€100 – €300
|€150 – €1,300
|€250 – €800
Swinging shutters protect the windows but they also (and above all) have the role of better insulating your house. Not all solutions have the same insulating performance. Composite and PVC, for example, are among the most effective. But also note that a louvered shutter, with its openwork slats, is less insulating than a solid leaf.
To know the insulating qualities of a shutter, you can refer to its Delta R coefficient. This criterion measures its thermal resistance: a high coefficient indicates a shutter that is more efficient.
Solid or openwork shutters
Here are the different points to remember to differentiate between solid or openwork (louvered) swing shutters:
- An openwork shutter is made up, either over half its height or over its entire height, of adjustable or fixed slats. These fine openings allow light to pass through.
- Louvered shutters are more common in warmer regions: the slats reduce the amount of sunlight in a room while allowing air to circulate for greater comfort.
- Solid shutters do not allow light to pass through and above all, they limit air circulation (especially in winter) to avoid cooling the windows and the room.
- They are favored by individuals in colder regions.
Whatever the material, there are many color possibilities! PVC, aluminum, and composite come in a wide range of colors.
Wood has a lot of natural character, especially with the nuances of exotic woods or stains. It can also be repainted, like aluminum. Composite and PVC, on the other hand, cannot be repainted.
Resistance and durability
If you are primarily looking for swing shutters that are resistant to shocks, gusts of wind, and intrusion attempts, opt for the most robust: composite and aluminum.
Wood is also very strong but can warp when exposed to high heat or humidity.
This quality affects the longevity of your shutters. Properly maintained, a wooden shutter has a lifespan of several decades.
This criterion is directly linked to the resistance of your swing shutter. For large or custom-made shutters, with tall or wide leaves, choose a material that is both robust and lightweight, such as aluminum.
PVC, for example, supports large formats less well (beyond 2 meters wide).
If the prospect of applying a stain or a new coat of paint to your swing shutters puts you off, take this into account to make the right choice.
Wood requires regular maintenance to ensure its durability, in addition to annual cleaning. Aluminum, PVC, and composite require less attention: they resist humidity, mold, and corrosion.
Town planning rules
Materials and types of shutters can be imposed according to the PLU (Local Urban Planning Plan) of your municipality. This may also be the case when your home is located near a protected area or in a protected sector.
For example, it happens that PVC is banned, or that wooden shutters are required. Before you start, remember to check with your municipality or with the Architectes des Bâtiments de France (ABF).
Which swing shutters to choose for better insulation?
The wooden swing shutter is undoubtedly the most insulating: it offers excellent insulation performance. Solid wooden shutters insulate you from the cold, but also from the heat in summer: it is not conductive. An essential quality to counter the effects of a heatwave!
Wood also has the advantage of reducing external noise, to limit nuisances. Finally, you can count on the solidity of your wooden shutters against bad weather, to protect you from the wind for example.
Which swing shutters should you choose for the best quality/price ratio?
Two types of swing shutters win all the votes: PVC and aluminum!
PVC is the least expensive option. It has excellent thermal and sound insulation qualities. It requires little maintenance and is very resistant to humidity. It comes in a wide range of colors and you are sure to find a shade that suits your home. It therefore has all the advantages for the budget, except one: its longevity (from 10 to 15 years).
Aluminum is more expensive, but that’s the price of its lifespan. This is explained by its robustness. In terms of insulation, it has excellent performance provided you opt for a type of shutter whose insulating qualities are reinforced. It resists corrosion and does not need maintenance.
The difference will therefore come down to two aspects: your budget and the aesthetics of the shutter. An aluminum swing shutter harmonizes better with contemporary or modern architecture.
What are the strongest swing shutters?
Aluminum and composite offer excellent qualities of strength and robustness. This is also the case for wood, but this natural material requires regular maintenance (stain, fungicide treatments) to maintain all its qualities over the years.
Aluminum supports high traction: this means that the swing shutters resist intrusion attempts well and do not deform in the event of an impact or violent wind. Aluminum retains this quality even after several decades and is renowned as the most durable. This solidity gives it another advantage: it is available very well in large sizes. Ideal if you want to protect a large window.
The composite offers equivalent qualities, in particular because of its design which combines aluminum and polyurethane foam (PVC). It is therefore denser. It does not deform in the event of impact and resists break-in attempts well. On the other hand, its durability is closer to 20 years on average.
Between the two options, aluminum checks the most boxes. But its price is higher: if you are looking for resistance while controlling your budget, composite may suit you better.