How to Measure for Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutters

How to Measure for Plantation Shutters

Published June 6, 2024


Plantation shutters are a fantastic addition to any home, offering both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. But to enjoy their full potential, you need to get the measurements just right. Incorrect measurements can lead to ill-fitting shutters that don’t function properly or look quite right. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about measuring for plantation shutters.

Understanding Plantation Shutters

What are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are interior window coverings with wide, horizontal slats that can be tilted to control light and privacy. They are known for their classic and timeless look, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

Benefits of Plantation Shutters

  • Light Control: Adjust the slats to control the amount of light entering the room.
  • Privacy: Tilt the slats for optimal privacy without sacrificing light.
  • Energy Efficiency: Shutters can help insulate your home, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: They add a touch of elegance and can increase your home’s value.

Types of Mounts for Plantation Shutters

Inside Mount

Inside mount shutters are installed within the window frame. They provide a sleek, built-in look and are ideal if you have decorative trim around your windows.

Outside Mount

Outside mount shutters are installed on the wall or trim surrounding the window. This type of mount can make your windows appear larger and is a good option if your windows are slightly out of square.

Tools You Need for Measuring

Before you begin measuring, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Steel tape measure
  • Pen and paper or a digital device for recording measurements
  • Step ladder (if necessary)
  • Level (optional, but helpful for accuracy)

How to Measure for Plantation Shutters (General Guidelines)

  1. Measure Width at Three Points: Measure the width of the window at the top, middle, and bottom. Record the narrowest measurement to ensure the shutters will fit inside the frame.
  2. Measure Height at Three Points: Similarly, measure the height at the left, centre, and right. Use the shortest measurement.
  3. Check for Squareness: Measure the diagonals of your window. If the two diagonal measurements differ significantly, your window is not square, which may influence your choice between inside and outside mounts.

How to Measure for Inside Mount Plantation Shutters

  1. Measure Inside Width: Measure the width inside the window frame at the top, middle, and bottom. Record the smallest measurement.
  2. Measure Inside Height: Measure the height inside the window frame at the left, centre, and right. Record the shortest measurement.
  3. Depth Measurement: Ensure your window recess is deep enough to accommodate the shutters. Most shutters require at least 2.5 inches of depth.
  4. Check for Obstructions: Look for any obstructions within the window frame, such as handles or locks, that could affect the fit.

How to Measure for Outside Mount Plantation Shutters

  1. Measure Exact Width: Measure the width of the area you want to cover. Add a few inches to each side to ensure full coverage and light control.
  2. Measure Exact Height: Measure the height of the area you want to cover. Again, add a few inches to the top and bottom for full coverage.
  3. Frame Considerations: Ensure that the added measurements will not interfere with any surrounding trim or moulding.

Special Considerations for Different Window Types

Measuring for Bay Windows

  1. Individual Sections: Measure each section of the bay window separately, following the inside or outside mount guidelines.
  2. Angled Sections: Ensure accurate angle measurements where the windows meet.

Measuring for Arched Windows

  1. Width and Height: Measure the width and height as you would for rectangular windows.
  2. Arch Height: Measure from the base of the arch to the highest point.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Inaccurate Tools: Using a cloth tape measure can lead to inaccurate measurements. Always use a steel tape measure.
  2. Ignoring Squareness: Not checking if the window is square can lead to misfits.
  3. Rounding Measurements: Always use exact measurements. Do not round up or down.

How to Fit Plantation Shutters

  1. Unpack Carefully: Lay out all parts and read the instructions thoroughly.
  2. Attach Frame: For inside mounts, attach the frame inside the window recess. For outside mounts, attach it to the wall or trim.
  3. Install Panels: Insert the shutter panels into the frame. Ensure they swing open and close smoothly.
  4. Adjust Hinges: Make any necessary adjustments to the hinges to ensure proper alignment.

How to Install Plantation Shutters

  1. Pre-Drill Holes: Pre-drill holes for screws to avoid splitting the frame.
  2. Secure Frame: Secure the frame using screws, ensuring it is level.
  3. Attach Panels: Attach the shutter panels to the frame.
  4. Test Functionality: Open and close the shutters to ensure they operate smoothly.

Which Way to Point Blades of Plantation Shutters

  • For Light Control: Tilt the blades upwards to allow light to bounce off the ceiling and diffuse gently into the room.
  • For Privacy: Tilt the blades downwards to obstruct the view from outside.
  • Seasonal Adjustments: In the summer, tilt upwards to keep the room cooler. In the winter, tilt downwards to allow more sunlight in.

Maintaining Your Plantation Shutters

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust the shutters regularly with a soft cloth or duster.
  • Deep Cleaning: Occasionally, wipe the shutters with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
  • Avoid Moisture: Keep shutters dry to prevent warping, especially for wood shutters.


  1. What if my window isn’t perfectly square?
    • Use the smallest measurements for inside mounts and consider outside mounts for easier installation.
  2. Can I install plantation shutters myself?
    • Yes, with careful measurements and the right tools, DIY installation is possible.
  3. How deep does my window recess need to be for inside mount shutters?
    • Generally, a depth of at least 2.5 inches is required.
  4. What if my window has obstructions like handles?
    • Measure around the obstructions and consider outside mounts if they interfere significantly.
  5. How do I decide between inside and outside mounts?
    • Inside mounts offer a cleaner look, while outside mounts provide better coverage and are easier to install if the window isn’t square.


Measuring for plantation shutters might seem daunting, but with the right tools and careful attention to detail, you can ensure a perfect fit. Whether you opt for inside or outside mounts, taking precise measurements will save you time and hassle down the road. Happy measuring!

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