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Install Urethane Shutters

Remodeling, Siding and Exterior, Windows & Doors July 12, 2010 Matt Weber


 

By Matt Weber

 

Replacing your shutters? Consider installing decorative urethane shutters for years of low-maintenance curb appeal.

 

 

A home makes its first impression through its curb appeal. When repainting the exterior siding and trim of EHT’s current project house, we decided to boost its curb appeal by replacing the old, hollow aluminum shutters with solid urethane shutters that had a more contemporary style.

Although aluminum holds up to weather fine, over the years the painted shutters had severely faded and become dull with chalky residue. We would have to remove them from the house, even if it was just to repaint them. Since this was the case, we took the opportunity to replace them completely, opting for a raised double-panel design rather than the louvered look of the old shutters.

We removed the old shutters buy simply backing out the mounting screws. Be sure to have a plan to support the weight of the old shutters.

We removed the old shutters buy simply backing out the mounting screws. Be sure to have a plan to support the weight of the old shutters.

The paint of the old louvered aluminum shutters had faded dramatically, so they were replaced with the new urethane shutters with a raised double-pane design.

The paint of the old louvered aluminum shutters had faded dramatically, so they were replaced with the new urethane shutters with a raised double-pane design.

Aside from the stylistic update, urethane shutters offer several other material advantages. Solid urethane shutters are insect-resistant, will not bow or fade over time, and they’re more resilient to weather exposure than wood or polypropylene shutters. Urethane is a very lightweight material, making the new shutters easier to lift and install than the old ones, and the material is easy to drill and screw.

We selected three pairs of shutters from Fypon, a company which offers 123 different sizes and styles of shutter and shutter accessories, such as quarter-round, elliptical or transom accent pieces to extend the height and decorative appeal of the shutters. The over-the-window clearance of our project house didn’t leave room for trim pieces, but the replacement shutters alone went a long way toward providing a fresh, modern look to the house façade.

The shutters were painted with a high-quality acrylic latex paint.

The shutters were painted with a high-quality acrylic latex paint.

Painting and Design Options

The shutters we chose had a smooth white finish, although Fypon also offers wood-grain as a finish option. All Fypon shutters can be painted any color or stained, and will not chip or peel, since the material cannot absorb water. Whereas we chose a double-pane design, you can also choose from raised triple-panel shutters, traditional louvered shutters, and louvered shutters with center rails.

I elevated the shutters on a few Painter's Pyramids so I had easy access to paint the edges.

I elevated the shutters on a few Painter’s Pyramids so I had easy access to paint the edges.

Use a foam roller to achieve a smooth, uniform paint finish free of bristle marks.

Use a foam roller to achieve a smooth, uniform paint finish free of bristle marks.

If you’re interested in wood-grain styles, you now have the option of two-, three- or four-panel arch top board shutters, along with new three- and five-board shutters. The realistic cedar wood-grain texture is designed to complement the southwest style popular in homes from Texas to California.

Pre-drill countersink holes so the screw heads will be recessed below the surface of the shutters.

Pre-drill countersink holes so the screw heads will be recessed below the surface of the shutters.

To add color to the shutters, I applied a high-quality acrylic latex paint to tone the shutters just a shade darker than the gray-beige tone used for the house siding. A 2-inch brush works well to work paint into the recessed channels of the raised panels. For the face of the shutters, I applied the paint with a foam roller. The foam roller does a great job of eliminating bristle marks for a very uniform paint finish. Apply two coats and allow drying time between each.

How to Replace

While the shutters were drying, I pulled the old shutters off the house, which were held with a few 2-1/2-inch aluminum screws fastened through the siding into the house sheathing. If removing old shutters, make sure you have a plan to support the weight of the shutters once you remove the fasteners. Once removed, I sealed the old screw holes in the siding with silicone sealant to keep out any insects.

For a belt-and-suspenders approach, I also glued the shutters in place with polyurethane construction adhesive.

For a belt-and-suspenders approach, I also glued the shutters in place with polyurethane construction adhesive.

I used 2-1/2 inch self-starting wood screws as fasteners.

I used 2-1/2 inch self-starting wood screws as fasteners.

To mount the new shutters, I first used a countersink bit to pre-drill holes for the fasteners. These shutters were 48 inches high, so I predrilled six screw holes per shutter, two at the top, middle and bottom.