First Time DIY: How to Attach Wooden Shutters To Brick

2012-07-24 by . 9 comments

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Hey all! Here’s a fun project you can do over a weekend or two! I say “or two” in case you’re like me and this is the first time you’ve ever done something like this. HAHA!

My wife hated the shutters we had on our house… and rightly so…

Maxwell Shutters 1

So, we decided to build some board & batten shutters. FUN! Now, if I only knew what board & batten shutters were…

Board & Batten Shutters - “Board & batten” usually refers to vertical siding where wood strips (or battens) hide the seams where other boards are joined. Here’s a site that has a lot of examples of the different styles of board & batten shutters.

After figuring out what they were exactly, I looked up a design and built them. I’m not going to go into detail on how to build them, because frankly, I screwed up too much to properly teach you. But, if you’re interested, here’s a tutorial from Lowes that matched with the style that I built.

Maxwell Shutters 3

Again, I had never done anything like this so, like a good lad, I went to where the experts were: DIY.StackExchange.com! This post is actually based on my question to them. Now, onto the process:

  1. Measure, level and mark boards, appropriately aligning the future holes with the mortar between bricks.
  2. Drill pilot holes into the wood shutters, including a 1/4″ countersink to cover the screw heads up with wood filler.
    • What I learned: Unlike screwing wood to wood, where you can sink the screws into the wood easily without a countersink, when attaching wood to mortar, if you do not provide the countersink hole already and attempt to perform said action, you will strip the mortar and the screw will just spin and stay loose. Not good.
  3. Next, re-level shutters and mark the mortar with the masonry drill bit through the pilot holes. I found that only drilling the top two holes worked best for me. I’ll get to why in a minute. An extra set of hands comes in handy here.
  4. Set the shutter down and drill the top two mortar holes completely.
    • What I learned: Be sure to drill into the mortar enough to where the screw tip won’t hit a dead-end (Most recommended a 1/16″ or 1/4″ of extra room beyond the screw tip). If you don’t give a little extra space at the tip, you’ll encounter a great deal of resistance, the screw will not go in all the way and you’ll have to get the masonry bit out again.
  5. Attach the shutter to the house using the top two holes.
  6. Now, we’ll finish the bottom two holes: with your masonry bit, drill into the mortar through the board.
    • What I learned: I found this process to be the easiest for me, as my pilot holes didn’t always match up completely when I attempted marking then drilling all four at the same time. Less margin of error on my part. But, this is became a personal preference. Decide for yourself.
  7. Finish attaching the shutter to the mortar at the bottom with your screws.
  8. Use wood filler to patch the holes, lightly sand filler.
  9. Paint/stain/seal accordingly.
    • What I learned: I had already applied a sealer to the back of the shutters before attaching them. I taped off my house using wide painter’s tape after they were up and it saved me a huge headache of cleaning sealer off my house with mineral spirits.
Maxwell Shutter

click to enlarge

Overall, I also learned:

  • I marked & drilled all of the pilot holes into the shutters at one time which saved me on having to switch between the masonry & wood drill bits. HINT: If you forget to take out the masonry bit and attempt to drill into wood, you very likely could start a friction fire! Haha!
  • Having two drills is a life-saver: I had my hammer drill set up with my masonry bit and my cordless drill had my Phillips bit in it ready for the screws.
  • Having a second pair of hands throughout the entire process was also a great deal of help. Thanks, Seymour!
  • The DIY.SE community is of great help!

Thanks for your help folks! I hope this walk-through helps someone else, too!

profile for joshmax at Home Improvement, Q&A for contractors and serious DIYers

9 Comments

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  • If these are functional shutters, shouldn’t there be a hinge involved somewhere? Or are they purely decorative?

    • Shog9 says:

      These appear to be purely decorative shutters, Ilmari. Note that the originals were clearly screwed directly to the wall, ruining any illusion of actual purpose – Josh used wood filler to cover the screws in the new ones; coupled with the apparent sturdiness the resulting effect is much better.

      He could even go on to add decorative hinges and fasteners to complete the illusion (although this could result in someone attempting to actually shut them…)

    • Josh Maxwell says:

      Ilmari, Shog9 is correct – these are purely decorative. I never even thought by putting wood filler over the screw holes, it gave the illusion of working shutters. Interesting.

      I’m sure you could modify the directions to include hinges instead of attatching them directly to the house.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Josh Maxwell says:

    Thanks for reading! I have more articles coming that talk about other ways to improve the look & feel of a house. Some being more technical than others :)

  • Alert Electrical says:

    Your new shutters look fantastic, thanks for sharing your experience :)

  • Michel says:

    This is the only time I’ve been to your site. Thank you for providing more details.

  • Wooden shutters are the best way to the best home design, Thanks for sharing this blog information.

  • John Virgil says:

    Appreciate it for discuss………. I hope throughout foreseeable future will probably be truly ideal for us……

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