How to Hang Interior Shutters
Keep out winter's chilly winds or summer's oppressive heat with these easy-to-install architectural features
Sunlight streaming through windows can be an annoying distraction. Not to mention the neighbors who have more evening hours to look into your brightly lit living room. You could install shades to foil prying eyes, but swinging wood shutters would definitely be more interesting.
Interior shutters were the original “window treatments,” commonly used in Southern and urban houses, and they're still a great way to add architectural and historical detail. They also help keep out winter's chilly winds or summer's oppressive heat. And they're easy to install on any window because they attach to a thin frame that either sits inside the window opening or around the outside of the casing. As long as the frame is positioned correctly, the shutters will swing freely - and close out the day's distractions with a satisfying click.
Interior Shutters Overview
Historically, interior shutters attached directly to the window jamb or casing and folded neatly into deep-set pockets next to the window. That's not an option with retro-fitted shutters, which remain in plain sight open or shut.
For the best-looking installation, you'll want your shutters to rest parallel to the wall when open, not askew like a half-opened door. That means the folding point of the hinges needs to protrude beyond beyond the casing. The best way to accomplish this is by attaching the shutters to a frame.
The frame that holds the shutters can be two simple hanging strips inside the window opening. Or, for windows that are out of square, a three- or four-sided frame around the outside of the casing will work better. Here we used the inside-mount shutters, which leave the Greek Revival molding on our window when they are pulled closed.
The trickiest part of the process is figuring out how to position the hanging strips on the jamb. To align them, you must fasten the hinges to the shutters, then hold the shutters at the windows in an open position the hanging strips to the jamb. To align them, you must fasten the hinges to the shutters, then hold the shutters at the windows in an open position parallel to the wall and mark the wall where the hinges fall on the jamb. That provides a guideline for the hanging strips. Once they're in the right place, setting the shutters in the window opening and mounting them on the strips is quick and simple.