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How to Measure Windows for Shutters

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How to measure windows for shutters is our focus today and ensuring the shutter size coordinates with your window size. Let’s take a look at our latest curb appeal transformation, where we crafted exterior shutters from pallets, elevating the aesthetic charm of our lake house.

Whether you are measuring for plantation shutters as interior window coverings, exterior vinyl shutters or DIY wood shutters, the measurements of the window play a key role in the size of shutter.

I snapped this picture below of our lake house a couple weeks ago as the leaves were starting to turn color and I love how the warmth of our stained shutters pops with the colorful trees and landscape.

How to measure windows for shutters

What Size Shutters For Exterior Windows

Exterior shutters are not a one size fits all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

Our lake house was lacking serious curb appeal so once our new board and batten siding was installed, it was time to add new shutters!

Here is our house before we added the new window shutters and removed the dead trees.

We didn’t want off the shelf standard shutters but we also didn’t want to pay for custom shutters so we made our own.

​As you can see below, our shutter height is just about the full length of the window and the shutter width is approximately 1/2 the distance of the window. Note, this is a double window below so we measured 1/2 the width of each window.

how to measure windows for shutters
Double window with shutters

Key factors to consider:

  • Style of home will dictate the shutter style
  • Are you working with standard window, arched window, double windows or bay windows?
  • Are they purely decorative shutters or will they need to be functional shutters? For example, are the shutters being installed to protect the windows from severe weather

You will notice that our shutters do not have a shutter frame. Most standard shutters that you purchase will have a shutter frame which you will need to take into consideration when determining the size of shutters you purchase. 

how to measure windows for shutters
window shutters should be the same height as the window opening or almost to the top of the window frame

Why Accurate Measurements Matter

Imagine buying a pair of shoes without knowing your shoe size. They might be too big or too small, right? The same goes for shutters.

If you don’t measure your windows right, your shutters might not fit or look off. That’s why the perfect fit is super important. 

How To Measure For Exterior Shutters

When selecting shutters, ensuring they fit proportionally to your window size is crucial. Ideally, a shutter should equal half the window width. However, sometimes, due to size constraints or obstacles (like a light fixture) near the window, adjustments might be necessary.

Step 1: Measure The Width Of Your Width

Grab a tape measure and measure the width of the window opening from the left side to the right side. 

Take the width of your window and divide by 2. 

This will give you a guide as to how wide your shutter should be. 

For example, if your window is 40 inches wide, the width of your shutters combined should be close to that, usually around half for each shutter.

If you are loving the idea of making your own shutters, click through this post, DIY shutters, to see exactly how we made ours.

diy shutters, measuring and marking pallet wood for homemade shutters
we measured the width and height of the window and made our shutters accordingly

Step 2: Measure The Window Height

To get the window height measurement, start from the very bottom of the window to the top. 

This way, your shutters and window will look like they belong together.

Should Shutters Be as tall as the window?

Yes, the shutter height should be “as tall” as the window including the frame or “as tall” as the window opening. Shutters should absolutely NOT be taller than the actual window.

The height of the shutter, traditionally, should match the window opening height. But, if your window trim is wide, this might make the shutters seem short. 

You will notice that our window trim is fairly thin so we opted to have the shutters the height of the actual window opening (not including the window frame). 

As long as your shutters are never taller than your actual window, you will be fine! 

How Far Should Shutters Be From the Window?

This might sound a bit tricky, but it’s simple. Depending on the type of shutter and where the mounting hardware is located, shutters should sit close to the window, almost like they’re giving the window a hug. But always ensure there’s a small gap so they can open and close easily if they are functional shutters. 

Think of it like leaving a bit of space between parked cars.

Tips for Spot-On Shutter Sizing

  1. Double-Check Your window measurements
  2. Remember the Frame Some shutters come with a frame that goes around them. This frame can make the shutter look larger or smaller. So, keep it in mind when picking a size.
  3. Know your window type. Some windows are standard sizes, but others can be unique. Knowing your window’s exact size helps in getting shutters that fit just right.

Inspired to make your own shutters? Great! We have a detailed guide on creating window shutters from pallets, just like the ones many of you admired. Head over to our [DIY tutorial](#link) to learn step-by-step or simply get some creative ideas for your home.

Accurate measurements are the foundation for perfect-looking shutters. They can make your home stand out in the best way. So, grab that tape measure, check your numbers, and let’s boost that curb appeal together!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

diy fire pit

Come Enjoy a Stay at our Lake House

Our newly renovated waterfront lake house retreat with 1500 SF (7 beds), 3BR, 2BA, open concept living room + kitchen + lower level w/ arcade game is the perfect destination for your next getaway.

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