Installing New Exterior Shutters

Installing Shutters, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

This week as economic turmoil and political gamesmanship ruled the news I felt like focusing my attention more intently on the house. I tackled a project that’s been sitting undone for awhile: new exterior shutters.

Here’s before, with yucky, crumbling old white plastic shutters:

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Here’s the midway point, where we existed for a few months while the shutters were being fabricated:

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And today, after I painted and installed the new ones:

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These are custom vinyl shutters from ArchitecturalDepot.com that cost around $200 for two pair. I would have loved wood or composite ones, but they cost considerably more ($1,000+) and weren’t worth it to me as I think the end result is pretty good. Vinyl shutters from a hardware store cost even less than what I paid, but sizes are limited, and if you special order unusual sizes they will actually run more than what I paid online.

I also had a rather unusual problem of fitting these to the masonry that made it easier to work with vinyl. Let me explain.  I feel like a lot of the cheap shutters I see are misproportioned. They are usually way too narrow to be even close to realistic. Given that a shutter’s original use was to cover the window, I feel like visually they look better and less like they came from Home Depot if they are closer to half the width of the window. The top, or soldier, row of masonry on my house has every fourth or fifth brick angling out at the bottom. That made it a challenge to fit these wider shutters.

I used metal snips and my Dremel with a coarse drum sander attachment to carve away enough of the back of the shutter for them to fit. Tedious, but worth the end result.

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Another house in my neighborhood apparently has the same issue. The installer just moved the shutters down. Does this look goofy to anyone else?

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Mine are paneled style shutters that I ordered with a primed finish. Paneled are supposed to be more formal than louvered or the trendy board-and-batten shutters that seem like they are everywhere. I wasn’t going for formal, but I figured that these would be easy to paint and also match my paneled wood front entry door. I used the same oil-based high gloss exterior house trim paint on them that I used for the posts. Benjamin Moore “briarwood,” specifically.

They are attached using plastic anchors called shutterloks. It’s important to get the mortar holes right the first time because the shutterloks will not come out without a ton of effort once they are hammered. I drilled the shutter holes first and then marked using a small thin paintbrush the exact drilling spot onto the mortar. I painted the anchors to match the shutters. 

Would love to hear your thoughts on shutters!

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10 responses to “Installing New Exterior Shutters

  1. They look good. They would probably look better if you would have gotten Penguino involved. Because really isn’t everything better with Penguino.

  2. Great job on fitting around your decorative brick detail. I too think your effort was worth it.

    I agree on shutter proportion. That other house looks way weird, which is too bad because their soldier row could really be outstanding with the narrow overhang.

    Good idea to think of the shutters in conjunction with the door adn go for panneled shutters. I like a tidy look and that kind of continuity is important to me. Continuity in form rather than color, that is.

    Have you considered beefier front columns? Try coloring them in on a photo of your facad and see what you think. I like the change of color on the existing columns. It’s great that your front porch is so wide across the front of the house.

  3. In an ideal world I would choose larger columns. Given the rustic look of the brick, they probably should be less frilly too. I looked into changing them but decided to put that off because of the expense and hassle.

    The next project is to remove the storm door, which will require better weather stripping and trim painting and possibly replacing the doorbell. That should allow hanging a wreath. Fun!!!

  4. You made the right choice – they look good! My parents had shutters like the ones you replaced on the (long-ago sold) house I grew up in. One advantage of the paneled style you chose is that they weather better – the slats won’t fall out 15-20 years from now, after they’ve weathered.

  5. Hey this is my first time on your website so pardon me for just jumping right in and commenting on an older post.

    First of all the shutters and everything you have done with the house look great. It also looks like it has been a lot of fun.

    We are just launching a company that manufactures injection molded shutters our goal is to position them right between real wood and composite shutters and Vinyl. They look just like real wood (even rough cut lumber) but they are even more durable than Vinyl. (Wood shutters are a joke when it comes to durability)

    So what I was wondering about is pricing, if you don’t mind me asking, what would have been your threshold? How much would you be willing to pay per window?

  6. Hi J.C. Superstar. I probably would have paid 150-175 per window for a solid product. I would have had trouble, though, with installation given the soldier row of bricks. Perhaps you can address a solution for owners of houses with shutter issues like that. I wish you the best of luck with your business!

  7. Roller Security Shutters

    Such a nice blog for those who are concerned about security both residentially and commercially. As I have got from Roller Security Shutters

  8. Thanks for sharing views.
    The Security Window And Door have in addition to its shading usage a security factor that can be apply to any residential or commercial use.

  9. It is a very useful blog for home and commercial security for those who are concerned about security, as I have got from Home Security Shutters .Shutters add a nice touch to a home’s exterior. In other parts of the world, especially Europe and the Caribbean, shutters serve a functional purpose.

  10. Yea I think your neighbors shutters look sort of werid because they are not even with the windows. I also think you should have stuck to the original color of white instead of grey it makes it pop more.

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