7 Shutter Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

It’s easy to make mistakes when adding shutters to a historic house. Here are 7 big ones to avoid.

#1: Too Narrow

(Photo: Paul Kelsey Williams)

Whether operable or not, shutters must always be wide enough to cover the entire window when closed.

#2: Too Long

(Photo: Paul Kelsey Williams)

Shutters that overshoot the top and/or bottom of the window look silly.

#3: Attached to the Wall

(Photo: Paul Rocheleau)

Historically, shutters were always fastened to the window casing—never to the wall of the house.

#4: A “Flat” Appearance

(Photo: Michael Shake/Fotolia.com)

Improperly mounted shutters lack depth and shadows.

#5: Mismatched Shapes

(Photo: Michael Shake/Fotolia.com)

Shutters should match the shape of the window—not the casing around it.

#6: Improper Accessories

(Photo: Paul Rocheleau)

Adding balconies, railings, or window boxes around shutters impedes their ability to operate—and screams “McMansion.”

#7: Closed Louvers

(Photo: Paul Kelsey Williams)

Even if louvers are fixed, they should remain approximately 25 degrees open and have rods for historical accuracy.

Tags: OHJ May 2014 OHJ Staff Old-House Journal shutters

By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

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