Decorative window shutters can make a very appealing improvement to your home. In addition, they are low-cost, simple to maintain and easy enough to install yourself.
Hanging decorative window shutters is a straightforward procedure that almost anyone with a few DIY skills and an hour or two should be able to manage. The low cost and ease of installation means that you can give the outside of your home a whole new appeal for a couple of hundred pounds ($300) and a day’s work.
What you need
To hang your shutters you will need just a few basic tools and pieces of equipment: a power-drill (with both masonry and wood bits), a screwdriver, a ladder, and a pencil or chalk. Although you can probably manage on your own if you have to, it is better to have another person to help you. Raw plugs or shutter spikes and screws should be provided by the supplier with the plastic window shutters.
Align the shutters
Start by positioning the shutter against the edge of the window, parallel to the frame. Do not use a spirit level – the top of the window may not be completely horizontal, so use the upright edge of the frame as a guide! Some people like to have their shutters right next to the window frame; others like to leave a bit of a gap. The good news is that decorative window shutters do not have to open and close, so they do not need to meet in the middle – there is more room for personal choice in where they are placed. If you are in any doubt, look around other nearby houses – sometimes a street has a particular style or convention and you may wish to follow this. Once the shutter is in the right place (this is where having a second person is helpful), mark around the corners onto the wall with the pencil/chalk.
Drill the holes
Now take the shutter down and drill a hole in each corner. A wood bit should be fine for the plastic window shutter; check the gauge of the screws to make sure you have the right width. Then hold the shutter back against the wall, within the marks you made for the corners, and mark through the holes you have drilled and onto the wall. Inspect the area around the marks; you do not want to drill into any wires, unsound brickwork or masonry, or rotten wood. If it is necessary, you may need to move your shutter a little to the left or right to avoid this. Switch to a masonry bit – use the right gauge for the Raw plugs/shutter spikes – and drill the four holes into the wall.
Install the shutter
Lastly, push the shutter spikes or Raw plugs into the holes you have drilled in the wall. Hold the shutter up and fix the screws through the holes in each corner and into the wall. You may find this stage a little awkward due to the weight of the shutter. If so, you can ask a second person to hold it in place. Alternatively, push a nail through the hole in the shutter and into the wall – this will support it while you screw in the other corners.
When you have finished, check that your external window shutters look right from both up close and from a distance. If there is a problem, it is a simple matter to remove and adjust them.