We purchased our home, brand new, ten years ago. When we bought it we didn’t yet have children, it was just my husband and I. Now, in the same home we have three children, two dogs, and a cat. Obviously, for the last ten years we have watched our schedules fill, which means we have not been able to get around to the list of things we wanted to do to our home. Thankfully this past year we have finally started whittling down our to-do list.
Recently we decided to build shutters for our front window. Not having shutters on this window has always made me feel like the exterior looked unfinished. For us, adding the shutters to the front was like adding shoes to an outfit; it made it complete.
Building wood shutters is an expensive DIY project that can be easily completed by almost anyone. The project will cost approximately $40 for the first set, and will be a little bit cheaper for the remaining sets if you have materials left over.
• saw (miter or skil saw) – if you do not have a saw then figure out the cuts before hand and have the hardware store complete the cuts for you
• 6 fence planks per set of shutters
• exterior wood screws
• concrete screws (we used Tampco)
• hammer drill for drilling into concrete or bricks
• stain or paint of choice
• 1 by 4 for horizontal pieces
• wood glue or sea clamp
First, figure out the length of the shutters for the window. Once you have the measurements, cut each fence plank to the length figured. We cut the top of the fence plank off because we wanted straight tops and bottoms.
Once the fence planks are cut, lay the boards together to measure the length needed for the horizontal piece. There should be four horizontal cuts per pair of shutters, two on each shutter.
After completing all the cuts, go ahead and either paint or stain all of the wood. Always paint before assembly, as it is much easier to handle simple touch-ups after completion versus coating the entire shutter.
Once everything is fully dry, line all of the planks up side-by-side. Make sure to keep them even at the ends; the last thing you want is a crooked shutter.
Once everything is lined up vertically, line the horizontal pieces up as well. The rule of thumb is to have them sitting 5 to 6 inches down from the ends, however, I feel as if this is personal preference; we did ours at 9 inches because that is what was aesthetically pleasing to our eye.
If you are using wood glue, go ahead and turn the horizontal pieces over and run a bead of glue on them, flip them back over and attach them to the plank. Allow the glue to dry completely before you screw the pieces into the fence planks. If using a sea clamp, clamp the pieces in place, turn the shutters over, and screw the horizontal pieces in the fence planks using the exterior wood screws. Always work from the back so the screws are not showing.
After the shutter is together, you will need to drill pilot holes in the location of the concrete screws. Using the hammer drill, drill four concrete screws into the front of the shutter into the brick. If you do not have an extra person to hold the shutter up while attaching the shutter to the house, use an extra piece of wood to prop it up from the bottom.
Step back, and marvel in how much better the exterior of your home looks after putting the shoes on to complete the outfit. Making shutters is simple, but has a huge impact that gives back year after year.
If you choose to stain and sun hits the home quite often then you will most likely have to re-stain often to keep your shutters up to par. If painting, just use a good quality exterior paint.
Now we are digging up and re-landscaping the shabby-looking flowerbeds to further enhance the front of our house. Wish us luck!
April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at email@example.com.