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Shutter Mounting Instructions
for Wood Frame Walls

Don't be fooled by the length of these instructions. We've tried to cover every contingency. Once you've installed the first shutter, it only takes about 15 minutes to install each additional pair. PLEASE READ ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING.

Tools Needed:

  • power screwdriver w/ phillips bit and drill bits
  • hand screwdriver w/ phillips bit
  • tape measure
  • pencil or felt tip marker
  • square

Materials Needed:

  • shutters
  • Shutterstile Z-bar mounting bracket kits
  • screws (2, 3-inch screws for each set of brackets — stainless steel or coated for exterior use)
  • washers (at least 6 for each set of brackets — stainless steel, sized to fit the screws)
  • caulk
  • blue painter's tape (optional, but helpful)


For wood frame structures, it is important to screw the mounting bracket directly into at least one, and preferably two studs. In traditional construction, you will typically find a double stud (three inches total width) on either side of the window, approximately one inch from the inside of the window frame. However, this distance may be greater in older homes with windows that operate with the assistance of a sash weight hanging from a rope inside a wall cavity on either side of the window frame.

wall studs around a typical window

You will also typically find a single stud no more than 16 inches on center from these double studs. The best way to determine the locations of these studs is by checking on the inside wall using a stud finder, measuring the distance from the inside of the window, and transferring this measurement to the outside wall.

use a stud finder to locate studs from the inside

In cases where the distance between studs is greater than the width of a shutter, it may be necessary to attach one screw to a stud and a second screw directly to the exterior sheathing. The exterior sheathing (the material onto which the siding is attached) is typically plywood or wood planks. However, some modern home builders have substituted a foam board sheathing. Unfortunately, foam board has little capacity for holding fasteners. If you determine that your sheathing is foam board, and you are able to place at least one screw in a stud, we've had good results using a screw type anchor into the foam board for the second fastener. However, if your sheathing is foam board and you are unable to place at least one screw into a stud, you may have to select a more traditional hinge type mounting system (see mounting instructions for Traditional Shutter Brackets). If you don't know what type of sheathing you have, try looking inside the attic. If in doubt, give us a call and we'll try to help you figure it out.

screw-type wall anchor

The mounting system consists of two identical interlocking brackets. The upper bracket is mounted to the shutter with the drilled edge facing up, and the lower bracket mounts to the wall with the drilled edge facing down.

set of z-bar mounting brackets

With the help of a friend, place the shutter up against the wall in position. Place a mark on the wall even with the top of the shutter on the inside corner.

mark top of shutter on wall

Remove the shutter from the wall. If your shutters have our replaceable tile panels, hold a bracket against the wall approximately 9 inches below the mark. For all other shutters, hold a bracket against the wall such that the top edge of the bracket is at least 1-1/4 inches below the mark. Position the inside edge of the bracket about 1/2 inch away from the location where the inside edge of the shutter will be. The ideal location for the mounting holes will be on a flat surface. If necessary, move the bracket vertically to the best position. Drill additional holes in the bracket as needed to line up with the studs.

measure down 9 inches
 

adjust to align holes w/ flat area

Once you have found the best position for the bracket, insert at least three washers between the lower bracket and the wall to prevent the buildup of water and debris behind the shutter and to compensate for the thickness of the siding. [Note: additional washers may be required behind one or more of the screws to keep the shutter parallel to the wall or to clear window trim.] Now attach the bracket to the wall by inserting a suitable fastener through the hole closest to the window. [Hint: we recommend 3-inch long stainless steel or coated screws for longevity.] It's always safest to predrill for these screws, although this may not be necessary if you've chosen self-tapping screws. Add a dab of caulk to each screw to prevent water infiltration.

space out w/ washers

Place a framing square on the wall, with one edge of the square against the trim or window opening and the other edge along the bottom of the bracket. Insert a screw through the second hole in the bracket and into the wall using caulk and washers as above.

square bracket to window

Using the same procedure, install a second bracket on the wall at about 7 inches above the desired position of the bottom of the shutter. [Note: the position of the bottom bracket is less critical. For louvered or mission style shutters, you may want to move the bracket lower so that it is hidden behind the bottom frame rail.] For PVC and other composite shutters that are over 44 inches tall we recommend that you install a third bracket in the approximate center of the shutter.

bottom bracket 7 inches up, then adjust to flat surface

Now place a mating bracket in position on each of the wall brackets. Measure the location of the top of each of these mating brackets from the reference mark at the top of the shutter position.

measure to top of mating brackets

Transfer each of these measurements to the back of the shutter along both edges [Hint: you can use a piece of blue painters tape to mark the position instead of marking the shutter directly]. Place a bracket in position at the uppermost marks, centered from side to side. Mark the position of the two holes.

use painters tape to position shutter brackets

Drill a 1/8 inch hole at each location, taking care not to drill through to the face of the shutter [Hint: you can use blue painters tape as a depth gauge. Simply wrap some tape around the drill bit, 3/4 inch from the tip, and drill until the tape contacts the shutter]. Place a 1/4 inch washer between the bracket and the shutter at each screw hole and install the screws. Hand tighten to avoid stripping.

use painters tape as a drill depth gauge

The process is the same for the remaining brackets, except that only the top bracket should be aligned with the mark. Lower brackets should be positioned approximately 1/8 of an inch above the corresponding mark. This allows for expansion without risk of the shutter lifting off of the top bracket.

attach remaining bracket(s) 1/8 inch above measurement

You can now hang the shutter on the wall brackets [if your shutters have our replaceable tile panels, it's easiest to remove the panel before placing the shutter on the wall]. For additional protection against high winds and passersby who might covet your shutters, we've come up with a simple security device. If your shutters have our replaceable tile panels, with the panel removed, simply feed the provided cable tie behind the lower bracket and over the top of the upper bracket in the panel opening. Pull the tie snug, but not too tight. For all other shutters, loop the cable tie behind and under the wall bracket before placing the shutter on the wall, then feed one end of the tie between the shutter and the bracket as you lower the shutter in position [if you find it difficult to feed the tie between the bracket and the shutter, it might help to remove the bracket from the shutter and add an additional washer behind the bracket at each screw location]. Pull the tie tight from the top. Clip any excess off the cable tie.

hang shutter and secure w/ cable tie

Finally, install the panels in your shutters following these instructions.


 
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