How to Measure for and Install Wood Shutters

Learn how easy it is to measure for and install wood shutters in just a few simple steps!

Aqua dining room with wood shutters

Now that the holiday craziness is over, I’m so excited to share some of the projects we have been working on around here! One of the things I received the most questions about during my Christmas posts was our new wood shutters (and I wasn’t surprised at all– we love them too!).

You probably saw a sneak peek in our dining room

dining room table decorated for Christmas with plantation wood shutters covering the windows

…and if you have a really good eye, you may have spotted them in my porch post as well:

wood shutters on the outside of the house during Christmas time

I had never ordered or installed wood shutters before, so I learned a lot as we went through the process! Hopefully, sharing our experience will be helpful for those of you who are considering wood shutters for your own home.

How to Take Measurements for and Install Wood Shutters

First, here’s a reminder of what our windows looked like on the day that we moved in:

dining room windows before installing wood shutters

Pretty plain and basic, right? Our builder doesn’t add any trim other than the sill, so we had a pretty blank slate to work with. (We are planning on adding our own trim sometime down the road.)

Since the dining room is in the front of the house, we wanted to make sure we got some sort of window covering in here fairly quickly, both for privacy and aesthetic purposes.

empty dining prepped to install plantation shutters

Measuring and Ordering Wood Shutters

A huge thanks to SelectBlinds for providing product for this post. My favorable opinion of gorgeous, high quality shutters is 100% my own. 🙂 This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here

When we went to begin ordering the shutters, I did a lot of checking with the helpful support team at SelectBlinds to make sure we had all of the necessary measurements and that our window type was even a good fit for the wood shutters I had in mind.

a recessed window in the dining room

Inside Mount or Outside Mount Wood Shutters?

Because our windows are recessed a bit, we were able to go with inside mount shutters. To get the best possible fit, we measured the depth, width, and height of the drywall that frames each of our windows.

It was important that we were as exact as possible during the measuring process– an 1/8 or 1/4 difference between two windows would make a big difference when our shutters were built.

Once we had taken measurements, we still had a few more decisions to make. We had to choose our exact shutters, of course, and we went with SelectBlinds’ white faux wood shutters.

Choosing Louver Size

Based on the depth of the drywall piece that framed our window, we needed to choose a louver size. (The louvers are the wooden slats that run horizontally across the shutter.)

Since we had a 2 1/2″ depth to our window area, the 2 1/2″ louver was the best choice for us.

diagram showing the sizes of louvers to choose from

Selecting Panel Configuration

We also needed to choose our panel configuration. Which direction did we want our shutters to open? Could we fit one panel or two in our window?

For our larger windows (about 35″ wide), we chose the two panel look, with the “1 left, 1 right” configuration. For the narrower windows (about 23″ wide), we just had room for one panel, and in our space it made the most sense to go with the “1 left” configuration.

shutter diagram showing different styles to choose from

We could have chosen to have a dividing rail running horizontally on our shutters, but we decided against that option.

diagram of 2 windows with a dividing rail

Selecting Frame Type

We also had to choose between a standard “L” frame for our shutters or a more decorative frame. We went with the standard option since we will be adding our own trim to these windows later. (Ours is the “4 sided frame for windows with extending sill.”)

diagram to choose the window frame style

Whew! I didn’t realize how many decisions would go into a simple set of shutters, but thankfully the team at SelectBlinds was SO helpful and walked us through every step!

Once we placed our order, the shutters were built to our home’s specifications, and they arrived a few weeks later:

plantation shutters in the boxes in the dining room before installing

I couldn’t wait to rip into the boxes and start installing our new shutters!

How to Install Wood Shutters

First we gathered up the tools we would need for the installation:

Tools You’ll Need

These are the tools we used for the installation:

two Ryobi drills that we used to install indoor shutters
close up of the counter sink bit in the drill
A closer look at the counter-sink bit. This will ensure that the screws sit nice and flush with the shutter frame.

1. Be sure the wood shutters fit.

After taking the shutters out of the box, Donnie and I set them up inside the window frame and adjusted them until they were centered and level– two sets of hands is definitely helpful for this step. 

Thankfully all of our measurements were on point, and all of the shutters fit perfectly!

Donnie holding a wooden shutter up to the window to make sure it fits

2. Screw the shutters to the window frame.

We used the provided screws to attach the shutters to the recessed window frame once the shutters were in place. Donnie used the counter-sink bit we showed above so that the wood screws would sit flush in the wooden shutters.

close up of screw drilled into the window frame

We attached each shutter with six wood screws — one on the top, one on the bottom, and two on each side. They were long enough to attach the shutters securely to the studs behind the drywall.

close up of a screw drilled into the top of the window frame
open plantation shutter after being installed

3. Install the magnets.

The shutters came with magnets, and we had the flexibility to attach them anywhere we wanted depending on what was best for our home’s setup. We ended up attaching the magnets to the top of each swinging shutter as well as the wood shutter frame.

close up of the magnets at the top of the window to hold the shutters closed
close up of the magnet on the door

The shutter doors hold securely in place without having to mess with any type of latch, which has been awesome. Whenever I’m watching for Connor’s bus or keeping an eye on the boys as they’re playing outside, I can just pop the shutters open, and then close them back up again when I’m finished.

Installing Wood Shutters: Final Thoughts

We were pleasantly surprised at how easy the shutters were to install. They now make me smile every time I walk into the dining room because they’re so pretty!

I have to give a big shout out to SelectBlinds for making this process so simple for us, especially with it being our first time using this type of shutter and not knowing what to expect. We could not be more thrilled with how they turned out!

Christmas decorated dining room with new plantation shutters over the windows.

Shutter Blind Installation: Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on the windows you are fitting and your preference. Because our windows were recessed, we were able to mount them on the inside. However, they still look nice when mounted to the trim on the outside of the frame.

Not only are they beautiful, they are easy to clean and let in a ton of natural light even when they are closed. These shutters are perfect for those who want privacy at night, but be able to enjoy the view during the day.

The only cons are that because most companies offerer custom sizing, it could take longer for them to arrive. Also, they are more expensive than other types of window coverings, like plastic blinds. If you want to be able to swing open your wood shutters, be mindful of furniture placement since they open into the room.

Want to save this post to revisit later? Be sure to pin the image below so you can find it easily!

How to Install Wood Shutters

Have you installed wood shutters in any of the rooms in your home? I’d love to hear about your experience with them in the comments! 

Have a wonderful day!

A huge thanks to SelectBlinds for providing product for this post. My favorable opinion of gorgeous, high quality shutters is 100% my own. 🙂 This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


  1. I totally love shutters and have now used them in all the bedrooms, bathrooms and hallway in our home. They make such a difference to the look and feel of a room!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Totally agree! Have a great weekend, Chrissy!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods says:

    This is exactly the post I was searching for! We have two huge windows that need plantation shutter. Hopping over the the company’s website to check them out!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! Hope you love them as much as I do! <3

      ~Abby =)

  3. Valerie | One Happy Housewife says:

    This post is fantastic! My hubby and I will definitely refer back to it when we install shutters! We’re hoping to start soon! Thanks for sharing!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Valerie! Best of luck with your install! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  4. They are so gorgeous! I’m so anxious to put them on my kitchen window!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I hope you love them as much as we do, Margo! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  5. Great Post! I love the rug you have under the dining room table. Could you share where that came from as well?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It is from IKEA! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

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