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How to Measure for Exterior Shutters

Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when measuring for your appropriate shutters. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all!

All of our shutters are made to the precise dimensions of your home, ensuring an ideal fit and the perfect look. Follow these steps to make the process as easy and accurate as possible.

Step One: Gather Your Tools
You’ll need paper and a pencil to record your measurements, as well as a tape measure. It can also help to have an extra set of hands, so consider waiting to take measurements until a friend or family member is available to join you.

Step Two: Identify Each Window
Even if you think all of your windows are exactly the same size, you need to take measurements of each one. Divide your paper into two columns and put a descriptor for each window in the left side column, such as “North, left of door.” This will make sure you don’t confuse any measurements.

Step Three: Measure Each Window Width
Measure the width of each window in inches to the nearest 1/4 inch. Think of this as the space the shutters would cover if they were closed, even if you only intend for your shutters to be decorative. Take a measurement at the top, middle and bottom of the window. Record the smallest number. If the window will have shutters on either side, this number is your “Pair Width.” If you have a smaller winder that will only require one shutter, this number is your “Shutter Width.” See the diagrams below for details.

Step Four: Consider Your Shutter Purpose
If you want your shutters to be operable — meaning, if you want them to open and close — subtract 1/2 inch from your width measurement to allow for clearance. This is your final Pair Width or Shutter Width. If you intend for your shutters to be fixed and only decorative, you don’t need to subtract for clearance.

Step Five: Record the Final Shutter Width
Divide your final Pair Width in half to determine the width of each individual shutter. Record this final Shutter Width in the right side column of your paper to correspond to each window. Of course, if you are measuring for any windows that only need one shutter, you won’t need to divide.

Step Six: Measure Each Window Height
Measure the height of each window from the inner edge of the bottom sill to the top of the lintel. Take a measurement at the left side, middle and right side of the window. Record the smallest measurement. Again, if you intend for your shutters to open and close, subtract 1/4 inch from your final measurement.

And that’s it — you’re done!

When measuring for decorative shutters, there is one important question that needs to be answered. Are you looking for decorative shutters that add color and personality to your home, or are you looking for ones that also look like they could close over the window (even though decorative shutters will not)? This question is important, as it determines whether or not you can use a single size for all windows. 

    One other important thing to keep in mind is architectural uniformity. Different areas have different standards of curb appeal, as architecture is a regional science. In some areas, 12 inch wide shutters are the common choice, regardless of window size. In others, shutters that fit the glass of the window, but not the trim, are the norm. The most common style, however, is to measure the height of the window trim and install shutters that match. The best advice that can be given is to take a trip around your area, making note of the common styles of shutters on homes that are similar to yours. On the rare occasion that there are no homes in your neighborhood with decorative exterior shutters, the rule of thumb is to base the shutter size off of the entire height and length of the window's trim.