If you have large windows in your home and you're looking to spruce them up or just want more privacy from your neighbors, installing plantation shutters is a great option. Plantation shutters are hinged shutters that can be opened and closed with louvers. They make for great window coverings and window shades and you can purchase standard size plantation shutters or have them custom made by a specialty shop (custom shutters cost quite a bit more!). Keep in mind that installation instructions may vary depending on the type of window you have and the style of shutters you plan to install. Here are general instructions on how to install plantation shutters on a large window:
Things You'll Need
- Plantation shutter package with hinges, magnetic catches, filler strips, screws etc.
- Drill and bits
- Measuring tape
- Safety glasses
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flat-Head screwdriver
Measure the large window you want to install plantation shutters on.
Decide if you want outside mounted or inside mounted plantation shutters. If you prefer an inside mount, talk to the manufacturer you plan to purchase the plantation shutters from - they will let you know how deep the window recess needs to be for proper installation. Inside mounted plantation shutters generally look the best.
Order plantation shutters from a local home improvement store or specialty shop. If the plantation shutters come disassembled, follow the manufacturer's directions to assemble them. Be sure to get a warranty as well. Also make sure the shutter hardware matches the room's décor before you purchase - hardware comes in nickel, brass, bronze, white, etc.
If the plantation shutters are unpainted, paint the exterior panels first, then the interior panels. This way, any drips will be hardly noticed on the exterior panels.
Assemble the plantation shutter frame and install it into the window casement with screws. Install enough screws to hold the frame up, but leave some open - you will install the rest of the screws after you ensure the shutters fit properly. Be sure to level the frame before you screw it in.
With the hinge pins locked in place on the shutter panels, hold up the each shutter panel (with hinges) to the frame and mark the locations where the hinge screws need to be installed. After you mark the location for the holes, release the hinge pins and remove the shutter panels from their hinges.
Using the marks you just made as a guide, screw the hinges into the plantation shutter frame.
Hold up the shutter panel to the window again and slide it into the hinges. Re-lock each plantation shutter in place with the hinge pins. Open and close the plantation shutters to make sure they function properly. Be sure to close them and check the top, bottom, middle and sides for gaps and/or tight fits. If there is a wide gap between the closed shutters, loosen the hinge screws and install shims underneath the hinge plates to correct the gap.
Install the rest of the screws into the plantation shutter frame to secure it in place. Make sure the plantation shutters still open and close properly after all screws are secured.
Mount magnetic catches on the windowsill to keep the plantation shutters closed.
Snap in filler strips to complete the project.
Tips & Warnings
- Getting plantation shutters to open and close properly is something of an art. If the window frame is bowed or not completely rectangular or square, you will need to use shims to get the shutters to fit properly.
- Photo Credit shadesshuttersblinds.com, stock.xchng: lusi, somadjinn, asifthebes
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