Can I install wood shutters over vinyl siding?

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Old 03-03-08, 12:01 PM
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Can I install wood shutters over vinyl siding?

I am having my house resided with Crane siding, replacing painted cedar shakes. The 40 year old existing wood shutters are in excellent condition and unlike the siding rarely require painting. I prefer them to vinyl shutters and would like to reuse them. The builder discourages this for several reasons. The shutters would need to be screwed to the plywood sheathing but may sag in time because of the weight of the shutter. Also, it would impede the vinyl siding from floating. In addition, the screws would penetrate the moisture barrier. Does this sound right? Thanks
 
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Old 03-03-08, 12:29 PM
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Those of us who install siding just hate to see people put holes in our nice new siding.

There really should be no issues with sagging, since you'd use a screw that was of adequate size- such as a truss head cabinet screw, or similar. You'd want to predrill the hole through the siding so that it is slightly larger than the screws you will use. Siding is supposed to be able to expand and contract, which is why you install the nails in the center of the slotted nailing flange, so that the siding can expand and contract slightly. When a fastener (like a screw) penetrates the siding, it "pins" the siding in place. If the siding is pinned in ONE place, that is not a problem... the siding will simply expand and contract on each side of that fastener. The PROBLEM is when you have MULTIPLE fasteners that pin the siding in SEVERAL locations. You would run into this situation if you have two windows that are, say, 10 feet apart. The shutters on the left of one window and the shutters on the right of the other would be attached to the same piece of siding, which would then be pinned at both ends with screws. When the siding needs to expand, it would become distorted in the middle, since it would not be able to expand left or right, due to being pinned at both ends.

A solution would be to make a mounting block for the shutters where ever they will be located. The mounting block could be wrapped with trim coil that is of a similar color (it would be hidden behind the shutters anyway)... you would j-channel around the mounting block, the siding would fit around the mounting block and then your shutters would have something solid to screw to that would not bother the siding at all.
 
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Old 03-05-08, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the knowledgeable reply. I do have shutters about 10 feet apart and I don't want the siding lapped in the middle. Another alternative may be to mount the shutters the old fashioned way, ie, with hinges on the window frame.
 
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Old 03-05-08, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Those of us who install siding just hate to see people put holes in our nice new siding... If the siding is pinned in ONE place, that is not a problem... the siding will simply expand and contract on each side of that fastener. The PROBLEM is when you have MULTIPLE fasteners that pin the siding in SEVERAL locations. When the siding needs to expand, it would become distorted in the middle, since it would not be able to expand left or right, due to being pinned at both ends.
Yup... it can get pretty ugly when you 'lock down" the siding due to incorrect nailing;



Example of distortion to vinyl siding caused by incorrect nailing, from a home inspection on a hot Chicago summer day.
 
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