How to Measure Your Windows for Exterior Shutters

Measuring for shutters is not difficult – measure the width of your window and divide by 2. This is typically your shutter width. The most important part of measuring your windows for shutters is accuracy. This means use a good tape measure (don’t cheap out) and spend time to do a good job. While measuring your windows for shutters isn’t hard, you should try to be as accurate as possible (generally to the nearest 1/4″ for decorative shutters) when measuring your window width – if you are measuring for functional shutters be as precise as possible.

  1. Measure the width of your window
  2. Divide your window width by 2
  3. This is typically your shutter width for each window
  4. Measure the window height – this is your shutter height

When measuring for shutter height, you can add an extra inch or two to make the shutters taller than your windows. This can give added style and enhance the look of your shutters. That said, this is a personal preference and you may prefer to have your shutters be the same height as your windows.

how to measure for shutter width

Tips for Measuring for External Shutters

  • For short single windows that are shorter than they are wide, divide the width by 4 instead of by 2.
  • When measuring double windows, divide by 4 instead of 2. If this is similar to the width of shutters needed for single windows, use the single window measurement.
  • Divide by 6 for triple windows
  • Generally you do not include the window sill, only the window opening
  • Always measure the top and bottom of the window (they can be different, especially on older houses!) – use the shorter width. Similarly, measure the left and right sides when measuring for shutter height.
  • Make sure to measure all windows – don’t assume all your windows are the same size
  • Always record your measurements as “width x height”

The first decision you will have to make is whether you want to install decorative shutters or functional shutters.

Recommended Shutter Widths

If you are installing decorative shutters, typically the following recommended shutter widths will work for you.

Window WidthRecommended Shutter Width
18" or less5¾" - 8½"
18" - 24"9" - 11"
24" - 28"12"
28" - 36"12" -15"
36" - 40"14½" - 15"
40" - 43"14½" - 16½" 
43" - 48"16½"
48" - 50"16½" - 18"
50" or larger18"

 

Measuring for Arched Shutters

Arched shutters can add extra accent and style to your windows and give you a bold look. Measuring the width is the same as for a standard shutter, but measuring height for arched shutters is slightly different. Instead of measuring the height at the left and right side, measure in the center so that you get the maximum height of the window arch.

With arched windows, it is often a good idea to include the width of the trim in your height measurements. If you include the trim in the height, you should measure the height from the center of the bottom trim to the center of the top trim (rather than edge to edge) for an optimum look.

How to Measure for Interior Shutters

Measuring for interior and plantation shutters is similar to measuring for exterior shutters. Though measuring for plantation shutters is easy, it is important to take your time and to be precise. The following tips will help make your job successful:

  • Always use a steel tape measure
  • Measure as precisely as possible
  • Always write your measurements as width x height (W x H)

When measuring for interior shutters you’ll first need to determine whether you want inside mount or outside mount shutters. Below you can find instructions for measuring both inside mount and outside mount shutters.

Measuring for inside mount shutters

  1. Check the depth of the window before deciding on your louver size.
  2. Note any locks, latches, window cranks, or any other obstructions that may interfere with the louvers.
  3. Determine if the window is square: Either conform that the diagonal measurements of the window are the same or use a square.
  4. If the window is out of square by more than 3/8″ it is recommended to use an outside mount for your shutters
  5. Measure the inside width of the window at the bottom, center, and top.
  6. Record the smallest width
  7. Measure the inside height of the window at the right, center, and left sides
  8. Record the smallest height
  9. For inside mounts you will also need to measure from the top of the sill to the center of where the divider rail will be placed

Measure Interior Inside Mount Shutters Width

Measure Interior Inside Mount Shutters height

Measuring for outside mount shutters

  1. Check the depth of the window before deciding on your louver size.
  2. Note any locks, latches, window cranks, or any other obstructions that may interfere with the louvers.
  3. Measure the width of the window at the bottom, center, and top from the outside edges of where the frame will be located
  4. Record the largest width
  5. Measure the height of the window at the right, center, and left sides from the outside edges of where the frame will be located
  6. Record the largest height
  7. For inside mounts you will also need to measure from the top of the sill to the center of where the divider rail will be placed
  8. Measure from the bottom of where the frame will be located up to the center of where the divider rail will be placed to measure for the divider rail.

Measure Interior Outside Mount Shutters Width

Measure Interior Outside Mount Shutters height