How To Make Wooden Shutters for Windows

Man installing window shutters
Wooden shutters are firm covering for windows usually made of a border of perpendicular stiles and horizontal bars. Window shutters provide control over the amount of light entering a room and gives additional security. During winter, shutters provide insulation keeping the house balmy and cozy. Additionally, window shutters are great for noise from coming in. This is ideal for those who reside near busy roads.

Unlike fabric curtains, wooden shutters are very easy to maintain. In the event of hurricanes or storms, window shutters can also be beneficial in keeping out debris. You don’t need to have professionally built shutters installed. With some plywood and a few simple tools, you can protect your home and add beautiful features that will transform your windows.    

  • Measure all the windows that you want to shutter. First of all, decide how many windows, or doors should you choose to shutter those as well, on which you want to put wooden shutters. Using a measuring tape, get the lengths and widths of all the selected windows and doors. It is ideal that you add about 8 inches to the measured width and height to allow for overlaps at the ends.

    For beginners, it is advisable that you buy clear pine or any other wood that is easy to use. Buy enough wood (measuring 1x4 inches) to make at least eight perpendicular slats and parallel cleats to hold the slats together. If you can, have the lumberyard cut the wood depending on your dimensions. This will save you a lot of time, and most shops do this for a very minimal fee.

  • Prepare the other materials for this project. To build your shutters, you will need eight ¼ inch lag bolts (for houses with wooden frames) and the same amount of plastic-coated permanent anchors for every window or door that you will work on. For houses with stone or cement frames, get galvanized and permanent expansion bolts with corresponding anchors. You will also need a sturdy hammer, a drill and appropriate drill bits, a wrench, some medium and high grit sandpapers, and exterior grade varnish or paint enough to give all the shutters at least two coatings.

    To assemble the shutters, you will need some deck screws. Each parallel cleat need to be sufficiently long to cover the size of your finished shutter, with the spaces in between the slats.

  • Assemble the slats and cleats. Once you are done cutting and arranging the parts of your shutter, you can begin putting them together. Lay down four perpendicular slats on an even surface, making sure that they are lined up perfectly. Use some spacers between each slat to keep them evenly apart. Place two parallel cleats perpendicularly over the edges of the slats. Fasten the wood slats and the cleats with eight deck screws. Turn the shutter over and screw in eight more deck screws, placed diagonally from the ones on the other side. Repeat this process until all your shutters have been assembled.

    Once you have built all the shutters, sand all the surfaces with sandpaper to remove any rough or sharp edges. Start with the medium grit ones. After removing the imperfections, sand the shutters with a high grit sandpaper to ensure that all the surfaces are smooth. Finish off by brushing or spraying on two coats of varnish or paint. Let these dry completely before mounting the shutters on your windows or doors.

  • Mount the wooden shutters. You could require some assistance in holding the assembled wooden shutter in place as you attach it onto your window or door frames. To install your wood shutters, you might need some assistance, as they can be a little awkward to hold onto while attempting to install a long screw. Align the shutters with the top and base of your window or door. Mark the areas in which you wish to install bolts and anchors. Using the drill, make holes on your frame, big enough to fasten the anchors. Drill holes on your shutters and use the bolts to secure the wood to the anchors.

This guide shows how to make basic slat shutters that are secured to your frames and do not move. You can use the techniques that you have learned here to tackle even more complicated designs. Look up different styles of shutters to give you ideas for your future home improvement projects.


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