How to Install Interior Shutters

Interior window shutters are decorative, but they also provide privacy and insulation and can be beneficial to allergy sufferers.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Choosing Shutters

Interior shutters are traditionally made of wood, but they are now being made in a 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.

Build the Frame

The shutter frame is fixed to the window frame so the shutters take up as little space as possible when they are open or closed. Construct the frame to the size of the window recess opening. Dowels are used at each corner to hold the frame together.

Position the Frame

Position the shutter frame in the recess and make sure it slides neatly into place against the window frame.

Check for Square

Use a level to check that the frame is precisely square. Wedge wooden offcuts between the frame and recess if any packing is required.

Install the Frame

Drill pilot holes and then screw through the shutter frame and into the window frame at the top, bottom and center of each piece.

Hang the Shutters

Position the shutters. Align the two sections of the loose-pin hinges. Follow specific instructions if your shutters use different hinges.

Check Shutter Operation

Insert the pins into the hinges. Check that the shutters open and close smoothly — try adjusting the frame packing if they don’t.

Add Trim Molding

Clip or stick lengths of molding over the frame to cover the fasteners. If there are gaps between the frame and the wall, you can fit more lengths of molding to hide them. Alternatively, mask the shutter frame with low-tack tape while you fill the gaps, then paint the filled areas to match the wall.