the diy doghouse new shutters

How to Remove and Install Shutters

Boy, oh boy. We took our sweet time getting this job crossed off the list. Installing new shutters was a monster job. We’ve been in our house 3.5 years. We have come a LONG way in that time, which I am very grateful for. Just to give you an exact idea of what our home looked like when we bought it.. feast your eyes on this grenade:


That tree on the left was completely insect infested, the bushes were so big the walkway was basically non-existent, and  the bushes were about 5 ft tall. Nonetheless this place was our palace and our very first miracle.

After we did a ton of shrub removal and stump grinding, our house looked like this for a few years:

home front

We removed all the bushes, updated the front door, and seal coated the driveway.

I’m really proud of the progress we’ve made! Which obviously leads us to this project… new shutters. This has been one of those projects that feels really important, but for whatever reason it takes like 4 years to actually do.

You can’t really tell, mainly because in the picture above the tree is blocking it, and of course because the weirdo homeowners before us put red shutters on a red house, but there is a missing shutter and another shutter that was installed upside down.

the diy doghouse - missing shutter

Told ya so. (I spy a pitbull).

In theory, this was a simple project, remove the existing shutters, then put up the new ones. MUAH HA HA HA HA said the ghost of homeowners past. Let me tell you, these people were special.

We tried removing the shutters with a hammer.

That strategy was no good. We didn’t realize that the shutters were rusted into the brick when we started this project. Time to bring in the big guns.

We use a Ryobi Oscillating Tool to cut the shutters off of the house. Then we used a crowbar to pull the remaining screws, nails, and whatever else they jammed into the mortar. We tried to do this as gingerly as possible, but we ripped out chunks of brick and house in a few places. Thankfully, they ended up being covered by the new shutters.

We repeated this process on almost every shutter. The ones on the second floor were particularly difficult to remove because the ladder added an extra element of danger. Since it took a lot longer to remove the shutters than we were planning, we decided to remove the entire first floor and install the new ones in one day. We benched tackling the second floor for another day.

second floor removal

Removing the shutters on the second floor was a little more difficult than the ground floor. So you know, you gotta do what you can and improvise a little.

Then we unearthed this madness. These hives were everywhere. They were mostly abandoned, thank God. But we’re betting that while the house was foreclosed this was a nice quiet area for the wasps to build their hives.

Installing the new shutters was a breeze. We followed the directions from the manufacturer. we drilled new holes into the mortar for the new shutters. I recommend that you have more than one drill bit on hand. We used 2 drill bits for this job. Since the mortar is tough, it wore down the bit somewhat quickly.

Each bottom shutter has 6 screws in it: top, middle, and bottom.

Each top shutter has 4 screws, two at the top and two at the bottom.

On the bottom we figured out it was best to screw the middle one in first, then use that screw to pivot the shutter on. Use a level to position the shutter so it’s perfectly straight. Then use the drill bit to drill the other middle hole. The top windows are smaller, so they were a little easier to manage.

second floor shutters

This project took us 2 weekends to complete. But it was so worth it!

Take a look at these before and afters!

drum roll…

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