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Choosing and Installing Exterior Shutters

Installing shutters on your home is an easy way to enhance your curb appeal.

Tools & Materials

Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.

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Finding the Right Size and Style Shutters

Choosing the right shutters for your home is an important first step. Make sure you choose the right size shutters for your windows. Generally, shutters should match the height of the window or door you are embellishing.

Basic black shutters offer a simple, stylish look for most homes. However, there are many other choices. Materials include vinyl and wood; shutters themselves can be louvered, raised panel, or board and batten. They're available in many colors and lengths. Most have color matched mounting hardware. Vinyl is the most popular choice. It resists fading, rot, cracking and peeling. The woodgrain finish with routed edges provides a real wood appearance.

Good to Know

Shutters are not just for curb appeal. Consider them for the back of your house where you probably spend most of your time. 

How to Install Exterior Shutters

Removing existing shutters

If the old shutters are securely fastened to the house, don't pry or pull them off as this may damage the exterior wall. If possible, use shears or a saw to get behind the shutter and cut the fasteners.


Installing new shutters

Hold the shutter next to the window in the spot that looks best and push a pencil through the holes to mark where to position your screws. Use the pencil marks on your house as a guide for drilling pilot holes for your screws. Then use a drill to secure the shutter to your house with screws. Do not overtighten.

Installing in vinyl siding: Vinyl siding expands and contracts with the weather. To avoid warping, don’t attach the shutters tightly. Also drill the hole in the siding 1/4 inch larger than the fastener.

Attaching to masonry: You'll need a masonry bit and masonry wall anchors or suitable spikes (if provided with shutters. Drill and attach to the mortar, not to the brick.)

Painting Shutters

Wooden shutters can be primed or painted any color, based on customer preference. For plastic shutters, first prepare the surface using a plastic primer product. Apply according to the instructions on the can. Wait the required amount of time and apply paint to the shutters. For best results, use an exterior oil base paint or exterior latex paint.


Note: Paint drying time varies due to weather conditions. Painting new shutters may void the manufacturer's warranty. Some shutters cannot be painted or stained.