As a manufacturer of Cedar Shutters I'm often asked for a guarantee to which I respond, "How long a guarantee would you like?" Frequently the response is a 'lifetime' guarantee which from a legal aspect means seven years, not the buyers lifetime. Window manufacturers and in fact some shutter manufacturers will say twenty to twenty-five years which sounds impressive. But, twenty-five years goes by quickly and the question then becomes "...what do I do then, buy new ones?"
Well, if they're plastic or some sort of composite, the answer is "yes" but if they're cedar with fair-weather exposure, you might expect fifty, one hundred or more years. Granted, they'd probably need scrubbing and perhaps repainting after twenty years but the wood should still be sound and the shutters worthy of rehab. Plastic, however, becomes brittle, faded and difficult to repaint. So, before you pine-away for plastic, give cedar the attention it deserves. Find a company like Vixen Hill that has it's own mill and only buys the best tight-grained cedar available.