How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

What is the average life expectancy of house shutters?

Friday, June 5, 2020

How long do house shutters last?

The average life expectancy of residential shutters varies according to the type of shutter, quality of manufacture, location, and whether it is decorative or functional. Here’s our estimates:

•• Aluminum, exterior - 20 to 35 years, average 25
•• Aluminum, hurricane - 20 to 50 years, average 30
•• Vinyl plastic, exterior - 10 to 20 years, average 15
•• Vinyl plastic, interior - 10 to 25 years, average 20
•• Wood or composite, exterior - 10 to 20 years, average 15
•• Wood or composite, interior, 10 to 25 years, average 20

    The embedded color in vinyl decorative shutters fades over time, but they can be painted. Lesser quality vinyl shutters can sag or warp. Wood is subject to rot, but can be repaired and rebuilt, and maintaining a good paint finish is most important maintenance issue. There are artisans in most historic districts that specialize in rehabbing wood shutters and hardware. Corrosion of securing hardware embedded in walls is a problem for aluminum hurricane shutters as they age. 

    Here’s a bar graph that compares the average life expectancy of different shutter types.
    Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful? 

    Also see our blog post Does a home inspector check shutters?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:

What causes sweating (condensation) on the inside of windows in the winter? 

Is every exterior door of a house required to have a landing outside? 

 What are the small slots at the bottom of the outside of my window? 

Why does condensation form on the outside of some windows and not others in the morning? 

Why is the garage door track a white tube? 

What is the raised metal plate on the floor under the garage door?

 Why do I have to hold down the button to close the garage door? 

How can I tell if a window or glass door is safety glass? 

What are the code requirements for safety tempered glass for doors?• 

Should a front door swing in or out? 


How many exit doors are required for a house?

 How many exit doors are required for a mobile/manufactured home? 

Are openable windows required to have window screens? Will windows with no screens pass a home inspection? 

Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

What are the building code requirements for a door from the garage to the house?

What is "low-E" window glass? 

What does ANSI 297.1 on glass mean?

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard? 

How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?  

What is an egress window?

Does a home inspector test all the windows and doors in a home? 

How difficult is it to change a window to french doors or a sliding glass door?

How do you determine if a door is left-handed or right-handed?

Why are window security bars dangerous? 

What are the common problems you find inspecting windows?

What is causing a foggy haze on my windows? 

What do those numbers on the manufacturer's stickers in new windows mean?

What does a home inspector check on an electric garage door? 

• What is the tempered label on glass at windows and sliding glass doors called?

Why is pressure washing double pane windows an expensive mistake? 

How can I tell if a window or sliding glass door is double or triple pane (insulated) glass?

• Do I need to have two exterior exit doors in my house? 

• When is safety glass required for windows at stairs and stair landings?

   Visit our DOORS AND WINDOWS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.

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