How to Install Exterior Window Shutters Part 1

What You'll Need
Carpenters level
Drill bit

Attractive exterior window shutters can not only improve the curb appeal of most homes, they can be simply and easily installed. If you can perform the simple tasks of measuring and driving screws, you will be able to install shutters for your home. Just follow the directions below.

Step 1 – Choosing and Purchasing your Shutters

When choosing exterior window shutters for your home you'll need to consider not only color and texture, but material. In choosing color, you take advantage of the color guides provided by your supplier. Materials you choose might include PVC (poly vinyl chloride—or plastic), cedar, wood and aluminum. When you choose your shutter material, you will also be choosing shutter prices, because prices will vary according to the type of material they are made from. Shutter installation will be much the same, regardless of the type you install. They are all attached with screws driven through the shutter and into the exterior wall of your house. In all shutters except those made of wood, you will find pre-drilled screw holes. You should be able to purchase your shutters from a local home improvement center or from Internet suppliers. Be sure to measure your windows before ordering or purchasing your shutters.

Step 2 – Drilling Screw Holes

Installation usually involves little more than using screws to attach your shutters to a wall near an exterior window. But before driving in your screws, you'll need to make pilot holes. Hold the shutter in place, so you can mark places on the wall where your holes will be made. Use a level, if necessary, to determine that the shutter is both plumb and level. If you don't have a level, measure the distance at the top and bottom of the shutter between the shutter edge and window edge. If your shutter has pre-drilled screw holes, place a pencil in these holes to mark the locations where you will drill pilot holes, then, make the pencil mark. Finally, if the material of your wall, or siding, into which you will be drilling your pilot hole is wood, use a drill bit that is smaller than the screw you'll sink into it, and drill your pilot holes.

Step 3 – Using Anchors

If the wall material is stucco, brick or other hard material, you'll need to use wall anchors to sink your screws into. If necessary, use a masonry bit to make the anchor hole in a brick or concrete surface. Be sure the drill bit is large enough to accommodate the anchor you'll be using. To insert the anchor, place its tip into the hole and tap the anchor gently with a hammer. Avoid forcing it into the hole. If the hole isn't big enough, you'll need to use a larger drill bit and re-drill the hole.

When you have all holes drilled for a single shutter, hold the shutter in place and attach it by driving screws through it and into the holes or anchors.