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Exterior Shutter Hardware Guide

Exterior shutter hardware guide

Exterior shutter hardware does not have to be intimidating or difficult. With this straight forward guide, you will be feeling confident enough to choose and install your own exterior shutter hardware!

First, you must make the decision on whether you want operable shutters or decorative shutters. If you're not sure, check out our Exterior Shutter Buying Guide to learn more about operable and decorative shutters.

Step 1: Do You Need Functional or Decorative Shutter Hardware?


Material: Stainless Steel

What you'll need: Pintels, Hinges, Hold Backs, and Slide Bolts

The purpose of each piece of hardware:

Pintels: The pivot of the hinge. Installed directly to the building.

Shop Pintels »
Shutter Pintels

Hinges: Installed to the shutter and slides onto the pintle. Allow the shutters to swing. Often referred as a "strap hinge."

Shop Hinges »
Installting Shutter Hinges

Hold Backs: Keep the shutters open and can be twisted to allow the shutters to close. Installed directly to the building. Often referred as "tiebacks," "dog hold backs," and "shutter dogs."

Shop Hold Backs »
Shutter Hold Backs and Shutter Dogs

Slide Bolts: Allow you to lock your shutters when they're closed. Installed to the inside of the shutters. Often referred to as "latches."

Shop Slide Bolts »
Installing Shutter Slide Bolts
Installing shutter hardware


Aluminum, Iron, Vinyl, and Plastic

What you'll need:
A method of installment and then the rest is solely up to you!

We Recommend:
"S" Hold Back and Faux Hinges for the authentic look

See Decorative Shutters »
Decorative Shutter Hardware

Step 2: How Many Hinges and Pintles Do You Need?

If you have operable shutters or want your decorative shutters to have the operable look, you'll need the correct amount of hinges and pintles to ensure your shutters will perform correctly without damaging your home or the shutter panels themselves.

Two Hines on Shutters

Shutter pairs from 12" - 48" in height require the use of 2 pairs of hinges/pintles

Shutters with three hinges

Shutter pairs from 49" - 95" in height require the use of 3 pairs of hinges/pintles

Four pairs of hinges

Shutter pairs 96" and over in height require the use of 4 pairs of hinges/pintles

Step 3: Installing Exterior Shutters with Hardware

Functional Hardware

1. Connect the hinges to the shutters: On a flat working space, place your shutters with the back facing up. (See 3rd figure on page 2 for a visual)

  • Center the hinges on the top and bottom panels of the shutter with the edge of the hinges flush to the edge of the shutter. Depending on the type of hinge you're using, make sure that the hinges are facing the correct way as to attach the pintles correctly.
  • Make marks in the holes of the hinge to indicate where to drill
  • Make sure your screws are the appropriate length as to not puncture through to the other side of the shutter when drilling!
  • Drill pilot holes first, using the marks you previously made.
  • Align your hinge to the pilot holes and screw in the screws for the hinge.

Connect the hinges to the shutters


Note: For paneled shutters, the simplest paneled side should be facing out when closed. For louvered shutters, have the opening at the bottom, so you have to look up to see through, when they are closed.

2. Fasten the slide bolt: Flip over the shutter so you're looking at the front (what you'd see when they're closed if you were inside)

  • With the shutters perfectly side by side, align the slide bolt and the latch to the center panel or flat space, if you are installing to board and batten shutters.
  • With each piece flush to the edge of the shutters, mark the holes in the slide bolt on the shutters.
  • Drill pilot holes where you indicated the holes of the hardware to be.
  • Align the slide bolt over the pilot holes and screw the screws into place.
  • Make sure the latch opens and closes smoothly.

Fasten the slide bolt to shutters

Note: For slide bolts, be aware that if you have louvered shutters with no center panel, a slide bolt cannot be installed. Also if you have a double hung window, make sure to install the slide bolt just below center so you can close the lock from the inside of the window.

3. Shim into place: The best way to make sure your shutters and hardware are installed properly is to shim your shutters into place. To shim means putting a small wedge between two surfaces to create an equal space between them.

  • Place one shutter panel into the window opening.
  • With someone helping you, hold the shutter in place and shim the top and bottom of the shutter. Repeat for the second shutter and on the sides.
  • Once both of your shutters are in the window opening, carefully center them in the window.
  • A 1/4" space on all the sides of the shutters is most desirable.

Shim shutters into place

Note: Make sure the widest rail on the shutters, is on the bottom.

4. Installing the Pintels:

  • Slide a pintle up through the hole of a hinge.
  • Mark the holes where the plate of the pintle sits.
  • Repeat the first two steps for each hinge and pintle.
  • Carefully, remove the shutters.
  • Drill pilot holes where you've marked previously.
  • Align the pintles over the pilot holes and screw in the screws to attach the pintles to the exterior of the window.

Installing the pintels to shutters

5. Hang your shutters: Now that you have your hardware fastened to the shutters and pintles installed to the exterior, slide the hinges on the pintles.

  • Make sure they swing properly, hang evenly, and close flush with each other.

6. Instal the hold backs: Connect the lag bolts, washers, and cotter pins of the hold backs and open your shutters all the way.

  • On the wall, measure 4 inches in from the outside bottom corner of the shutter and 1 inch down from the bottom of the shutter.
  • Make sure that from this position, the shutter stays in place.
  • Rotate the hold back to make sure the shutter clears the hold back so it can be closed.
  • Mark where the bolt is going to be installed
  • Mark where the bolt is going to be installed
  • Repeat for the other hold back.

Installing shutter hold backs

Decorative Hardware

No measurements are required for decorative exterior shutter hardware, it is solely based upon your preferences; you could even use a non-corrosive fastener instead of hardware.

We suggest you follow the same principles for functional shutters, as that will look the most realistic.

Installing shutter hold backs

This is just a guide intended to explain the principles involved in measuring for exterior shutter installations. Accuracy depends on the accuracy of measuring and properly choosing your installation method. Installations options are available that may not be listed in this guideline but if the principles of this guide are understood clearly, then creativity will allow installers to expand on these principles to deliver a wide range of opportunities. Just remember, take several measurements of each opening since they are not always square and be safe.

Hooks & Lattice recommends using a licensed contractor for installation of all products.

Shop Exterior Shutter Hardware