Once we had our old windows replaced, we thought that we needed to dress them up a little bit more, on the outside. We decided that they really needed wood shutters. We priced out what it would cost to by new shutters and found out that it was going to be over $100 to $300 a pair. That was way too much money for us (and I am assuming you feel the same way?, am I right?). So, we started designing instead, to come up with a cheaper alternative.
The design that we came up with, is actually called “cottage style board-n-batten wood shutters with a Z bar”. We decided that we could build a pair of wood shutters for under $40. That was more like it! A lot cheaper than the alternative of buying shutters.
DIY Wood Shutters
Here is how they turned out.
We have had many requests to make a tutorial on how we built our wood shutters, so here it is.
Prefer to buy instead of build? See our picks for best exterior shutters.
Build Your Own DIY Wood Shutters Tutorial
DIY Wood Shutters Notes
- These are instructions for one wood shutter only, one side of the window. Adjust your material quantities for the number of shutters that you need.
- Screw the boards together through the back, in order the hide all the screw heads from view. Be sure the buy screws that are less than the thickness of the material screwed together and weather resistant so they don’t leave ugly rust stains on your wood.
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- Miter Saw or Circular Saw
- Hammer Drill – For installing on brick or concrete surfaces.
- Saw horses (optional)
Material Used (enough material for two shutters around one window)
- (12) 6′ Cedar Fence Planks – About $2.50 each. This will give you a couple extra just in case!
- (1) Box of 1″ Exterior Wood Screws – About $10 per box. I used about 30 per shutter. One box can do about 3-4 shutters.
- (4) 3 3/4″ Concrete Screws – (only if you are attaching to concrete, in our case we were)
- (1) Quart of Stain – We used Varathane Wood Stain – Kona Color. This will cover 2-4 shutters.
Cut Sheet for 45″ Shutter (length x width x thickness)
- (3) Boards – 45″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
- (2) Front battens – 16 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
- (2) Back battens – 14 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
- (1) Z bar – 27 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
This is how I spaced the battens. I used a scrap piece of cedar plank which was 5 1/2″ wide to offset it from the top and bottom.
To adjust the Z bar for a different height shutter: Place a board across the battens diagonally, matching up the outside corners. Use a carpenter’s square or L square to draw a straight horizontal line at the batten position. Then cut along that line using a miter saw, table saw, or circular saw.
Use clamps to hold everything together when you have the pieces in place. Then flip over the wood shutters and screw them together. This way you don’t see the screw heads on the front side. Just make sure that the screws are short enough not to poke through.
Use exterior wood screws so they won’t rust.
Now, in step five, you can screw on the back battens to offset the shutters from the wall slightly.
When we made a set of these wood shutters, we thought that it looked best to have the right side a mirrored image of the left, just like you see below.
Staining and Installing the Wood Shutters
We wanted to make sure we liked which way the z bar was oriented, so we did a couple of test shots.
Now it was time to apply the stain. We picked a dark chocolate color stain called, Kona.
Just apply with a foam brush and wipe off with a clean rag. The cedar wood soaks up a lot of stain, so plan on using a little more than one pint per shutter.
All ready for install now.
Installing Exterior Wood Shutters
Ours are installed on the concrete foundation walls, so I needed a hammer drill to drill holes for the concrete screws.
Use a block on the bottom to set the shutter to the right height, when installing. This is great if you don’t have another hand to help hold it up.
I used (4) 3 3/4″ concrete screws to hold the wood shutters to the wall. Because the screws were blue, I took a cotton swab and applied a little bit of stain to camouflage the blue screw heads, worked like a charm!
Here is what the original window looked like, before being replaced.
Here is the new window installed.
And here is the new window installed with wood shutters. I think it looks so much better, don’t you?
See more of the projects we did in this Canyon House yard here.
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