Install Window Shutters Correctly
In 1979, when I was six years old, my father owned a local store selling interior shutters. My first job consisted of sorting and attaching hinges and other hardware. I was later “promoted” to sanding, finishing, and installing shutters. I have since participated in nearly every aspect of the process to facilitate window shutters to the end user. Today, at forty, I still think and talk about indoor shutters nearly every day.
I periodically encounter interior shutters manufactured and installed by others, and habitually inspect each and every unit. I scrutinize window shutters in restaurants, banks, hospitals, homes, and movies.
I often discover poor installations that significantly decrease the function and appearance of a shutter unit. The techniques used are not mistakes, they are deliberate methods used by inexperienced or uncaring personnel. The best way to avoid an unsatisfactory installation is to anticipate common tricks and identify proper methods.
Installing shutters to the inside of a window opening is most desirable if the overall depth of the window is sufficient to accommodate the louver rotation. Some manufacturers will undersize the shutter width (sometimes using premade stock size panels), making it necessary to use hang strips on either side of the opening. The hang strips can quickly be adjusted if the unit is found to be too wide. Hang strips used for an inside mount reduce the width of each shutter panel decreasing the visibility and light through the louver area. Shutters installed to the window jamb should be attached directly, or with a properly placed rear hang strip that is hidden when the unit is closed.
Hang strips (or frame strips) are properly used to mount shutters to the outside of a window opening (usually when there is insufficient window depth for an inside mount). A common shortcut involves using L-shaped hinges that screw directly into the existing trim. As a result, the shutters appear to float in front of the window with a gap between the shutters and existing trim. Also, exposed hinges on shutter’s edge appear sloppy.
Flush mounted hanging hinges (not mortised into the side of the shutter panel) create exaggerated gaps between the window jambs (or frame) and the shutter. This one simple infraction is most common.
I encourage you to use the resources available from Horizon Shutters. We have a reason and purpose for every construction aspect of our window shutters. Our installation methods have been developed for ease, appearance, and function. We encourage you to compare the processes we use to others in the industry. Discover the differences and ask question. We want you to make an informed window shutter purchase.