Shutters that Shut

This project was one driven of both desire and necessity. Dan likes how shutters look, and wanted to put some on our house. Loki, the house pup, loves to stare out the window in the evenings and, just as you’re about to relax on the couch, freak out and bark “DANGER DANGER DANGER I think there’s a cat over there go get it,” so we needed something movable that could block his window view when necessary.

We had been putting this project off for a bit, unsure how to start, when one day the wooden bar on a fence panel in the back rotted through, and the top part of the fence started to get all wonky. We had a few leftover new panels from finishing fencing the yard in the spring, so we switched them for some old ones in our yard. Looking at the old panels that were still good in many places, Dan and I had the same idea at the same time…. bingo, free shutter material.

To begin, we cut off the top wonky part, and then painted the backside of the fencing. You can see the completely rotted support bar on the ground in this picture.


It turned out they still needed a little extra support along the top – you can see on the next photo how the wood, when cut to size, was starting to curl out to the side in some places. So we removed a still good support bar from another old piece of fencing and added it along the top. We also cut the panels into four equal parts of a large enough size that, when put together, they would fully cover the front window.


A couple of panels cut apart, ready to go

We purchased hinges from Lowes and used them to connect the shutter pieces together. We also attached some wood pieces to the window frame and added hinges so that the shutters could swing out from the frame. Other necessary hardware for this type of project are “shutter dogs” – the swirly looking things that hold them in an open position, and a latch to keep them closed when needed. We couldn’t find any shutter dogs in major home improvement stores, so we ordered these and the latch online. Due to their width, we needed to screw down a piece of wood first before installing them so that they would reach out far enough to hold the folded shutters in the open position.


Windows in the open position, held in place by the shutter dogs at the bottom


Closed and latched

That’s about it! We had to do a little fiddling to get it right, but overall it wasn’t a very difficult or expensive project. Since we reused existing fence panels and already had the paint, this one cost under $50. And now we have peace of mind and a happier dog!


Dog, happily looking out the window during the day


Open shutter – you can see all the different types of necessary hardware (hinges, latch, and dog) in this photo



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