How Do You Install Shutters?

ShuttersProjects that install shutters are one of the most popular ways of bringing security, comfort and elegance to a home. Surprisingly enough, in most cases, it is not that difficult for homeowners to consider installing them on their own.

Decision Time: Interior or Exterior?

One of the most difficult parts of upgrading your home with shutters is the decision to use exterior shutters or interior shutters.

Exterior shutters provide you with added protection for your windows from flying debris caused by windstorms. They are very popular in parts of the country where hurricanes and inclement storms are frequent.

Interior shutters sit inside your windows and provide privacy protection as well as providing added design when viewed from the outside. They allow you to keep your windows open and have air circulate without having to be seen from the outside.

Next Decision: Which Material?

If you choose to install shutters on the exterior of your home, the next question you will be faced with is what type of material will you use? Storm shutters are normally made from either aluminum or steel. They add to the beauty of your home while protecting your windows from being broken during a storm. As engineers can tell you, broken windows in a large storm can lead to structural failure in your home. If you are primarily looking for privacy and curb appeal, you might look at either vinyl or wood shutters. Vinyl shutters are lightweight and easy to paint and install. Wood shutters are also easy to paint, but may require a little bit more installation time.

Prepping to Install Shutters?

Before you go to purchase your shutters, make certain that you have measured your windows to verify that they will cover what you want them to, according to theĀ San Francisco Gate. Most shutter sales companies and home improvement centers will help you determine the sizes that you need if you bring them your window sizes.

Once you have purchased your shutters, if you have received shutters that are pre-drilled, you can go out and start installing them on your home.

One recommendation is to install them on your first floor before you go up and install them on the above floors of your home because that will give you a chance to learn without being stuck on a ladder and having to make changes.

The Install

Take each shutter and line it up against the side of your home to the left or the right of your window. If they are not pre-drilled, you will want to drill holes for screws that will attach them before you start.

Use a thin pencil to draw on your home through each drilled hole in your shutter. When you are finished, remove the shutter and drill a short way into each pencil mark in your home. Put the shutter back up and screw the screws into the partially pre-drilled holes.

It shouldn’t take too long to complete installing all of your exterior shutters.


Some shutter systems contain two exterior shutters that open and close without completely covering the window. This is so the shutter system can look good when it is not in use as a window protection. In this type of system, you might also have the option of getting an insert that completes window coverage. If so, after you install each set of shutters, you will want to test the insert to insure that it fits as planned.

If you plan to install shutters to protect your windows against storms, you will want to look at the installation process a bit more carefully because each shutter can end up being heavier to carry and hold while you install. Instead of installing them from a ladder, it might be preferable to look at scaffolding or using an overhead pulley system that holds the weight of the shutter while you maneuver it into place. Another consideration with heavy shutters is the type of installation hardware that you use. You may not be able to drill directly into the wood of your home without utilizing a support system that you can devise or buy by talking with your shutter dealer.

Finally, if you are looking at installing shutters onto a home with a brick or similarly impervious exterior, you will want to speak to a dealer in advance about the best approach to doing so.

Related Resource: How to Repair Shutters

Planning a project to install shutters can liven up a home and make your living experience more enjoyable by creating privacy that allows you to keep windows and blinds open during the warmer months.