Exterior shutters serve as both functional and decorative elements, adding charm, style, and practical benefits to a home’s exterior. From providing shade and privacy to enhancing protection during adverse weather conditions, shutters have been a popular architectural feature for centuries.
When considering exterior shutter installation, homeowners have a variety of mounting options to choose from, each offering its own unique advantages.
In this article, we will explore the common exterior shutter mounting options and provide some helpful tips to ensure a successful and aesthetically pleasing installation.
Exterior Shutter Mounting Options
Exterior shutters are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve practical purposes, such as providing shade, enhancing privacy, and offering protection during storms and extreme weather conditions.
When considering exterior shutter mounting options, homeowners can choose from several common methods, each with its unique benefits and functionalities.
1. Direct Mount (Fixed Mount)
The direct mount method is the simplest and most commonly used approach for mounting shutters. In this technique, the shutters are directly attached to the exterior wall beside the windows using screws or bolts.
This straightforward installation works well for all types of shutters, including both operable and decorative variants. It offers a clean and neat appearance, seamlessly integrating the shutters with the window frame and exterior facade.
2. Hinged Mount
Hinged mounts provide homeowners with the ability to open and close the shutters as needed. This style is ideal for operable shutters that serve functional purposes in addition to their decorative appeal.
Hinges are typically attached to the sides of the window frame or the exterior wall, and the shutters are then mounted onto these hinges.
This design not only adds authenticity to the exterior but also allows homeowners to adjust the shutters, making them more versatile and functional.
3. Bahama Mount (Top-Hinged)
Bahama shutters are a popular choice for regions with tropical or coastal climates. These shutters are top-hinged and open from the bottom, providing excellent shade and ventilation.
The top of the shutters is mounted to the exterior wall, and an adjustable arm props the shutters open at an angle. This unique configuration allows homeowners to control the amount of sunlight and breeze entering their homes while maintaining a distinctive and charming look.
4. European Mount (Shutter Dogs)
European mounts, also known as shutter dogs or holdbacks, are a decorative and traditional method of securing shutters in the open position. Shutter dogs are decorative metal pieces mounted on the exterior wall, and they hold the shutter in place when it is open.
This mounting option is primarily used for decorative shutters that do not need to be opened or closed regularly. It adds a touch of elegance and historical charm to the home’s facade, evoking the architectural styles of older European buildings.
Exterior Shutter Mounting: Material Required
Plastic Plug Fasteners
Plastic plug fasteners are a popular and straightforward method for mounting exterior shutters. They are typically made of durable plastic and come with a small plug that covers the screw head, providing a neat and finished appearance.
To use plastic plug fasteners, you’ll need to drill holes into the exterior wall beside the windows, insert the fasteners into the holes, and then attach the shutters with screws. These fasteners are quick to install and suitable for both operable and decorative shutters. However, keep in mind that they may not offer the same level of durability as metal screws.
Metal screws are a more robust and long-lasting option compared to plastic plug fasteners. They provide a secure attachment for the shutters and are less likely to wear out over time. However, metal screws are more visible, which can be a consideration if you prefer a more discreet mounting option.
When using metal screws, it’s essential to select rust-resistant materials like stainless steel to ensure they can withstand exposure to the elements.
Hidden Mounting Brackets
Hidden mounting brackets offer a modern and clean look for exterior shutters. These brackets are concealed from view, providing a seamless appearance that enhances the overall aesthetic of the home’s facade.
The brackets are installed on the back of the shutters, and they attach to the exterior wall or window frame without any visible hardware from the front.
Hidden mounting brackets work well with various shutter styles, especially for those seeking a sleek and minimalistic design
Tips for Mounting Exterior Shutters
Choose the Right Size: Measure your windows accurately to determine the appropriate size of shutters. The shutters should fully cover the windows when closed.
Select Quality Materials: Use durable materials that can withstand the weather conditions in your area. Cedar, vinyl, and composite materials are popular choices for exterior shutters.
Pre-Drill Holes: Before mounting shutters, pre-drill the holes to prevent splitting the wood or damaging the material.
Use Weatherproof Hardware: Ensure that all screws, bolts, and hinges are made from rust-resistant materials to withstand exposure to the elements.
Consider Local Regulations: Check with your local building codes or homeowners association to see if there are any restrictions or guidelines for installing exterior shutters.
Proper Spacing: For multiple shutters on one window, ensure they are evenly spaced and aligned to maintain a balanced appearance.
Maintenance: Regularly inspect and clean your shutters to keep them in good condition. Repaint or refinish as needed to protect the shutters from the elements.
Operable Shutters: If you’re installing operable shutters, make sure they are properly balanced and easy to open and close.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for installing your specific type of shutters. If you are unsure about the installation process, it’s best to seek professional help to ensure the shutters are securely and correctly mounted.
Exterior shutters are a versatile addition to any home, offering a blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal.
By carefully considering the different mounting options, such as direct mount, hinge mount, Bahama mount, and European mount, homeowners can achieve the desired look and functionality for their shutters.
Proper sizing, material selection, and adherence to local regulations are vital considerations to ensure a successful installation process.