Handy Tips 1. (of 3)
Installing decorative exterior shutters.
Positioning the shutter and marking out.
These notes are intended as an accompaniment to the installation instructions supplied.
Simply Shutters supply installation fixings as standard with all UPVC decorative shutters. There is the choice of a coloured keyed mild steel screws or a plastic plug that takes the place of the screw called a Shutter Spike.
The first thing to consider is where to locate the shutter. Some people prefer the inner edge of the shutter to be up close to the edge of the window reveal whilst others prefer for there to be a gap/ space of whatever dimension they choose. This is purely subjective and depends on what you think looks best.
Having decided where to position the shutter, use a wax crayon (or something easily visible) and make to some very small ‘L’ shaped marks at the outer corners of the shutter. This is to help you reposition the shutter later on should it slip whilst marking out the hole locations on to the wall. The shutters are not heavy but it can be awkward to hold the shutter in position with one hand whilst marking with the other. Remember, if you drill the holes in the wrong location then the shutter will look askew when installed so this is a really important task to get right.
The next stage is to check for any obvious reasons why a hole cannot be positioned where you might want it? There can be a variety of different obstacles such as existing holes, particularly large wall irregularities, cables and so on. There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the position of fixing holes in the shutter, so if there are obstacles, make a small mark on the side edge of the shutter away from the obstacle and position the holes accordingly.
Align the shutters to the window reveal edge. If your window is not square than your shutters must match and align to it or it will look very odd indeed!
Having decided where on the shutter you will drill your holes, make a mark at the desired locations in the 4 corners (ideally about 3 or 4 inches in from the top and bottom edges) and avoid the support brace on the back of the shutter. Now make a small hole in each of these marks with a nail or bradawl to minimise the risk of the drill bit slipping. Use an HSS drill bit (not one for masonry or timber) to drill a clean hole into the shutter the same size as the hole you will drill in the wall.
You will need the correct drill bit for the fixing chosen and you will need to refer to the installation instructions for this. If you are using screws make sure that the holes that you have drilled are smaller than the heads of the screws. An obvious statement I know, but an easy thing to forget or get wrong!
What is an HSS drill bit do I hear you ask? There a various different types of drill bit head but the three most common are:
HSS (High Speed Steel) drill bit: Commonly used for drilling into both wood and metal. This is what most of us think of when we imagine a drill bit head.
Wood drill bit: Can only be used on wood. This drill bit flat shoulders with a pointed triangular drill tip and is designed to cut into the wood and rapidly transport the swarfe away.
Masonry drill bit: Can only be used for drilling into brick and masonry. It has a large snub nosed head that will not easily wear down and is designed for hard surfaces. Not suitable for drilling into any other material.
Reposition the shutter to the window reveal and line it up with the ‘L’ shaped marks that you made earlier. Now mark the wall through the holes in the shutter. You can use a fine felt tip pen/ nail or even a correcting fluid brush to do this. If the shutter slips then realign it with the corner marks.
Working at the top of a ladder can be awkward so, if you do not mind a bit of trial and error and ‘fiddling about’ you can position the ladder at just the right height to rest the shutter on. Now one hand does not need to take the weight of the shutter and is used to just to keep it to the wall and help keep you steady!
An alternative method is to bang a 3” nail into the wall through one of the top holes in the shutter. This nail will take the weight of the shutter and free up your hand to correctly align the shutter and mark it. It doubles up as a drilling location.
Mark your drilling points with BIG ‘X’s so you do not accidentally drill in the wrong place.
What do you do if you have drilled in the wrong place?
This is where our Shutter Spike can save the day. Tap one of these all the way into the hole and cut off the head. This will keep the hole from collapsing and making a huge cavity when you have to drill right next to it. Alternatively, anything tubular that will fit all the way into the hole will do the same job.
Don’t forget to see the 2nd part of this for the next stage of installation.