Simply put, a custom made wood plantation shutter is fabricated in accordance to customers’ specifications to fit a specific window opening.  Tolerance on measurements should be made to the closest 1/16th inch.  Never assume that because window openings appear similar that the dimensions will all be the same. In most cases, what appear to be windows of the same size, in fact, can vary in size and squareness.  All windows must be measured.

A properly fitted shutter should clear a window sill by no greater than 1/4 inch.  Shutter panels should not contact or rub against or lean on a window sill. Gaps between outside Stiles and shutter frame should be 1/16 inch.  Gap(s) between Rail(s) and shutter frame should also be 1/16 inch.

When two or more shutter panels are installed in a single window opening, each stile that abuts an adjacent stile should contain a shiplap or rabbet joint.  This allows each stile to overlap by approximately 1/4 inch increasing the stability of panels when closed and elimination of light between the stiles.

When installing shutter hinges, pre-drill holes in locations where screws will be installed.  This procedure prevents screws from splitting your wood Stiles and wood frame.

Rails cut down……….

A Cut-Down Panel is a term in the industry that refers to a fully assembled plantation shutter panel that is cut down to make fit a window.  The upper, lower, or both Rails are cut on a table saw to reduce the overall height of the shutter panel.  Problems can be encountered with shutter panels that were not originally designed to be cut down.  Conflicts with joinery and reduction in joined area between Stile and Rail can weaken the Shutter Panel to the point of failure.  Cut-Down Panels can be readily identified when upper and lower Rails are not the same height.

Tilt in windows and obstructions…….

Most sash windows nowadays have the ability to tilt in for ease of cleaning.  This must be taken into consideration when determining the type of framing to be Tilt Windowutilized with your Plantation Shutters.  Also to be noted are any obstructions in the window that would conflict with operation of the shutter.  For instance, most casement windows contain a crank that allows for opening and closing of the window.  These cranks can sometimes obstruct the shutter panel from closing or conflict with operation of the louvers.


Plantation Shutter Panels that are installed correctly should stay in the position that the operator leaves them in.  Fully open the shutter panel and, if no obstructions are present, rest the panel against the wall.  If the panel does not stay in position, then either the frame to which the panel is attached to was not installed correctly, or the shutter hinges are out of alignment on the shutter frame/ hanging strip.