Updating your Family Room Windows with Shutters

One unique way that you can update the look of your family room is by installing interior shutters. Shutters are not only attractive and give a cottage appeal to your home, but they are also functional, and work to block out light and give you an added level of privacy in one of the most often used rooms in the home. While many companies that sell shutters tell consumers that they should leave the installation to the professionals, the truth of the matter is that you can easily install interior shutters on your own with just a few simple tools.

Inside or Outside Mounting

You can install shutters to the inside of the window frame as an inside mount. You can also hang shutters on strips that are installed along the casings of the window. Strips for hanging are essentially just ¾" strips made from wood or other materials that mount on the wall next to the window and then are finished with stain or paint to coordinate with the shutters and window casing. Even if you live in a newer home, your windows may not be completely plumb or square, which makes an inside mount frustrating and time consuming due to the fact that the shutters have to be appropriately sized and then mounted accurately in a vertical position. For this reason, the easiest and most hassle free route to hanging interior shutters is the outside mount process.

Supplies You Will Need

Besides the shutters themselves, you will also need a tape measure, screwdriver, saw, and the shutter hardware which is typically included with the shutters.

Measuring

When measuring, you will need to leave two inches of space between the windows and the shutters. Measure window width and height at three distinct points along the window frame for accuracy.

• If you prefer mount the shutters on the inside of the window casing, you will need to first find out if the window is plumb and square. Do this by measuring the window crosswise from upper left corner to lower right corner and from upper right corner to lower left corner; measurements that are equal indicate a square or plumb window. If, however, the measurements differ by more than a ¼", the window isn't square enough and you will likely need to mount the shutters on the outside. For an inside mount, use the biggest of your diagonal measurements in order to determine the size of shutters that you need. Trimming can be done after you measure in order to size perfectly.

• For outside mounting, you need to add the width and height measurements to the size of your window so that the shutters will extend beyond the outside edge of the window frame. Outside mounted shutters are mounted onto hanging strips that will allow you to install the shutters in a plumb position even on windows that are less than plumb.

Hanging the Shutters

Depending on your preference for inside or outside mounting, you will first attach the hanging strips to the window frame's sides. Use the hanging hardware that was packaged with your shutters to hinge the shutter panels together. So that each panel of the shutters will operate properly without pressure, a spacer is used on each side of the shutters. Next, attach the shutter hinges to the shutter body and then place the shutters where they should go, or along the hanging strips, depending on your installation method. Check that the shutters are flush and that they have a uniform amount of space around them. If not, brace them or shim into position. Then, mark the location for the hinges on the frame of the window using a pencil or on the hanging strip, depending on how you plan to hang the shutters. Drill holes to accommodate the hinge screws and then attach the shutters to either the shutter's hanging strip or window frame.

Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, specializes in southwestern metal wall artwork and fleur de lis metal wall art.