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Installing Interior Shutters

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Interior shutters serve three main purposes--to block out sunlight, provide privacy and add a great decorative touch to any room. They come in a vast variety of styles and colors, so your options are nearly endless. This guide will show you the basics of interior shutter installation.

Installing Shutters Inside the Window Jamb

  • Determine if you can install shutters on the inside of the window frame. Shutters look best if they're installed this way, because the finished product is flush with the frame. However, if the window isn't square or the window jamb isn't deep enough, you'll have to install shutters on the outside of the frame.

  • Measure from the top corner to the bottom corner on both sides of the window. If the measurements are the same, your window is square. The jamb needs to be at least one and a half to two inches deep for the shutters to fit on the inside. If either of these is not the case, you will have to install the shutters on the outside of the jamb.

  • When purchasing your shutters, ask if they can be custom fit for your windows. This saves you from have to cut them to size later.

  • When it's time to install, have someone hold each one up to the window so you can mark the spots where the drill holes for the hinges will be.

  • Place a thin shim between the shutter and the bottom part of the sill so that when it's screwed into place, it won't scrape the window jamb.

  • Take the shutter down and drill the pilot holes for the screws.

  • Have someone hold the shutter up again while you screw it into place. Make sure the shutter is straight and plumb with the window frame, and that it opens and closes smoothly.

  • Repeat the process with all of your shutters.

Installing Shutters Outside the Window Jamb

  • Measure the height and width of the window in three places, measuring from the outside of the frame to the outside of the frame on the other side.

  • Use the largest measurement of each (height and width) when you purchase your shutters.

  • Once you have your measurements, either purchase custom-made shutters or shutters that can be cut to size.

  • If you need to trim your shutters, use a saw or a planer. Before you make any cuts, check the shutters' packaging. It may indicate that you should add an inch to your measurements to accommodate hang strips. This could change your cuts or even make them unnecessary.

  • The hang strips screw directly into the wall outside the window frame. The shutters are then attached to the hang strips. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully as it may vary by brand.

  • Finish by making sure the shutters open and close smoothly.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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