Dressing windows with custom made plantation shutters needs accurate measurements to ensure a perfect fit installation. With proper measurements, the DIY installation of plantation shutters is achievable and enjoyable. But for the best fit and appearance, having professionals do this is always best.
So how do you measure and install plantation shutters to dress your windows? The way in which plantation shutters are mounted is dictated by how they will be operated after installation. Read on for the best tips for installing plantation shutters.
Decorative Shutters (Fixed Mount)
Most modern shutters are decorative types of shutters known as fixed-mount shutters. These are installed to appear like they can open and close. But most exterior shutters don’t close as they are purely decorative. This allows manufacturers to come up with designs that are a standard 15 inches in width and only vary in height. These standard fixed mounting decorative shutters require no width measurement taking. One just needs to decide on the color and style of shutters that suits their space.
Functional (Operable) Shutters
Shutters that close and open are called operable or functional. They allow in light and air when opened and provide heat protection and privacy when closed. There are houses that retain operable shutters that close and open over windows. These functional shutters require more attention to construct and install. Having professionals do this is always best. Allowances must be made for hinges and spacing between shutters and measurements must be exact for smooth functioning.
How To Measure For Plantation Shutters
How to measure windows for shutters is similar whether it is for functional or decorative purposes. The main difference in how to measure windows for shutters is in the required precision for functional shutters. The window width and height measurements taken for ordering and installing a functional plantation shutter that swings open and closes must be accurate.
So important is the window measurement process that having professionals do this is always best. Many suppliers provide a measurement worksheet form to ease the process. The worksheet can be downloaded from the internet and printed. Measurements are entered into the worksheet, which when completed is used to order for the shutters.
How do you measure and install plantation shutters to precision? This is best answered once you decide whether to fit the shutters within the window trim (recess) or on the outside (face-fit).
Inside mount plantation shutters are installed between the trim around the windows. Width and height measurements inside mount plantation shutters are taken from inside the window trim. On the other hand, width and height measurements for outside mount plantation shutters are made between the inside edges of the window opening.
Knowing the hardware requirements for the installation of shutters before taking the measurements is important since an allowance may be necessary. The shutter size for windows is accurately obtained by measuring to the nearest quarter of an inch for a perfect fit.
Shutter width measurements are taken as if they are closed over the window. The width of exterior shutters covers the width of the window and the trim. A single-width that works for all windows is best. This is achieved by measuring the window’s width at three different points, top, middle, and bottom, since most windows are not perfectly rectangular or square. If the three measurements differ, use the smallest measurement. Divide this smallest measurement by two to get the shutter width.
Shutter height is determined by measuring the window as closed at three different points: left, middle, and right. The windowsill is ignored in both operative and decorative shutters measurement taking, to maintain the appearance that the shutters will close over the window. Use the smallest of the three height measurements for placing your plantation shutters order.
Decorative exterior shutter height is inclusive of the window trim. Decorative shutters that have their width measurements standardized will only require the heights to be taken. Where the height of the window is smaller than the width, divide the smallest width measurement by four. When you have double windows, divide the width by four. Single window width measurements take preference over double window measurements for consistency. For triple windows, divide the width measurement by six.
How You Measure And Install Plantation Shutters
Plantation Shutters Installation can be an easy DIY process. The decorative shutters are installed through the fixed mount system using brackets or fasteners. Operable shutters use hinges on the sides or at the top.
Direct Mounting of decorative shutters to the wall using fasteners is simple. The fasteners are drilled through the shutter into the wall. Adequate anchoring of the fasteners to fully support the weight of the shutter is important. Shims are placed between the shutter and the wall to create an air space that serves to prevent the collection of damaging moisture.
Shims are not required when fixed mounting brackets are used to install shutters. Most fixed mounting brackets attach from the back of the shutter. Brackets are also better than fasteners at evenly spreading the shutter weight load. The brackets do not interfere with the facial appearance of the shutters since they are colorless and are hidden by being attached from the back.
Having hinges on the sides of shutters properly anchored to the wall with fasteners is the traditional method of installing operable shutters. Hardware fittings hold the shutters in place when it is windy. A Bahama-style shutter is not hinged at the side but at the top. The bottom of the shutter is held in place with hardware support. This is the opposite of a awning window but similar to a casement window.
Self-installing customized plantation shutters may be good enough for general installation. But when it comes to dressing elaborate windows with shutters, having professionals do this is always best. Also, are plantation windows the right choice for you? Keep in mind, the are extremely easy to clean.