For most of us, shutters have become an architectural accessory rather than a practical necessity. Like earrings or a tie tack, shutters add a touch of elegance, although their roots are strictly utilitarian. These curtains have been used for centuries, first indoors and then outdoors shutter systems.
The most popular are plantation shutters, which is the style we chose for our indoor installation example. Strong horizontal shadow lines can line a room with evening drama. The slats we select are in a fixed position; others have slats that are adjustable, allowing precise control of the flowing sunlight. In the meantime, you can visit Shutter Systems to learn more about various shutters
- Measuring tape
- Nylon / polyester brush (if painting)
- Light electric drill
- Latex paint (if you are painting)
Most DIYers purchase shutters from a home store or online. If price is a primary concern, standard size home center shutters are your best option. Or you can place custom orders locally, over the phone, or online.
The shutters can be mounted inside or outside the window frame. The interior mounting method places the units inside the frame with 2 hinges attached to the jambs, resulting in a perfect fit. This generally requires custom sizes.
Regardless of the shutters mounting style, start by measuring your windows. For interior mounting, measure from the sill to the top inside of the jamb. For the width, measure from jamb to jamb, once about a third of the way up from the sill and once about a third down from the top of the frame. If the window opening is not square, trim the shutters accordingly or add a tapered wood wedge under the hinges.
For exterior mounting, the window frame style determines the measurements. Measure the height and width of the area you wish to hide with shutters. If the housing has a flat surface, you can attach the hinges directly.
However, if the surface of the case is tilted, you should place a block of wood against the case. Make the block about 1 1/2 inches wide, slightly longer than the hinge, and with a thickness that is flush with the casing. If you have windows more than 3 feet wide, you can order four or even six narrow shutters and hinge them together. (There is no "right" number of shutters to use on windows of a particular size).
Shutters come in a variety of finishes. We chose unfinished shutters and painted them in order to get the exact shade we wanted. Before painting or any other finishing work, first make sure custom shutters fit by holding them through the window. After applying any finish, allow one more day to dry prior to installation so that finished surfaces are fully hardened.
Screws and hinges might not be included along with your shutters. If not, they are available at home centers. Before mounting the hardware, place the shutters on the floor in front of the window to verify that everything is facing up. Position the hinges about 4 inches down from the top and 4 inches up from the bottom.
Always drill pilot holes at the points where the screws will be placed, being careful not to drill completely through the shutter frame. Here's a tip that will keep you from drilling through: Determine the depth you want to drill through, then wrap duct tape around the bit marking that depth. Drill down to the depth of the belt and stop.
Before attaching a hinged shutter to the frame, hold each one in place to determine where the pilot holes for the hardware will be drilled. There should be a small gap between the shutter and the window frame at the top and bottom. Pull the shutters forward enough to allow them to move easily. Mark the points for the hinge holes and drill pilot holes.
Simply hold the shutter and drive the screws into the pilot holes. If you want a latch, put in the pilot holes first, again being careful not to puncture the shutter frame. Plug in the hardware and you're done.