Monday, March 5, 2012

An Open-Shut(ter) Case

Our new shutters!

Months ago I had the idea to add shutters to the two windows in our garage.  They face the street and while they don't attract a lot of attention, I thought adding shutters would be a fun way to add a little color to the front wall of our house.

Cottage-style board and batten shutters.
I looked at a lot of pictures both on Pinterest and with Google image searches and decided to go the cottage-y route with board and batten shutters.  I also decided this

was a simple project Aaron and I could do on our own.  Board and batten shutters, for those who want to know, are simple, vertical wooden slats with two horizontal slats holding the vertical slats together.  While searching for inspiration I also came across a very informative website about proper and improper sizing and installation of shutters.  While our shutters won't be functioning shutters, I still want them to be the proper proportions for our windows. 

I didn't want to spend very much money on this project so I chose to use cheap cedar fence pickets for construction and the leftover bright plum paint (Martha Stewart Plum Pudding color-matched to Behr paint) we bought for the front door and side gates for color.  I only had to buy seven fence pickets at about $1.50 a piece so my total was only about $10.  Pickets come in very select sizes so this meant the shutters wouldn't be the perfect size for functionality, but the small price tag far outweighed my desire for correctness.

The wood was very wet when we purchased it so we cut it to our desired length and screwed the pieces together, but waited to paint until everything had dried out.  While the wood was drying we also bought new windows so I decided to wait to do anything else for this project (aside from painting) until the new windows were installed.

Constructed and drying.
Primed and first coat of paint.

Once the new windows were in and the wood had finally dried out I was able to paint. Two coats of primer followed by two coats of paint did the trick as far as prepping the shutters for installation and after a week of dry time for the paint, Aaron and I were able to hang the shutters in under 30 minutes.

Our house before, without shutters. (Excuse the poor lighting.)

Our house after, with shutters!

We love them and the neighbors have already complimented us on them as well.  I think it just gives that 'finished' look to the front of our house.  It brightens up a bland wall and closes some of that blank space that just looks lonely.  To quote myself during the installation process, "It's like we've added eyelashes and mascara all at the same time!"  It is simple projects like this that make me so happy.  We've added some major curb appeal (at least in our eyes, which is the important perspective) for only $10!  You can't beat that!

Early on I had considered adding hinges and hooks for that look of functionality, but once the new windows were in I realized the windows weren't butted up against a solid frame, but were instead floated in place leaving an open space surrounding the actual window.  The open space is covered by a vinyl front, but there is nothing solid to screw the hinges into, so that idea went out the window.  (Ha, no pun intended, but consider it enjoyed!)

All in all, we're very pleased and can't wait to tackle our next project!