Like a gorgeous pair of earrings or a stylish necktie, interior shutters add an aesthetic flourish to any room. They’re also very easy to install. Sure, you can hire a certified shutter installer; however, you’ll save time and money by doing it yourself. The project may sound intimidating, but it is simple and hassle-free and can be done in around 60 minutes. Anyone can do it, even if you’re a DIY novice. If you can hang a picture on a wall, you can put up shutters. Here’s how:
Before you start
The very first step is to measure your window so the shutters will fit perfectly. If it has a recess wide enough to accommodate a shutter frame, you’ll need an inside mount. Measure the width at three locations (bottom, middle, and top) and the height at the left, center, and right side of the window. The shutter frame will sit inside the recess and can be positioned at any point, such as tight to the window or at the front of the alcove. You will need to consider how you will use your shutters. For example, if you want to fold the panels back regularly, locating the mount at the front of the recess will probably be best.
If your window has minimal or no recess, you’ll need an outside mount. In this case, measure outside of your existing window trim for the width and height measurements. Be sure to measure to the nearest 1/16 of an inch. And always use a metal tape measure as it will give you the most accurate result.
One of the best things about installing shutters is that it doesn’t have to come at a price. A wide range of cheaper shutters is available at the Shutter Store. The shutters offer style, functionality, privacy, and versatility that doesn’t break the bank.
Gather your equipment
All you will need is a hammer, drill, screwdriver, and spirit level. Everything else will be provided in the hardware kit that comes with your shutters. It will contain Hoffman keys, which are bowtie-shaped pieces that connect your frame panels, long screws for mounting the frame, smaller screws to secure the hinges and hinge pins.
Assemble your shutter frames
Depending on the type of shutters you’ve ordered, the frames should come in a long box and the shutter panels in a larger container. Open carefully so as not to damage the contents. Each shutter frame will come in four pieces. Place them face down on the floor to make it easier for you to put them together. Make sure you have enough workspace.
Most likely, the shutter frames will be labeled top, bottom, left, and right. Connect the frame corners together using the Hoffman keys. If the keys are tight, tap them in with a hammer. You may also need to tap the sides of the frames to ensure the pieces are flush together.
Note that the shutter frames and panels will come with the hinges already installed. That’s one less job for you!
Attaching the frames
Pick up a shutter frame and place it evenly around the window. Use a spirit level to make sure it is sitting correctly on all sides. Drill holes into the frame where you’ll be putting screws through to affix the shutter. Then remove it and drill corresponding pilot holes in the surface to which you’re fixing the shutter. There should be two holes for each side around the window.
Place the frame back into position and secure it. Insert the screws for the top part first to help keep it steady while you insert the other screws. Use your spirit level to ensure all the frame sections are level.
Fix your shutter frames into position
Place the shutter panels into the frame, aligning them with the hinges. Take your hinge pins and push them into place. You may need to adjust the panels up or down to ensure they’re even. This can be done by loosening the hinge screws a little. Once you’re happy with them, insert a screw into the center hole of each hinge to lock them into place.
Apply the finishing touches
Use decorator’s caulk, a flexible filler, to fill in any gaps around the frame’s edges. Add plastic screw caps to conceal screw holes and ensure a seamless finish. These may be supplied in your hardware pack.
That’s all there is to it. Consider it a job well done, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy your beautiful new shutters.