Before measuring, decide whether shutters must be functional (fully close and cover window) or are purely decorative. Then follow the directions given below to measure for the most appropriate shutter panel sizes.
Observe obstructions on either side of the window which may prevent proper installation of wooden shutters (downspouts, building corners, roof lines, etc.). Pay particular attention to the space between neighboring windows to ensure proper proportions.
Decorative Exterior Shutters:
The goal for decorative shutters is to make them look in proportion with the size of the window. The best way to do this is to take measurements from the OUTSIDE of the window casing if there is trim. If the home does not have trim (brick or stone, for example), measure the outside edge of the opening.
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 60”). However, panel sizes should be between 40-50% 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.
Functional Exterior Shutters:
Solid wood shutters, in conjunction with quality exterior hardware, can be installed to be operable. However, sometimes when shutters are installed to be functional on a window with trim, the panels can give the appearance of looking too small. Be sure to measure each window with great precision to ensure accurate fit.
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 .5” 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 .5” to ensure clearance when closing. Divide this measurement by two for the panel width.
Measure the inside of window openings that are deep enough for exterior shutters to be mounted between the trim. Consult the hardware supplier for specific installation instructions.
NOTE: The non-decorative back of the shutter will be visible when the shutters are in the closed position.