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Interior shutters are traditionally made of wood, but they are now being variety of composite materials and plastics. Whatever material you choose, it is worth buying prefinished shutters — louvered shutters are very time-consuming to paint. Shutters are normally supplied with catches to hold them closed and tie-backs to secure them in an open position.
Adjustable louver shutters are an excellent choice if the shutters are being used instead of curtains. You can vary the amount of light (and air) you let into the room by swiveling the louvers, and angle them to increase privacy.
Shutters are usually custom-built for your windows or recesses. Before ordering shutters, take note of any mechanisms and installation procedures and make sure they are compatible with your window. If you are installing the shutters into a window recess, make sure there is enough room to fit them without blocking out light. Most companies will provide specific guidelines on how and where to take the crucial measurements. When you are measuring a window recess, make sure that you take at least three measurements for the width and height of the opening. Use the smallest of the three, because walls are rarely dead straight.
When you have decided on the style of your shutters, there are two main options for installing them. Frame-mounting is the most straightforward technique (the method used in these instructions). The shutters are built into a two-, three- or four-sided frame which is attached around or into the window recess. The frame of the window will need an adequate depth to accommodate the shutters and their fastenings without cutting out light. Large shutters are available that fold like an accordion to rest neatly against the wall surface.
The other option is hinge-mounting, this where the shutter hinges are attached directly to the existing window frame or jamb. With either option, you need to decide whether the shutters are going to be mounted within the window recess or around the opening.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009