Glossary of Common Exterior Shutter Terminology M-R

We know that the options out there for exterior shutters are many and sometimes they can be confusing, especially with different terms about exterior shutters being used in different regions. Plastic shutters or vinyl shutters? Island shutters or Bahama shutters? To help you make some sense of it all, we have provided this glossary of common exterior shutter terminology. However if you still have a question, feel free to contact us for assistance.
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TermDefinition
medium density fiber A composite material that consists of wood particles embedded in a resin (or glue) to form a solid piece. Often used in the construction of wood shutters.
mortice See mortise.
mortise A usually rectangular female-shaped cavity in a piece of wood or other material, prepared to receive a tenon and thus form a joint.
mullion Dividers between horizontal or vertical portions of a shutter, door, or window.
offset A term used when the surface that the exterior shutter is mounted on is outset from the window surface. This is the distance an operable shutter will need to travel to close flush upon the window.
ogee shape A double curve with the shape of an elongated "S".
open louver Louvers that are spaced apart and not continuous. This is a common style used for decorative or operable louvered exterior shutters.
open position For operable shutters, open implies that the shutter will be folded back to the wall. If the shutter has louvers, the outer edge of the louvers face upward. Decorative shutters are always in the open position, and are fixed. For decorative louver shutters, the outer edge of the louvers face downward.
operable louvers Louvers that can be changed in angle to control the amount of light that passes through.
operable shutters Shutters mounted on hardware that can be opened or closed. Used for solar control or storm conditions.
operational shutters See operable shutters.
outdoor shutters See exterior shutters.
outside shutters Shutters that are made for the outside or exterior of the house. Also known as exterior shutters.
panel A single shutter or ½ of the pair. Also called a leaf.
panel shutters Shutters that are constructed with a frame and a solid panel insert that allows no light to pass through. Louver style is also commonly used for decorative shutters.
pine shutters A type of wood shutter. The wood comes from any evergreen tree of the genus Pinus. This is the most common wood building material in North America.
pintle A pin or a bolt on which another part pivots. For exterior shutters, a pintle is the male part and the strap hinge or "L" hinge is the female part. There is a flat plate that mounts on the wall or a lag bolt that mounts into the wall that has a pintle attached. During installation, the strap or "L" hinge is dropped in place over the pintle to complete the hinge.
plastic shutters See vinyl shutters.
quarter round A molding whose section is a quarter circle. ¼ round (or quarter round) shaping is often used for the tops of exterior shutters that are mounted next to ½ round windows.
quarter round shutters 25% of a full round shape, e.g. a 14" wide exterior shutter would have a high side 14" higher than the low side. A point 14" below the top of the high side would be used as the center of the quarter arc.
rack See racking.
racking The condition of a poorly constructed or improperly hinged exterior shutter or door that sags under its own weight.
radius top A curved shape at the top of a shutter. Some common examples are arch top shutters, quarter round shutters, or elliptical top shutters.
rail The top or bottom horizontal piece of a shutter or a door.
raised panel An inset piece between the stiles and rails that has an ogee shape on the outer edges.
raised panel shutters Exterior shutters that are constructed with a frame made of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. The inside of the frame has solid panels that are outset or "raised" from the panel surface. The outer edges of the raised part of the panel are typically routed into an ogee or other shape.
redwood shutters Wooden shutters that are constructed from the wood of a redwood tree. Redwood trees are coniferous trees of the genus Sequoia sempervirens primarily grown in California and are known for their great height.
replacement shutters Shutters that are purchased with the intention of replacing existing shutters. Outdoor shutters are typically replaced because of damage from the elements, such as cracking, rotting, splitting, or fading. Replacement shutters are usually purchased in the same size as the original shutters.
rolling shutters Interior or exterior shutters that are stored in a housing above the window or door opening and roll down over the window or door. Often rolling shutters are used for security or hurricane protection.
routed shape A shape made by removing some of the material, changing the shape of an edge or cutting a groove using a decorative pattern. Routing is typically used in the construction of exterior shutters and cabinet making.
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