What Are Bahama Shutters? Pros, Cons, Cost, Where to Buy and More

Learn all you need to know about Bahama Shutters including what they are, what they look like, benefits and materials. This is your Bahama Shutter buying guide.

Yellow Bahama shutters on building

Be it a mansion or a home, shutters are a relatively inexpensive way to add style, privacy, protection and charm.

But what are Bahama shutters – and why do I need to know or why would I need them?

Related: Types of Window Shutters | Houses with Exterior Shutters | Online Blinds and Shutters Stores | Plantation Shutters Out of Style | Blinds vs. Shades vs. Shutters vs. Curtains | Roller Shutters | Accordion Shutters 

What are Bahama shutters?

The name is derived from the Bahamas which uses these shutters primarily to protect windows and homes from hurricanes.

Bahama shutters come in two main types: indoor and outdoor – and they are sometimes known by alternative names (though it should be noted that they are sometimes called so mistakenly):

  • Hurricane shutters
  • Bermuda shutters
  • Bahama hurricane shutters
  • Bahama style shutters
  • Colonial shutters
  • Storm shutters

Outdoor Bahama shutters have been historically used to provide hurricane protection for homes and buildings, and to provide residents privacy and enable them to adjust the amount of light they want in their rooms. They can be durable, such as with the case of a steel or aluminum bahama shutter, or they can be more decorative – such as with colonial shutters and other types of decorative window shutter that fall under a similar category.

Suffice to say – the job of an exterior shutter is not always to simply provide storm protection is not the sole purpose of a Bahama shutter. While other shutters like louvered shutters are an excellent way to block large windows from unexpected temperature shifts, protection from storm damage and debris are also important.

Exterior shutters, especially distinctive or carefully made wood shutter fixtures can also add panache to many appealing architectural styles. For example, Bahama shutters give the historical touch of British colonialism to architecture , while bright colored board-and-batten decorative shutter styles lend a dash of the Old American West. Homeowners today prefer having a wide variety of shutter materials to choose from – and even opt for custom shutters in some cases where design is more important than function.

Related: Types of Window Treatments

Close-up photo of aluminum Bahama shutters.

The design and functionality of outdoor shutters vary from model to model. Bahama shutters (also known as Bermuda shutters, among other names as listed above). They have Bahama shutter hinges (top hinges) so they can stand in stark contrast to other side-hinged styles. The top-hinged design enables you to push the Bermuda shutters out and away from the house. Mostly, other shutter styles have side hinges, which enables you to open them from the center seam and push them away from the house, more flexibility and more ease.

Bahama Shutter Materials

  • Aluminum: The more common material today is aluminum, which strong and light. Also costs less than wood and vinyl, making aluminum shutters a popular choice.
  • Wood: While effective and can look good, wood also requires more maintenance.
  • Composite: More durable than wood. Many styles to choose from.

A Few Common Types Of Side-Hinged Shutters Include:

  • Board and batten shutters, which consist of largely shaped slabs of shutter material. The rough-hon designs are created to reflect the shutter styles specifically found on American frontier homes.
  • Louvered shutters consist of wooden slats and are surrounded by a carefully crafted wooden frame. Nowadays, louvered shutters are very often made of vinyl or fiberglass. They are good choices for blocking off large panel windows or a series of multiple windows and they can be customized as well to complement multiple building styles.
  • Panel shutters, which consist of the European style of shutter, can be customized to fit period architecture or décor. They are usually square with one or more recessed rectangular panels fixed inside the shutter frames. Panel shutters also often come in fiberglass, vinyl, and other models.

When people think of outdoor shutters, they often imagine one or more of these side-hinged styles.

Blue exterior shutters against yellow wall.

Advantages Of Bahama Shutters

1. Bahama shutters are specially designed to act as storm shutters and protect against various atmospheric changes.

Because the hinges of these shutters run along the top of the window rather than down both sides, the shutters can be swung out quickly, and can be rapidly closed in preparation for the inclement weather. The quick-close and storm-protective nature of the Bermuda shutter makes it a great option for those who reside in storm belts.

The New Orleans, L.A. and Biloxi, MI regions of the United States were devastated by Katrina the hurricane in 2005.

Currently, rebuilding is rapid and ongoing. More importantly, architects and contractors have learned from past mistakes and the unexpected changes in the climate and are creating homes designed to withstand unexpected whether changes which includes hurricane winds, rain, and flooding. Bahama shutters act as a highly functional and a robust window covering option in Southeastern American hurricane belt. When coupled with intuitive architecture, such as housing foundations that are raised off the ground to allow for flooding, Bermuda shutters can be a useful asset during the storm season.

2. Bahama shutters also help in natural climate control.

The top-set hinges are designed in such a way that you can easily choose the angle at which you wish to keep the shutters open. This enables you to control the amount of air you want in your room to be entered, and also allows you to set the shutters at angles that facilitate natural cooling by keeping the air circulation. Bahama shutter is a great pick for those living in warm climate as the natural cooling properties of Bermuda shutter allows you to conserve energy while saving money on utility bills.

3. The Bermuda shutter style benefits different climate.

In fact, people living under the hot or slightly hot temperature can enjoy the pros of Bahama shutters over different seasons. Several major American cities, which includes Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York experience rainy, spring weather and hot, humid summer weather. People who reside in these cities can reap the benefits of quick-close shutters during periods of rainy weather, and can enjoy the natural cooling aid of the shutter design during summer heat and humidity. Furthermore, Bermuda shutter in all climates provides privacy protection and also contain noise dampening properties. This makes Bahama shutters an abundant choice for those who look more for quietness and peacefulness.

4. Like other shutter styles, Bahama shutters too are customizable.

Reputable shutter companies have design staff members on hand to render the shutter style or shape according to each consumer’s desire and requirements. Skilled shutter designers very frequently re-create different shutter styles from customer sketches or other provided and available sources. Alike most other shutter styles, Bahama shutters too can be constructed of aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. Though many wood styles and designs are elegant and chic, those made from Spanish cedar or mahogany are typically robust, durable, and last longer.

How Do I Know If I Need Bahama Shutters?

As a rule of the thumb, you’re not going to need a Bahama exterior shutter unless you live in an area that’s susceptible to long periods of intense sun or experience hurricanes quite often.

Bahama shutters, however, are extremely popular in the southern part of the United States, but they are also used in the Caribbean and other climates, hence the name Bahama shutters.

It is one of the most inexpensive ways to outfit your entire house. However, if you live in an area that frequently gets hurricanes, it will be well worth it. As we all know, it’s extremely expensive to replace broken windows, and especially when you witness natural climate changes very often that leaves your glass windows damaged. If your windows break during a hurricane, your carpet or furniture could also be destroyed along with the rest of your dear things.

People who do not reside in a climate that’s at risk for hurricanes or intense sun, they still go for Bahama shutter due to its amazing privacy option, inexpensiveness, and other functionalities. Bermuda shutters are very effective if you live in a place that gets a lot of tornadoes. Bahama shutters come with durability that protects your home against tornadoes and also protects your family from flying shards of broken glass in a tornado just like they will in a hurricane.

People who desire privacy, seek quietness in both residential and commercial areas, protection against the storm, and climate control can be benefited greatly just by opting for the durable Bahama shutters.

Shutters

Where to buy or order Bahama Shutters?

A great option is to seek out shutter merchants in your local area so they can measure and install for you.  However, you can also order and probably save quite a bit on professional fees by ordering shutters online.

One of your best options is a local big box home improvement store such as Home Depot, Lowe’s or Home Hardware.  They offer a decent selection of Bahama shutters and can refer you to professionals to help measure and/or install.

Alternatively, you can order from online shutter stores that happen to carry them.  Examples include Shutterland, Decorative Shutters, Larson Shutter Company, Palm Coast Shutters, Hooks and Lattice, and Timberlane.

What are the benefits of Bahama shutters?

Bahama shutters are great for exterior decoration (as well as inside the home if you opt for interior shutters) but they can also provide approved hurricane protection for buildings. They can help to protect windows from strong winds and debris, but also provide shade, offset cooling costs and help improve the curb appeal of your home.

When it comes to shutter installation, homeowners can enlist the help of experts, to make sure everything is up to code. It should also be noted, too – that a decorative bahama shutter will not provide approved hurricane protection.

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