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What Are the Best Tips for Installing DIY Shutters?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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In the past, shutters were used to protect windows from damage during inclement weather, and to provide another barrier against wind and cold. Modern windows are much thicker and better insulated, meaning shutters are usually not necessary, but they are still very attractive additions as window dressings. Installing DIY shutters is not a difficult process, but it is important to buy the right kind of shutters, as well as the right size, for a specific window or windows. The process for installing DIY shutters can also vary slightly depending on whether they are indoor shutters or outdoor shutters.

When installing outdoor DIY shutters, it is important to carefully measure the length, height, and sometimes depth of the windows before choosing the shutters that are right for that window space. Make sure to measure all the way to the outer edges of window sills to get the proper measurement, then choose shutters that will accommodate these measurements. If the builder intends to make the DIY shutters from scratch, he or she will need to purchase the right amount of wood for the job; it is important to choose wood that is resistant to water damage and rot, such as pressure treated wood or naturally resistant woods such as cedar. Otherwise, it is wise to use other materials such as vinyl or even aluminum.

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If a kit is purchased, it is likely that all the hardware for proper installation of the DIY shutters will be included; otherwise, the builder will need to buy the appropriate hardware separately. It is important to buy the right types of hardware for the job, and like the wood used for the shutters, the hardware should also be resistant to water damage such as rot and corrosion. Stainless steel hardware or galvanized steel hardware are the best options for outdoor applications. Resistance to water damage is less important for indoor applications, though condensation can still build up around window spaces, potentially leading to damage to the hardware.

When installing DIY shutters that are intended to be functional rather than purely decorative, it is a good idea to buy locking hardware that will allow the shutters to be secured in either the open position or the closed position. Such hardware may or may not be included in kits, and in many DIY shutter projects, it will be necessary to purchase locks separately. Be sure to choose locks that are easy to install and easy to use during regular use.

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