How to Buy Interior Shutters

Interior Shutters

Interior shutters are tremendously popular and are one of the most common types of window treatments on the market today. They compliment both traditional and contemporary decor. They offer high resale value and are good insulators.

Two of the most popular are wood shutters and faux wood shutters. Faux woods are 30-40% less than real wood and are very moisture resistant. Some companies take the mystery out of measuring and installation with excellent instructional videos and support.

I will touch on some issues that you need to be aware of so your final result will be a beautiful, functional shutter. First topic is inside vs. outside mount. For inside mounts, check the depth of your window.

You need at least a 1-3/4 inch deep opening for a 2-1/2 inch louver. Next, check for obstructions, crank handles, window and screen locks or center mullions (the structural element which divides adjacent window units).

Once you have cleared any obstructions, be aware that your shutter frame window will make it difficult or impossible to remove your screens. If you have tilt in windows, they will not tilt in anymore; they will hit the frame. There is one way around this for inside mounts and I will mention it later in this article when I cover frame styles.

My experience is, people prefer inside mounts, but don’t despair if you do not have enough depth, the outside mount is your answer. Outside mounts attach on to the drywall surface around your opening. If you have wood trim, it can attach onto the trim.

Outside mounts won’t interfere with lock crank handles, screen removal or tilt in windows. There are several different frame styles. Z frame hang strip or direct mount sometimes referred to as “unframed”. These are all used for inside mounts.

Z frame is most common, it is a four sided frame that fits along the edge of your opening. Hang strips are two strips, one mounts along the inside left edge and the other to the inside right edge of your opening. Your panels will mount to these hanging strips. Next is direct mount or unframed.

With direct mount, there are no frames, you mount your hinged panel directly to the inside of your opening. This mounting choice will not interfere with window or screen licks, screen removal or tilt in windows.

Make sure you have enough depth to accommodate the louver size you choose. The larger the louver, the less your view will be obstructed. 2-1/2 inches and 3-1/2 inches are the most common size. Just a few more points and you will have the knowledge to choose your shutter with confidence. Tilt bars open and close your louvers. It is usually at the center of the shutter panel, but for an added charge it can be hidden.

Also if your window is longer than 60 inches, it will need a divider rail. This is a horizontal piece that creates a top and bottom louver section within a single panel. It adds strength to a longer panel.

This works great in a bedroom. You can keep the lower section closed maintaining your privacy while opening the upper section to let the light in and have your view. Hopefully this will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to complete your project.

My wife and I love the shutters we have. They add a touch of class to our rustic decor and are easy to operate. Save money by buying online and avoiding markups associated with retail stores. Save even more by measuring and installing yourself. I have included a check list below to help keep your project organized and have all the information you need to purchase shutters. Good Luck!

* Determine inside or outside mount. If inside, do you have enough depth?
* Determine louver size
* Check for obstructions
* Measure, review instructions from company your purchasing from.
* Select frame style
– Inside mount = Z frame, hang strip or direct mount
– Outside mount = L frame
* Installing is not a mystery if you have a good instructional video available from most companies that sell shutters.

For outside mounts, “L” frames are used. “L” frames mount around the outside of your opening. It encloses your opening like a picture frame.

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