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How to Use Louvers to Easily Add Character and Function

When buyers are increasingly motivated by price over character, it becomes commonplace to exclude architectural features that are more decorative than functional. For builders aiming to keep prices low while also making their homes stand out, louvers offer a clear solution.

Louvers, also known as gable vents, were originally used as a ventilation device to improve airflow and cool homes. Today, homes are increasingly incorporating louvers purely as a decorative feature. Because of this difference in use, functional and decorative louvers have slightly different design features.

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Functional vs. Decorative Louvers

Upholding the traditional use, functional louvers are commonly placed on gables or beneath rooflines to allow for ventilation in attic spaces. Functional louvers are designed for maximum airflow while also deterring intrusion from unwanted elements.

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Fypon’s functional louvers feature angled slats that are designed for optimal airflow and protection. In addition to the angled slats, the inside of the louvers include a non-corrosive screen to protect the interior from rain, insects, dirt, and debris.

Unlike functional louvers, decorative louvers have a solid, one-piece design with closed, non-ventilating slats that do not facilitate airflow. Decorative louvers are designed to mimic the look of functional louvers with the same angled slats to maintain an authentic look.

Ways to Add Character with Louvers

Whether you are using decorative or functional louvers, several design techniques can be used to create an authentic-looking character:

1. Paint smooth louvers or stain woodgrain louvers for streamlined look

Painting or staining louvers can add depth to a home’s exterior. Paint louvers to match existing trim to create a clean, cohesive look. Or, add more dimension by framing the louver with trim painted a contrasting color. Fypon makes it easy to customize your look using paint — all louvers and trim come primed and ready to paint.

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2. Create custom look with louver accessories

In addition to trim, louvers can be customized using other accessory items. Keystone and brickmould can be used to add a more distinct style.

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3. Draw attention to existing architectural features

Louvers can be used to highlight other architectural features on a home’s exterior. Draw eyes to the entryway by placing louvers above the front door. Or, make gabled rooflines a focal point by featuring a large louver centerpiece.

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How to Get the Best Look with Louvers

The key to creating an authentic look with louvers is to order the correct size for your home and to follow installation best practices. For functional use, louvers need to be approximately 2” larger than the rough opening on all sides of the louver. This allows you to attach the louver to the substrate through the brickmould edge.

After ensuring you have the correct louver size, louvers will need to be installed properly for the best look. Thanks to Fypon’s lightweight polyurethane materials, louvers are quick and simple to install. Follow Fypon’s step-by-step installation guidelines to learn best practices.

Most importantly, you’ll want to choose the shape that is best suited for your home and style preferences. Fypon offers louver and gable vents in cathedral, round, diamond, octagon, half-round, eyebrow, peak, triangle and oval options. All styles are available in smooth and grained textures to complement a variety of design styles. See Fypon’s complete selection of louver and gable vents.