Step 2: Shim the shutters in place

shim the exterior shutters in place
Photograph: Kolin Smith
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Place one shutter in the window opening. Have a helper hold it as you shim it tight at the top and bottom. Position the other shutter the same way.

Once both shutters are firmly in the window casing, carefully reposition them so they’re centered and surrounded by a ¼-inch gap on all sides. Shim them all around

TIP: A shutter’s wider rail always goes at the bottom. On paneled shutters, the simpler panels should face out when the shutters are closed. On louvered shutters, the louver openings should face down when the shutters are closed.
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    Tools List

    • painter's tool
      5-In-1 Painter's Tool
      to help with any necessary scraping or casing touch-ups
    • caulk gun
      Caulk Gun
    • sawhorse
      Sawhorses
    • paint brush and roller
      Paintbrush and Roller
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Drill/Driver with a set of common driving and drill bits
    • four-foot level
      4-Foot Level
      to align shutters and hardware
    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable Wrench

    Shopping List

    1. Exterior Shutters

    Home centers sell many exterior shutters in stock sizes, but if you want them to be movable and fit snugly in the window opening, they have to be custom-made to your specifications. You will need to order three to six weeks in advance. Many manufacturers have online catalogs and will talk you through choosing a style appropriate to your house. Look for models made from rot-resistant wood, such as mahogany or cedar, with strong ?pegged? mortise-and-tenon joints. If you plan to paint the shutters, order them primed.



    2. Hinges

    Ask for recommendations on period-appropriate hardware for the shutters you?ve chosen, beginning with hinges. Beware, though:Some hinges require chiseling out mortises on the shutters and casing. Depending on the detail of the trim around the window, you may also have to decide between hinges that rest on the casing or just outside it. So make sure you and the manufacturer?s rep both understand the layout of your window casings. If you?ll be attaching hardware to masonry, ask for masonry fasteners.



    3. Tiebacks

    or other latching hardware to hold the shutters open. Shutter dogs are traditional, but simpler catches, spring latches, or hooks and staples are also available.

    4. Pulls & Latches

    To help you grab the shutters from inside and lock them when shut.



    5. Capping

    to protect the vulnerable top edge of the shutters from the elements (optional).



    6. Exterior Paint

    7. Exterior Painter's Caulk

    8. Shims

    9. Silicone Adhesive

    To attach the capping to the top of the shutter.