The first step in designing your custom dream plantation shutters is getting accurate measurements. We make that easy to do, even for first timers, by following our PDF or video measuring guides
But before you get started, you will need to decide if you are measuring for inside mount or outside mount. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in the right direction!
What is Inside Mount vs Outside Mount
Not to be confused with interior vs exterior shutters, we are referring only to interior shutters for inside mount and interior shutters for outside mount.
Inside mount shutters are measured to fit within a recessed window opening. If your window is set back from the wall enough to accommodate the shutter frame you can consider an inside mount.
Inside mount shutters custom-made for this special shape window.
You can measure your recess depth from the edge of your wall or window trim, back toward the glass (or first obstruction such as a crank handle, alarm sensor etc.). You can find the depth requirements for inside mount on page 9 of our inside mount measuring guide
Measure from the window to the wall or edge of the trim (not including any protruding sill or ledge at the bottom) to determine your recess depth.
Outside mount shutters are measured to surround your window opening and mount to the wall just outside of the glass area, or on top of your existing trim. You may also hear this referred to as direct mount plantation shutters.
The shutter frame will project out into the room, ideal if your windows tilt in for cleaning or have limited to no recess depth available.
To ensure the shutter frame fits as an outside mount, you will need to include the width of the frame in your measurements. To do so, you can reference the specs, or print out the templates for your preferred frame from our outside mount measuring guide
Using the frame templates from our outside mount guide will help you visualize where your frame will mount and take accurate measurements.
Pros and Cons of Inside Mount
Inside mount is a popular choice if your window is deep enough. Inside mount shutters fit inside the window opening and can be pushed back toward the glass for very deep windows, or they can be pulled forward to be flush with the wall. They can even be pulled out slightly past the wall to give you a little extra depth if needed.
This Z-Frame is still an inside mount flush with the wall but has a decorative overlapping trim.
An inside mount L-Frame can be mounted flush with the wall or pushed back toward the glass as shown above.
Inside mount is very easy and straightforward to measure for. Measure your window opening width and height in at least 3 spots to check for any variance, and then provide us with the smallest exact measurement for the width and height.
Whether you choose an L-Frame that fits completely inside the opening, a Z-Frame with a decorative trim, or even panels-only, we just ask for the window opening size, and we can figure out the rest!
The disadvantage to inside mount would arise if your windows tilt in for cleaning, since the inside mount frame will likely block that function. If you have crank-out windows, these usually have large handles, and locks with a lever that need plenty of clearance to raise and lower the lock. For this type of window, inside mount frames may get in the way of operating your window handles and locks.
Pros and Cons of Outside Mount
Outside mount is a great choice for windows with limited recess depth, or windows that may not be perfectly level or square.
Our outside mount frames can also act in place of a window molding or trim, while working double duty to also support the weight of your shutter panels and keep everything properly aligned.
Pictured are outside mount shutters with a Deco frame that doubles as a decorative window trim.
Outside mount frames can also be installed directly on top of existing window trim.
Since outside mount shutters surround the window opening, they will hide any imperfections and eliminate gaps if there is a lot of variance in your window opening measurements. When you take your 3 measurements for width and height, if there is a lot of variance, outside mount may be the way to go.
Outside mount is more forgiving if your measurements are off by a hair or two, since you are not having to work within the confines of the window recess.
As mentioned above, inside mount shutters may obstruct tilt-in or crank-out window operation. For these windows, outside mount would be more advisable.
Check out our gallery for more examples of plantation shutters mounting options - both inside and outside mount installations. Our installation guides and videos will detail how to install interior shutters as inside mount or outside mount.
We have additional blog posts that get into more detail about outside mount, choosing a shutter frame, and which shutter designs are easiest to install. Rest assured we will leave no question unanswered – reach out to our savvy shutter experts today for advice on your project!
This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Contact our team today for advice on your shutters. We're here to help!