A guide on plantation shutter installation

A guide on plantation shutter installation



Many homeowners choose plantation shutters, also known as California shutters, for their attractive, classic appearance and versatility. These shutters bring style and practicality to your living space.

Installing plantation shutters can help protect your home against the elements. They are thicker than blinds, which means they can help with insulation. They also assist in controlling how much light enters the house and provide privacy inside the living room or other living spaces.

As a bonus, these shutters are relatively straightforward to install. If you’re interested in finding and installing great shutters for your home, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about plantation shutters and how to add them to your windows. 


What are plantation shutters?

Plantation shutters are a popular window accessory that homeowners have used for generations. They have characteristic tiled wooden louvers that allow in some light while also providing privacy and protection. 

Compared to other shutter options, the slats on plantation shutters tend to be more broad and thick. When this style was introduced, it quickly became a common type of shutter throughout the U.S. When homeowners want to open these shutters, they push them out like doors rather than using a string as they would with blinds. 

Can plantation shutters be installed on any window?

Yes, plantation shutters can be installed on any window, regardless of size or shape. You attach them to a thin frame that sits either inside the window opening or around the window casing on the outside. 

When you order plantation shutters, you can custom-order the size so they fit your window opening precisely. With this flexibility of installation, you can find beautiful window shutters that match your space and look great.

How much do plantation shutters cost?

The cost of your plantation shutters will vary depending on the quantity, the material you want them made from, and the size you need. While many people get their shutters made from wood, you can also get vinyl shutters, composite or faux wood shutters, which vary in price. 

According to HomeAdvisor, people installing plantation shutters will spend $2,903 on average. If you get pre-made shutters, they might cost about $150 a set, although they will not be a custom fit to your windows. If you get shutters custom-made, they will typically cost anywhere from $20 to $45 per square foot. 

Can you DIY plantation shutter installation?

Yes, you can DIY plantation shutter installation. It helps to have some background in home improvement projects to accomplish this task, as you will need to drill and use a level to make sure everything is straight. 

If you want to install these window treatments as a DIY project, carefully review the instructions before getting started to know what is involved. Many people find it easier to install their shutters if they have another person to help.

Those without experience with DIY projects can also hire a professional to get the shutters up quickly.


How to install plantation shutters in 8 steps

We will walk you through how to install plantation shutters step by step. Make sure you understand what each step entails to have everything you need before getting started.

Step 1. Gather the right materials

Start your project by gathering the right tools and materials. 

You will need the following:

  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Combination square
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood shutters
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet

Make sure before you begin that you also know the precise measurement of the windows. Measure horizontally and vertically between the window jambs at three points to get the correct measurements. We recommend taking one measurement in each direction at the window’s top, middle and bottom.

Once you have your measurements, use the smallest measurements to order your shutter sizes. If you use the larger measurement, then the shutters will not be able to fully close at the point where the window jamb gets too narrow.

Once you have your tools and the proper shutter sizes, it is time to put everything together.

Step 2. Put the shutter frames together

Begin by putting the shutter frames together. Your shutter frame will likely come in four pieces, with plastic connectors that join the different pieces together. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the connectors into the slit you see on the adjoining side. These pieces will have labels for most shutter sets, making this process even more accessible.

Check that the right and left sides are connected evenly to the top and bottom as you fit your pieces together. Tap gently until all the parts are flush, meaning they fit together smoothly and evenly, with no gaps between them. 

Step 3. Know whether you’re installing an inside or outside mount

Once you piece together the frames, verify whether you will install interior- or exterior-mount shutters. If your shutters will go inside your home and the window frame, check to make sure there are no latches, handles or other accessory pieces that could get in the way.

If you install your shutter as an exterior mount, you will need to attach the frame to the wall outside the window. 

Retake the measurements you took in step one and compare them to your physical shutters. Make sure you have the right size for your windows before you begin. If your frame does not fit your measurements, make sure you put it together correctly. If you did, then something is incorrect with your measurements. Either you sent the wrong measurements to the shutter company, or it sent the wrong size shutters. You will need to sort this out before going any further. 

Step 4. Install the frame

Now that you have verified your frame size, it’s time to install it. Place your frame in the window space where you plan to install it. Get your drill and screws ready. You may find it helpful to have a friend hold the frame in place during this step.

Secure the top of the frame to the window or wall with the drill and screws. Keep in mind that you only want to secure the top of the frame at this point. The bottom of the frame should still be able to move. 

As you install the top of the frame, use your level to ensure that each side of the shutter frame is even. Be sure that everything is level before you move on because it will impact the final look of your shutters. 

Step 5. Prep the shutters

Prep the shutters to go into the frame. Sort through them so you know which panel goes with which frame. If you need to install more than one frame, make sure you line up your shutters and frames correctly. You will again find the different parts labeled in most sets, making this step easier to manage. 

Step 6. Use hinge pins to install the panels

Once your frames are in place, begin placing the shutters into their location with hinge pins. Your shutter kit should come with the hinges you need for this step. You will likely also find it easier to have a friend help you with this step of the process.

Begin by lifting the shutter panel to the frame. Then slide the hinge pin to attach your shutter panel to the frame. If you cannot get the pin to slide in, loosen the screws around the hinge to make it easier to maneuver and secure the pin. Once everything is firmly attached, retighten the screws to secure the hinge. 

Step 7. Adjust the panels and frames until they are aligned

Next, you must ensure that your panels and frames are correctly aligned. Begin by simply opening and closing the panel to check and see how well it aligns with the frame. Remember that the bottom of the frame should still be loose at this phase of the installation. This allows you to make adjustments with the fame until everything is aligned correctly.

Use your level again to ensure that all panel and frame parts are straight. The panel should easily slide out of the frame without sticking and securely close again. When you have accomplished this goal, you will know that your shutter is properly aligned.

Step 8. Secure the bottom of the frame

Once you have finished the alignment part of the process, use your screws to secure the bottom part of the frame with the drill. As you complete this final step, make sure everything remains appropriately aligned. Sometimes pieces can shift slightly as you drill, so regularly checking can help you avoid potential problems and maintain the beautiful look of your shutters.

Once you’ve finished, you may want to cover up any holes in your frame from the screws with caps. This can give your frames a more finished look. However, it will not impact the function of your shutters and is not a necessary step in the process. 


Discover how Cinch can protect your home systems and appliances from costly repairs

Plantation shutters serve as popular window coverings because of their curb appeal and practicality. Installing these new shutters can be a great way to spruce up your home and create your desired look. 

You take pride in your home and want to keep it well insulated and looking beautiful. As you take care of your shutters, let Cinch Home Services help you take care and protect the rest of your home. With a Cinch home warranty plan, you can select coverage for critical parts of your home, including built-in systems like the heating and air-conditioning system, or major appliances like your washer and dryer. 

See how much easier it can be to take care of your home with help from Cinch. Get started protecting your home with an instant quote today!


Plantation shutters can be an excellent addition to your home. Here is what you need to know about installing these window accents yourself.

Your home protection is ready and waiting!