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Ask Angie: How much does it cost to replace shutters?

Angie Hicks
Tribune News Service

Dear Angie: What can I expect to pay to replace the exterior shutters on my home?

— Christina B., Stafford, Va.

Dear Christina: Whether you buy your shutters from a home improvement store or have them custom made, the cost will depend on how many windows you have and what size and style of shutter you choose, as well as type of material and hardware.

A store-bought pair of 15-by-63-inch raised-panel vinyl shutters can start at around $70, while a pair of custom-made painted wood shutters for a 36-by-66-inch window can cost $400 to $500. The hardware can cost another $100 per window, on top of installation costs if you hire a pro.

Homeowners used to put exterior shutters on their houses to protect windows from storm damage, help regulate indoor temperatures and prevent sun damage to furniture, drapes and floors. Even though most exterior shutters these days are purely decorative, they still take a beating from the weather. Pros say a poor-quality shutter can quickly degrade. They recommend investing in more durable shutters and hardware to avoid having to replace them in just a few years.

Installing exterior shutters can be a do-it-yourself job or you may want to hire a shutter company or handyman service. If you plan to invest in custom shutters, hire a shutter specialist. These pros can help you choose a style that will complement your home and they should be able to properly measure and hang shutters.

Be sure to hire service providers who have positive consumer reviews on a trusted online site and can provide proof of appropriate licensing, insurance and bonding.

Angie Hicks is founder of www.AngiesList.com, provider of consumer reviews and services. Send questions to askangie@angieslist.com or tweet with #AskAngie. Follow her @Angie_Hicks.