While it is possible to make our shutters operable by choosing the correct hinge system (see Installation Instructions for more information), we generally recommend a fixed mounting system. With fixed mounting, the width of a pair of shutters does not have to add up to the exact width of the window, so our standard shutters come in 15-inches wide [other widths are available at additional cost]. In this case, it is only necessary that you measure the height of your window to ensure that the shutters will appear as though they could be operable.
If you really intend to close your shutters at some point, you should take extra care to get the correct measurements for both the width and height. At a minimum, measure both the width and height at several locations and record the smallest of these measurements. This is necessary because your windows may be out of square a small amount which could cause binding. It's also important to measure each window, since one window may be slightly different than the next. You can either order all of the shutters for the same size window using the smallest recorded dimensions, or you can order for each window individually for a more precise fit. When you place your order, make sure to let us know if your shutters will be operable and, if so, whether the dimensions you supply are exact or if the shutters should be made slightly smaller to provide proper clearance.
Remember, since all of our shutters are custom-made, we cannot accept returns for credit or refund due to improper measurement unless we have made a mistake in your order.
On the other hand, most windows are around 30 inches wide. And, most people find that extremely wide or extremely narrow shutters look awkward (figures 1 and 2), even when they are properly sized to fit the window. A 15-inch wide shutter looks right to most people on just about any window that is 36 inches high or more, provided the shutter is about the same height as the window. That's why our standard shutters are 15 inches wide [all of the Shutterstile shutters in the photos on our website are 15-inches wide]. We've also designed the replaceable tile panels to look best on a 15-inch shutter. So if you don't plan to make your shutters operable, and your windows are around 30 inches wide, why not save a few dollars and order the standard width.
is less consensus among the experts on how to deal with unusually
narrow windows or windows that are too close to some obstruction or to another window to
install shutters on both sides. Some experts recommend a single
shutter equal to the width of the window, placed on one side only
(figure 5). Others caution against using shutters in these cases.
Figure 5: a single shutter for each window
We've all seen houses with properly proportioned shutters that just don't look right. The experts would tell you that the problem is with the windows, not the shutters. But unless you intend a major remodel, you have to work with what you've got. Personally, we think that modern shutters are more about aesthetics than functionality. These days, shutters frame the windows and provide a decorative element that improves curb appeal. So you should do what looks good to you. If that means putting a 15-inch wide shutter on a picture window to break up that expanse of blank glass, we say go for it.