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5 Tips for Installing Shutter Hinges

Shutters are a timeless addition to any home, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. 

However, the success of your shutter project largely depends on the hinges - those small but crucial components that ensure your shutters swing smoothly and stay securely in place. 

Whether you're a DIY pro or a homeowner looking to make your shutter project successful, this guide will walk you through five essential tips for installingshutter hinges.

Tips for Installing Shutter Hinges

1. Learn the Terminology


A pintle is the pin on which the hinge leaf rotates.

Pintles are necessary when installing shutter hinges.


Shims are thin wood, plastic, or metal pieces that fill gaps or spaces between objects.


The 'throw' of a hinge refers to the distance the shutter will stand off from the mounting surface when fully opened.


Offset is the distance the hinge is set away from the edge of the shutter or the mounting surface. Offset provides a ventilation gap, which reduces the likelihood of mold forming on shutters and siding.

2. Determine Shutter Measurements

Accurate measurements are the foundation of a successful shutter installation. Here's a step-by-step guide to measuring your shutters:

  • Measure the Height
  • Start from the top of the window to the bottom. You can measure up to the sill or where you want the shutter to end.

  • Measure the Width
  • For windows with trim, measure from the outside edge of the trim to the other side. 

    If there's no trim, measure the window width and add at least 2 inches on each side to account for the shutter's overlap.

  • Depth Measurement
  • Depth measurement is crucial for determining the "throw" of the hinge. 

    Measure from the window's surface to any obstructions, like a faucet or light fixture.

  • Gap Measurement
  • Ensure a consistent gap around the shutter, especially if you're installing more than one, to avoid rubbing against each other.

    Remember, always measure twice to ensure accuracy!

    3. Consider Weight & Trim Type

    Different types of windows and shutters require specific hinges. Factors to consider when choosing your shutter hinges include:

  • Shutter Weight
  • Heavier shutters require robust and larger hinges to support their weight and ensure smooth operation.

  • Wood Window Trim
  • For wood trim,mortise hinges orL-style hinges may be best for overall functionality and visual aesthetic. Your shutter will fit flush against the window trim, and the mount will be stronger.

  • Non-Wood Window Trim
  • For non-wood trim,strap shutter hingesare best for ease of installation and minimal alteration.

    4. Consider Accessories

    While the primary focus is the hinges, accessories can enhance your shutters' functionality and visual appeal. 

    Accessories include hardware like:

  • Shutter Dogs and Bullet Catches
  • Use shutter dogs or bullet catches to keep the shutters in place when open, even on windy days.

  • Pull Rings
  • Pulls rings make it easy to pull shutters closed when inside.

  • Slide Bolts
  • Slide bolts are a locking mechanism to provide extra security.

    5. Two is Better Than One

    When going the DIY route, having a helper can make the process smoother, especially when holding the shutter in place or ensuring it is level. 

    A second pair of hands can also help double-check measurements and ensure everything aligns perfectly.

    How to Install Shutter Hinges

    Gather all tools and hardware prior to installing shutter hinges.

    Tools Checklist

    Step-by-Step Installation

    These eight easy steps will ensure the proper installation of shutter hinges:

    1. Hold the shutters closed with shims and painter's tape.
    2. Check that the gap or overhang around the shutter is even.
    3. Put together the hinge and pintle. Use tape if needed. 
    4. Set the hinge and pintle on the shutter.
    5. Use a pencil to mark the screw holes.
    6. Use a level or measuring tape to arrange multiple pintles.
    7. Drill pilot holes. This step prevents the wood from splitting.
    8. Screw the hinge and pintle in place. Be careful not to over-tighten your screws or drill too deep.


    Alag pintle andlag shield anchor are needed if the pintle is installed on brick or other masonry.


    Maintaining Shutter Hinges

    Maintaining shutters and shutter hinges is crucial for their longevity and functionality. Here are some reliable care tips:

    Regular Cleaning

    Dust and debris can accumulate on the hinges over time. Use a soft cloth to wipe them down regularly. 

    A mild soap solution can be used for deeper cleaning, but ensure to dry the hinges thoroughly afterward.


    It's essential to lubricate the hinges periodically to ensure smooth movement and prevent squeaking. 

    A silicone-based lubricant or even household oils can be used for this purpose.

    Check for Rust

    It's crucial to check for signs of rusting, especially for iron or non-stainless steel hinges. 

    If rust is spotted, it can be removed using a wire brush, followed by a rust inhibitor.

    Tighten Loose Screws

    Over time, the screws holding the hinge might become loose due to regular use. Periodically check and tighten any loose screws to ensure the shutter remains secure.


    It might be time to consider a replacement if a hinge shows signs of significant wear and tear or doesn't function correctly even after lubrication. 

    Always replace hinges in pairs to ensure uniformity and smooth operation.

    Final Thoughts

    With our five tips for installing shutter hinges, your home will get a boost in functionality and visual appeal.

    Contact Hinge Outlet today for additional tips on which hinges best suit your shutter project.


    1. How long does it take to install shutters?

    Installing shutters can take anywhere between one and three hours.

    2. How many hinges do shutters need?

    The number of hinges shutters need depends on the shutter size.

    Large, heavier shutters require three heavy-duty hinges. 

    Smaller, lighter hinges require two hinges.