Add a Touch of History with Interior Shutters
In an old house, historical details matter. Those plastic or wooden blinds you have been using for privacy in your home definitely don't fit in with the historical vibe! Interior shutters are a great way to keep out the gaze of nosy neighbors while providing the unique look your old house deserves.
Installing Interior Shutters
Installation of interior shutters isn't as difficult as it looks at first blush. Here are a few easy steps to give you that privacy you deserve:
- Measure the window horizontally between the top, middle, and bottom of the jamb. Measure vertically as well. Take the smallest of the measurements to purchase the right size shutters or have them custom made.
- Ensure all your shutters are facing in the proper direction. Because most shutters are factory built to open from the right, you might have to switch the hinges on a few of them to create left-hand shutters. Take your time with drilling the pilot holes and seating the hinges appropriately.
- You need a helper for this part. Hold the shutter with the hinges pressed against the jamb. If your jamb is not perfectly square, use shims to even out the hinges. The hinges should protrude a small bit so the shutter can swing freely against the wall. Test the swing to make sure it works fine, then mark pilot holes where the hinges rest against the jamb. Ensure that both shutters close without bumping each other.
- Move the shutter away and drill pilot holes in the jamb. Keep them smooth and straight. When the pilot holes are done, ask your helper to hold the shutter up again. This time, insert the screws through the hinges to secure the shutters to the window, but don't tighten them. Check a final time for good fit and proper swing. Once you're sure your shutters are installed properly, screw the screws solidly into the jamb.
- Finally, install the catches or locks. Some shutters might require magnets to hold them closed, or you might choose to go with the old-fashioned touch of a hook-and-eye closure. Take care while installing the catches or locks so that you don't pull the shutters out of alignment.
Interior shutters bring a historical touch to an old house that no blinds or shades can duplicate. Take your time with installation and you can enjoy their beauty--and your privacy--for years to come.
Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.