To properly measure for house shutters, a homeowner first needs to decide whether the exterior shutters will be fully close and cover window (functional) or are purely decorative (stationary). Specific measuring instructions are given below based on the intended exterior shutter operation.
Observe obstructions on either side of the window which may prevent proper installation of outside house shutters (downspouts, building corners, roof lines, flagpole mounts, etc.). Pay particular attention to the space between neighboring windows to ensure adequate proportions and that adjacent shutters will not collide.
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 composite and wood house shutters are crafted in 1/4 inch width and height increments.
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. Select from several types of exterior shutter hinges for the best overall fit and function. Shutter hardware can be purchased from an online exterior shutter hardware supplier.
Width – Measure from the inside left of the window opening 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 shutter width. Windows measuring less than 32 inches may use a single shutter that opens to one side.
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.
Windows without adequate depth to accommodate shutters that nest inside the opening will need to install in front of the casing.
Width – Measure from the outside left of the window casing, or trim, to the outside right. Divide this measurement by two for the individual shutter width.
Height – Measure from the outside top of the window casing to the top of the sill, or bottom of the casing if there is not sill. This is the panel height.
NOTE: Composite shutters can be installed with functional hardware, but have a flat non-decorative back, which will be visible when the shutters are rotated over the window in a closed position. All styles of composite exterior shutters are heavier than their wood counterparts. Composite shutters may need additional hinges to support the additional weight.
Exterior windows have many variables (siding material, casing width, etc.) which results in a modified approach to each application. The instructions provided here need to be adapted for your configuration.
Don’t assume similar windows are the exact same size. Measure all windows to assure accuracy.
Shutters installed for only aesthetic purposes 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.
Width – Windows wider than 64 inches will need to use shutters that are narrower than optimal. Use the widest possible to accent the home. Shutter size should be between 30-50% of the window width in order to remain aesthetically pleasing.
Never install house shutters that are wider than the window.
Height – Measure using the instructions for functional window shutters.
Decorative panels may still look functional if they are installed with appropriate shutter hardware, but they will not be able to fully close if permanently installed with screws to the side of the window.
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. Record 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.
Large functional exterior shutters may require more support than two hinges can provide. A divider rail is essential to affix a third hinge.