How to Build Custom Storm Shutters

What You'll Need
1/2-inch plywood
6 hinges per window
2 latches per window
Drywall screws
Decorative trim
Measuring tape
Carpenters pen
Heavy wire cutters

Storm shutters are more than decorative adornments for your home. Making your own shutters ensures you will get exactly the look you want.

Step 1: Measuring

Before you begin, you will need to measure the window opening. To be accurate, don’t forget to get measurements for both the width and the height. After getting these measurements, find the center of the window and mark it with your pencil.

Step 2: Cutting the Plywood

Using the figures that you came up with when you measured the window, cut the plywood for your storm shutters. The plywood should be the same size as the window’s measurements. Next, find the center of the plywood from the top side of the plywood. Make a mark to indicate where this is with your pencil. Do this for the bottom of the plywood and the middle section of the plywood. Draw a line to connect these three dots using your carpenter’s pen. Use your saw to cut the wood along the line you have just made.

You should now have two pieces of wood with the exact same dimensions.

Step 3: Attach the Hinges

Place your hinges on the plywood at evenly spaced intervals. Each shutter requires three hinges. Attach the hinges using drywall screws. Using a drill with a screw bit, secure the screws to fasten the hinge to the plywood. With the heavy wire cutters, cut the screws off if they stick out the backside of the plywood. You will want them flush to avoid damaging your windows and house with their sharp edges.

Step 4: Get a Helper

Have a helper assist you in marking your house to match the hinges on the plywood. To do this, you will need to line the center edges of the storm shutters with the window. One person will need to hold the shutter in place so that the other may make the marks for securing the shutter to the house.

Use the drill to secure the shutter to the house with screws. Your helper can hold the shutter while you do the drilling. If your house is made from concrete block or brick, you may have to use a concrete anchor to hold it in place. At this stage, only secure one shutter to the house. You will need the other of the storm shutters to remain loose in case you need to make measurement adjustments.

Step 5: Make Necessary Adjustments

Hold the second of the storm shutters up to the window and align with the shutter already on the house. If the shutters are not flush with each other, make any necessary adjustments to the shutter not yet attached. Once this is done, you can attach the second shutter.

Step 6: Apply Trim

Layout and cut decorative trim to fit the shutters. Install this trim with the shutters both open. You can place a diamond or rectangle shape in the middle of the storm shutters for added decoration.

Step 7: Install Latches

Install the latches on the untrimmed side of the shutters. The latches serve to hold the shutters together during a storm. Finish the storm shutters by caulking the seams between the trim and plywood.

Step 8: Paint Your Storm Shutters

Paint your new storm shutters in a color of your choice after the caulking has had time to dry. Now you have added a decorative and functional improvement to your home.