Keep The Cold Outside: How To Install Exterior Shutters

It’s the dead of winter, and that means the sun is low in the sky, the trees look far from lush and green, and your heating bill is likely on the rise. Not only is it expensive to keep the cold locked safely outside of your house, but also, all that wasted energy is bad for the environment.


Installing shutters is a great way to enhance some of the most poorly insulated areas of your home: your windows. Additionally, exterior shutters can enhance the “curb appeal” of your home, so they are definitely an expense that you can justify at the end of the day.

Here’s a guide for installing those exterior shutters to reduce wasted energy and save some money.

Step 1: Pick the right shutters first.
You want your shutters to be the right size and color in order to make your house looks as good as it can while also saving the energy you want to save. So make sure that you consider which colors will match the trim of your windows as well as the overall appearance of your house. You may want to consult someone else’s opinion if you’re stuck.


Step 2: Measure, measure, measure.

Because you’re installing exterior shutters, you’re going to have to ensure that your measurements are spot-on before you start installing. You’ll want shutters that fit neatly against the sides of your windows – too small or too big and they’ll draw attention to themselves rather than drawing attention to the windows.

It’s important that you follow a few key tips at the measurement stage:

  • Line up the shutter where it is to be installed, and make pencil marks through the shutter’s pre-drilled holes so that you know where to drill. (Note: you can drill the shutters yourself beforehand if you choose not to purchase pre-drilled shutters).
  • Make your measurements precise and symmetrical. Measure for both shutters and make sure to install them so that they are level with each other from both sides of the window.

If you want more tips on making sure that your measurements are correct, check out this installing exterior shutters video from Lowe’s.

Step 2: Drill the holes properly.
You can only drill holes in your house once, so it’s important that you do it right. The motto “measure twice, cut once” certainly applies here. You may want to step back and view your pencil marks and try to imagine how the shutters will look if placed in those locations; this will help you gain some additional perspective.

Once you have all the holes measured and marked in pencil, drill them to clear the way for the screws. (Note: If drilling on a brick house, be sure that you drill through the mortar),

You should then be able to install the shutters with the aid of an assistant who can hold them in place as you drill in the screws to firmly attach the shutters to the proper places.

Featured images:

Chris Turberville-Tully works with Purely Shutters, providing both louvered and solid window shutters in a variety of shapes and sizes.