The process of installing indoor window shutters begins by taking accurate measurements. The first decision to be made is whether the shutters are going to be mounted inside or outside the window opening. Here are some tips on the measuring process. Using a tape measure, record the width of the inside of the window and make a mark on the sill at 10 inches from the edge of the tape casing. Now measure from the other side of the window back to the 10 inch mark. Add the 10 inches to the measurement just taken, then compare it with the first measurement. They should be the same. If you are not sure about your measurements, take a set of measurements yourself and write them down. Then ask someone else to take the same measurements and then compare the two sets. Any discrepancies can be sorted out.
Step 1 – Measurements
Interior shutters look better when closely fitted. For inside the window shutters mounted on the window jamb, the measurement from jamb to jamb should be a quarter of an inch less. Shutters installed on the outside of the window should be wider than the window and have hang strips on each side. Plantation standard shutters are normally 1 1/8 inches thick and traditional shutters are usually ¾ inch thick. The plantation shutter louvers should be made between 1 1/2 and 5 inches wide and can be elliptical or flat. Louvers for traditional shutters are normally wedge shaped and about 1 1/4 inches wide.
Step 2 – Making the Panels
The louvers should overlap, preventing light from entering the room. The moveable louvers on interior shutters pivot on pins connecting the louvers to the stiles. The pin holes in the side stiles need to be accurately drilled so that the louvers are exactly horizontal. The eye is drawn immediately to anything that is not perfect and will ruin any project. All of the louvers are connected to a tilt bar with staples, allowing them to rotate together and be held at the same angle. A rabbet should be cut into both the top and the bottom rails, which will allow the louvers to close fully. The interior shutters should have a notch cut into the top rail enabling the tilt bar to be recessed when the shutters are closed.
Step 3 – Panel Configuration
Each window needs a specific configuration of panels. These could be anything from one to six panels. One or two panels may be required to completely cover the window from top to bottom. Make the shutters with rabbeted stiles between the panels for the best results. Make the shutters with mortised hanging side stiles to allow for hanging hinges. For a smooth finish, shutters should be sanded first with a coarse sandpaper and then with a fine sandpaper.