Hanging your own shutter panels can save you a lot of money. Knowing which way the hinges go is critical, though, or the shutters won't open outward to access the window. If you follow the proper guidelines for installing the hinges, you'll have a successful installation.
Lay your shutters out on your work table or the floor the way you want them to hang. Measure and mark where you want the hinges to attach on the sides of the shutters.
Place the hinge in place on the side, with the hinge "bulge" facing to the front. Start with the shutter edge that attaches to the window frame or the hanging strip. Line the hinge up with your placement marks, and mark the screw hole spots with your pencil.
Pre-drill the holes with the power drill or hammer a nail in a little way to give the screw a little help going in. Screw the hinges onto the shutter first, then onto the frame.
Switch the direction of the hinge when you hang the next shutter panel. The "bulge" goes toward the back so that the shutter can fold over itself when it is opened to the side.
Line up the hinge marks on the sides of the two panels, mark the holes, drill, then attach. Screw the hinges onto the last panel, then to the one already attached to the window. Make sure all panels hang evenly and open and close easily. Make any necessary adjustments.
A self-centring bit is handy when marking the screw holes because it automatically centres the hole for the screw. It has a reference ring around the bit that contacts the screw hole and holds the bit on centre. Non-mortise hinges are easiest to install and automatically establish the clearance between mating parts. If you want to have your shutter panels smoothly touching each other, without any gaps showing, use mortise hinges after you have cut out the mortises in the sides of the shutters.
Before you make any markings or holes, make sure you have all the shutters in the same position, with the bottoms and outsides all going the same way.
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