How to Fit Shutters for Windows

How to Fit Shutters for Windows

You don’t need an expert’s assistance to install your own shutters for windows. The process is fairly simple and only requires a few tools, but there are some basic guidelines to remember when positioning your shutters.

Most shutters for windows bought from a reputable company should be sold with all the fittings and information needed for you to install them yourself. You can pay extra for installation, but this is generally unnecessary – with some basic DIY experience you should be able to manage on your own. You will only need a drill and a ladder to do the job.

How to position shutters for windows

Most shutters for windows bought for use in the UK are decorative. They are not intended to be closed to protect your house and windows against the weather, only for their attractive appearance. This makes sense when you consider the differences between windows in this country and on the continent. Houses in the Mediterranean have operable shutters for windows that tend to open inwards; in the UK, windows more often open outwards. In addition, window shapes are quite different. Operable shutters for windows that are long and wide, as they tend to be in the UK, would be ungainly and overly long, looking very odd; continental windows are typically taller and narrower, as well as more deeply recessed.

If you are installing operable shutters, then you need to ensure that they are positioned exactly right so that they can be closed properly – otherwise there will be a gap between them or an overlap that will prevent them fastening. When installing decorative shutters for windows, this is not so critical. There is some flexibility in how close to the window frame they are fixed. You may like to have them right next to the frame, or to keep a little distance between them. This is a question of choice, but if there are other houses with shutters in your neighborhood you might want to get a sense of what is normal and looks right in the interests of architectural uniformity. Whichever you choose, you should adopt the same approach for all the shutters for windows on your house.

Drilling and fixing shutters for windows

Start by choosing where you want the shutters for windows on your house and marking the wall around them. This is best done with small pencil or chalk marks at the corners of the shutter as you hold it in position (or ask someone else to while you step back to view the effect and reposition as necessary). Do not use a spirit level to make sure the shutter is perfectly horizontal, since the window itself may not be.

Once you have marked where you want the shutter, put it down and check the wall underneath to make sure there are no obstructions like cables, and that you can drill into the surface without a problem. It’s best to drill into brick, rather than timber or a soft stone, which can crumble and does not provide a secure fitting. Reposition the shutter and mark the wall again if you need to. Then drill holes in the four corners of the shutter, ideally a few inches from the edges. Now place the shutter against the pencil or chalk marks you made on the wall and mark through the holes. You can then drill into the brick with a masonry bit, using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the Rawlplugs or shutter spikes that will fit inside them.

A handy tip for fixing shutters for windows in place is to rest them on top of a ladder to take the weight while you screw them in place. You can also use a nail through one of the top holes to support it, since they can be relatively heavy and hard to keep in place with one hand while you hold the screwdriver with the other.

This article was supplied by Simply Shutters Ltd., who are members of The Guild of Master Craftsmen and suppliers of high quality decorative exterior window shutters.


  1. one
    Comment by Bernard: Jan 17, 2012 at 5:06 AM

    Doing these jobs yourself is a great way to save some money. It is crucial to make sure that the ladder you are using is the correct height. If you are having to stretch to reach the highest point then you need a higher ladder. The correct height ladder will also allow you to rest the shutters on them while installing, as mentioned above.

  2. two
    Comment by Bob@Locksmith St Albans: Feb 20, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    This is great info on how to fit the shutters! Thanks for sharing.

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