DIY Network

Installing Exterior Shutters

This DIY Basic will provide tips on installing exterior shutters.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

vinyl shutters with shutter spikes
power drill
chalk line
tape measure
safety goggles
masonry bit for mortar

Step 3: Decide Where to Install the Shutters

Exterior vinyl shutters can add instant curb appeal to a home.

Start by holding the shutter beside the window to determine the best location.

Shutters should be evenly spaced beside windows and as close to the openings as possible.

If the windowsill slopes, leave a 1/4-inch gap between the sill and the bottom of the shutter to allow for drainage.

Tip: You can nail shutters directly to the exterior of your home.

Step 4: Find the Right Mortar Joint

Sinking shutter spikes into mortar is much easier than sinking into brick. To find the right mortar joint, hold the shutter in place and measure 3 to 5 inches down from the top.

Snap a chalk line through the joint and across the window to the matching joint on the other side.

Measure the same distance from the top and bottom of the shutter. Large shutters require additional screws evenly spaced between top and bottom.

Drill holes in the centers of the side rails.

Step 5: Drill Holes in the Mortar

Back on the wall, measure and mark the position of the spike holes in the joints.

Using a masonry bit, drill holes in the mortar.

Tip: Hole depth should be the length of the spike plus the depth of the shutter.

Step 6: Attach the Shutters

Reposition the shutter beside the window and drive in the shutter spikes with a hammer.

Tip: Plain water will wash off any visible chalk lines.