Tips for Installing Exterior Shutters in Your Home

Enhance the appeal of your home and shield it from the elements with decorative exterior shutters. Typically these shutters are designed to attach to the window trim (known as casing), swing inward when closed and securely fastened. Functional exterior shutters align flush with the casing when open, are kept in position by a pivoting metal tieback (also referred to as a shutter dog) hook or catch. Depending on your home’s design and the style of shutters you opt for, additional anchoring hardware might be necessary to ensure that the hinge remains sturdy when the window is open.

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Irrespective of your chosen type of shutters, it’s advisable to refer to the manufacturers instructions regarding mounting hardware. Furthermore having a spare pair of hands, during installation especially if you plan on mounting them above the window can prove beneficial. This additional assistance will aid in holding the shutters steady while you secure them in place using screws.

Ask your helper to hold up the shutter against the window and step back so that you can assess its positioning when fully opened. Use a pencil to mark where exactly it should be placed, taking into account its height and distance from the window trim. It’s important to ensure there is a 1/4 inch space, between the vinyl shutters and the window frame. This allows for the siding to expand and contract as it responds to temperature changes.

Check if the shutter is level by placing a level on it. If it’s not, adjust it by sliding the bottom rail left or right until it becomes level. Repeat this process with the rail. Once the shutter is in position, have someone hold it against the window again and mark the corners with a pencil. This marking will help you create a straight line during installation.

Determine the screw length needed for mounting based on your shutters. Most exterior shutters come with their hardware. If yours doesn’t, measure the thickness of your shutters and calculate how much screw length is required based on the gap between them and your siding. Add these measurements together to get a total screw length for mounting.

To avoid causing damage to your shutters, use a drill with a bit to pre-drill each screw location. This step helps prevent screws from slipping into or breaking through the siding.

Over time screws that are directly inserted into the siding may cause damage to the parts of your house.

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