Imagine your holiday home with exterior shutters.

Measure For House Shutters

To properly measure for house shutters, a homeowner first needs to decide whether shutters will be functional (fully close and cover window) or are purely decorative. Specific measuring instructions are given below based on the intended exterior shutter operation.

First, observe obstructions on either side of the window which may prevent proper installation of outside shutters (downspouts, building corners, roof lines, etc.). Pay particular attention to the space between neighboring windows to ensure adequate proportions and that adjacent shutters will not collide.

Measure windows for exterior shutters.

Functional Exterior Shutters:

Solid exterior shutters, in conjunction with quality outdoor hardware, can be installed to be operable. Measure each window with great precision to ensure accurate fit. ShutterLand panels are crafted in 1/4 inch increments, so the correct size house shutter can be manufactured.

Height – Measure from the inside top of the window opening to the inside bottom. Measure in three places and record the narrowest measurement, then deduct 1/2 inch to ensure clearance when closing. This is the panel height.

Width – Measure from the inside left of the window trim to the inside right. Measure in three places and record the narrowest measurement, then deduct 1/2 inch to ensure clearance when closing. Divide this measurement by two for the individual panel width.

Measure the inside of window opening depth. Premium wood shutters are 1-1/2 inch thick, composite shutters are 1-1/4 inch thick, and pine shutters are 1 inch thick. The shutter panel should fit almost entirely within the opening. Consult the exterior shutter hardware supplier for specific installation instructions.

NOTE: Composite shutters have a flat non-decorative back, which will be visible when the shutters are rotated over the window in a closed position. The rear of raised panels and grooved panels area is flat and does not have the same detail as the front.

How to measure width and height of outside house shutters.

Decorative House Shutters:

Shutters installed for aesthetic purposes only are not restricted by exact fit requirement. The goal for decorative shutters is to make them appear symmetrical to the size of the window.

The preferred appearance for stationary shutters is to simulate those that are functional, aligning with the window opening. Follow the instructions above to complete this outcome.

Alternatively, some homeowners prefer shutters line up with the OUTSIDE of the window casing if there is trim. While this method is not sufficient for historical homes, it has become a common practice with modern construction.

Height – Measure from the outside top of the window trim to the bottom. This is the panel height.

Width – Measure from the outside left of the window trim to the outside right. Divide this measurement by two for the best panel width.

The width of the panels may be approximate on larger windows (wider than 64”). However, panel sizes should be between 30-50% of the window width in order to remain aesthetically pleasing.

Decorative panels may still look functional if they are installed with appropriate hardware, but they will not be able to fully close if this measuring method is used.

Divider Rail Location:

A divider rail is a horizontal bar, much like the top rail, that creates top and bottom louver areas. The divider rail is optional on all louvered and paneled shutters under 70 inches. A divider rail is required on combination shutters and all other panels in excess of 70 inches.

The divider rail location can be located 25% from the bottom, centered, 75% from the bottom, or at a custom location. If custom location is selected, measure from the bottom of the window to the desired center of the divider rail. Write the location desired in the comments section of the order form. Please note that because of the placement of louvers, the actual divider rail location may not be exact but will be very close to the location specified.