So you have decided you want to purchase external decorative shutters. The next step is to measure your windows. Whilst measuring is a fairly easy task you might find the following handy tips useful. Please remember that decorative shutters are purely for effect so you can use a few ‘cheats’ that you’d otherwise not be able to get away with.
1) Check for any obstacles on the wall where you are planning to install shutters (such as drainpipes, wires, vents, alarm boxes). Should you encounter an obstruction the options open to you are:
a. Choose a narrower or shorter shutter.
b. Cut the shutter so that it fits around the obstacle.
c. In the case of drainpipes sometimes a shutter can fit behind the drain pipe.
d. Where you encounter a vent the shutter can be positioned off the wall using batons to enable you to get a secure fixing.
2) Always try to measure from the outside of the house. To determine the height of the shutter you need measure from the top of the window reveal/ lintel down to the top of the windowsill. As windowsills tend to be uneven it is good sense to measure both sides of the window. From both of the measurements use an average so that the shutters appear evenly on both sides.
3) If you intend to fit shutters on more than one window make sure you measure ALL the windows. Do not make the mistake of assuming that all of your windows are the same size even though they might look it as you might get an unwelcome surprise.
4) Because of unregulated development over the ages there is no such thing as a standard sized window in the UK. There are many different sizes and shapes so never assume the size of your windows.
5) Measure the amount of brickwork between each window to see if the shutter width you have chosen will fit. If the brickwork between the windows does not allow you to fit two shutters then consider a single wider shutter or two narrower shutters.
6) If you can’t decide on what width of shutter to choose get some cardboard and cut it to size and position it next to your window. Have a friend to hand to hold the cardboard in place whilst you take a step back to see if the proposed shutter size looks in proportion. If not resize until you are happy with the appearance.
7) The widths of your shutters do not need to be exactly half the width of your window. Because your shutters are decorative, and will not be opened or closed they do need to be half the width of the window. We recommend a shutter width about 1/3 of the window. As a general rule try to keep all the shutter widths uniform as this will give you a much cleaner overall appearance but there are always exceptions to any rule.
8) Look at your neighbours’ homes for inspiration. If your neighbours have shutters look at the styles they have chosen to give you an idea of what you can do. However, it is important to remember to measure your own windows and not choose the same size as your neighbours just because their house looks the same as your house. Always measure your own windows and use other houses for reference only.
Take these handy tips into consideration before purchasing your shutters to keep you and your home is happy.