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Can you still open windows with plantation shutters?

Yasmeen 1/22/2021 10:31:06 AM Buying and Fitting Shutters
A common question or concern is how windows work when you’ve got shutters installed. If your windows slide up and down, or slide left to right, shutters will not get in the way of this function.
For windows that crank out or windows that tilt in for cleaning, you can absolutely still open and operate your windows, but it will be important to select the correct type of mount for your shutters to avoid blocking these functions.

Shutters for windows that open inwards

If your windows tilt in for cleaning, an inside mount shutter frame can block the windows from fully tilting in. Some customers still prefer the look of an inside mount shutter frame and opt to forego this function. However, you can also use an outside mount frame in order to keep the tilt-in function.
An outside mount frame attaches to the wall or trim surrounding your window opening and pushes the entire shutter frame out into the room rather than having a frame recessed inside the window opening. This way once you swing your shutter panels open, you can still tilt the window all the way in for cleaning.


An alternate option is to order as panels only, with no frame, and hinge the shutter panels directly to your window casing so that you can swing the panels open, and the window will only need to clear the thickness of the shutter hinge so you can still tilt the window in to clean.

This frameless option is more challenging to install, and it will be important that you have enough depth to accommodate the hinges as well as clearance for your slats to operate, as outlined in our measuring guides.

For a panels only installation it is also important to take precise measurements and some shimming may be necessary for proper panel alignment due to natural variances within the window opening, as most window casings are not perfectly level.

Measuring Guides >>


Shutters for windows that crank outward

For casement windows that have a crank mechanism to open the window, your easiest option will be to do an outside mount. These windows usually have a trim/molding that surrounds them, and you can mount the shutter frame directly on top of that trim or use the shutter frame in lieu of any trim around the window opening.

This way, with an outside mount, you will still have full access to reach the crank handle and operate the locks which are typically in a lever style that require enough space to lift the lever upwards to unlock the window.


This is not to say that an inside mount will not be possible for a casement window. You can print the frame templates from our inside mount measuring guide to place them inside the window casing and ensure they do not block access to your crank and locks and that you have enough depth in front of the crank mechanism in order to secure the inside mount shutter frame.

Choosing the right frame for your shutters >>


Other considerations for window handles or locks

If there is limited depth inside the window opening and the shutter frame could potentially block your access to reach the handle or lock to open your window, you can always use an outside mount frame.
If your window depth is sufficient for your chosen slat size, you can also opt for panels only (frameless) installation, but again this is the most challenging way to install and is not as advisable, especially for larger windows.

Frameless plantation shutters – all you need to know >>

If you are using an inside mount frame and you notice that the bottom frame may butt against a window handle or prevent you from reaching the lip to raise your window open, you can select the “left, right, top” option for your frame sides, keeping the bottom clear so you still have access to open your window.

If you want to hide or cover a locking mechanism for aesthetic reasons or because it may obstruct your slats from opening, you can always add a mid-rail to your shutter.


Mid-rails are a horizontal solid rail about 3” tall that separate your upper and lower slats so they can move independently, but they can also be added for practicality as support for taller panels and for the reasons noted above. Mid-rail height is measured from the bottom of the shutter up to the center of the mid-rail.

Shutter terminology glossary >>

As each shutter is custom made-to-order for your unique window, we know no two projects will be exactly the same. Our shutter experts are on standby to answer any design, measuring or installation questions you may have. Send us a picture of your window to get our best recommendations for your windows!

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This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Get in touch today for more advice on finding the perfect plantation shutters for your home. Our friendly team of shutter experts are a call, chat or email away! Upload a picture of your window with your order or send it in to our support team for help designing your perfect shutters. We are here to help!