If you are ordering shutters for similar sized windows, you must measure each window completely. Please don't measure one, get a size, look at the others and say, these are all the same size. That could be a disaster. You’d be amazed that what appears to be the same size window can vary fairly significantly from window to window. Now, if you are getting rough measures for pricing, you can measure one to the nearest inch and then recognize that the same window repeats several times. This is fine for pricing, but really dangerous for ordering. Just as an FYI - we measure to the nearest 1/8".
Measuring for an Inside Mount or Z-Frame Shutter
First check for squareness by measuring the diagonals. This means measure from the upper left corner to the lower right corner and vice-verse. If the diagonal measurements are not identical, which they rarely are, then a Z-frame application is recommended for inside mounts. An L-frame, or unframed application, will result in uneven light gaps. If the diagonal measurements are out more than 3/8”, then maybe an outside mount is needed. At this point, you should have a professional to your home for advise.
Additionally, you must be aware of your sill depth and any obstructions to the operation of your shutter louvers. If you sill depth is less then 2 1/2" to an obstruction, then your shutter professional will need to advise you on clearance issues. But, we will save the subject of depth clearance considerations for another blog.
In general, here is how we determine a shutter order size. We measure the width in three places (top, middle,
bottom) and record the smallest measurement to 1/8”. For windows with vertical mullions, we match the panel widths to each section of the window with or without t-posts. Next, we measure the height in three places (left, middle, right) and record the smallest measurement to 1/8”. That is all there is - nothing to mystical - it's the little details around that measure that can bite you. See our other blogs for education on those issues.
Measuring for an Outside Mount Shutter
To measure for an outside mount shutter, we determine the location where the frame will be mounted. We then note or mark the inside location of each outside mount frame (1) on top of existing trim or outside of existing trim on windows with trim or, (2) to edge of window opening on windows without trim. Then, we measure the width in three places (top, middle, bottom) and record the largest measurement. Then we add to that measure for the width of the frame and, as such, have an accurate measure of our final product - outside frame to outside frame. We then repeat the process for our height and we now have accurate sizes for your custom made plantation shutter.
Please note, some windows have nuances that require additional considerations, like protrusions, panel swing, installation restrictions, etc - but honestly, these are rare. In Arizona, 95% of the time, we are dealing with a standard dry-walled window frame with about a 3" sill depth. For these windows, the semi inside mount Z frame is recommended and is easy to measure by following the rules for measuring inside mounts.
We would love to help you choose the proper shutter size and mount for your application. Also, check out our online shutter cost calculator for a rough idea of what your project might cost.