If you are researching the best treatment for your windows, you must have come across Bahama shutters on the market. These shutters have a tropical feel and add a dash of elegance to any property. They are popular across the country and even away from the coastal areas. If you want to enhance your home’s aesthetics while at the same time protecting it against the elements, Bahama shutters are your best bet.

The best thing about this popular window treatment is that you can make the fittings in your home workshop. If you are good with tools, this is a DIY challenge you can take on today.

This guide explores Bahama window shutters in detail and offers tips on how to make these beautiful shutters in simple steps.

Background Of Bahama Shutters

Bahama outdoor shutters have a rich heritage going back to early American history. They are classics borrowed from British colonial architecture.

These louvered shutters hang from top hinges in contrast to other shutter styles with side hinges. Mounting of the shutter panels on the exterior of the building is at a 45-degree angle.

The top hinges and the angle make it easy to operate these shutters. In the case of an approaching storm, you can quickly shut them to protect your windows from flying debris.

They are also ideal if you want privacy. You can open them up to different degrees or close them completely.

These shutters have a distinct feel of the tropics and are ideal for cooling the house during hot summer months. They are also great for storm protection which is the main reason for their popularity in coastal areas. They are versatile window coverings which you can use for gazebos, verandas and homes.

If you live in a hot area, Bahama window shutters are perfect for natural air ventilation. These shutters allow control of air into your home. You can keep out the sun’s hot rays thus reducing the need for air conditioning. This will cut your electricity bills while also making your house more comfortable.

If you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency, these shutters can help a lot.

Traditionally, wood was the most common material in making shutters. Over the years, however, other affordable and durable materials such as aluminum and vinyl have emerged.

Bahama shutters perfectly blend aesthetics and functionality. They give you home a classic touch while at the same time playing practical roles such as hurricane protection.

Tips to Build Bahama Outdoor Shutters

Now that you appreciate the value of Bahama window shutters, it is time to learn how you can build them from your garage.

Here are some of the main things to consider:

1. Understand the Building Code

Every region has a unique building code and it is important to check with the local authorities about the requirements for making and installing Bahama shutters.

One of the most common requirements is that these hurricane shutters must lie flush with the building frame on closing. This ensures total protection during a storm.

2. Take The Measurements

The most important step in any DIY project is taking the right measurements. Many projects fail because of using estimated measurements and this is a problem you can avoid when making your shutters.

Take the inside measurements of the window frame using a tape measure and record all the details on a piece of paper. These measurements are crucial when it comes to ordering materials for building your shutters. More importantly, you will build shutters that meet the building code regulations and which also serve the purpose.

3. Identify All The Materials and Equipment You Need

For the success of this project, you should identify all the materials required and list them down. To do this, you need to understand the design of your shutters. These louvered shutters have hinges at the top allowing you to push them open and close them shut.

From the design, you will identify these materials for the project:

  • Hinges, bolts
  • Cedar wood or preserved hard wood
  • Louver slats
  • Varnish and wood glue

Some of the tools and equipment you need for this project include sandpaper, corner clamps T-square, router, drill and drill bit and a mortise tool.

The wood quality should be excellent to avoid warping, chipping or any other form of damage in future. Go for the best wood to guarantee a longer lifespan for your shutters.

4. Cut the Rails and Stiles

After collecting all the materials and your tools, it is time to start the job.

  1. Cut the vertical pieces (rails) which will run the entire height of the window and stiles to fit outside the rails.
  2. Follow the measurements you had taken earlier but add at least an inch on either side for the tenons. The bottom stile should be extra wide to provide more support.
  3. If you plan to have more than one mullion, make sure to cut these to fit between the outside stiles and not alongside. Don’t forget to add an inch for each tenon.
  4. In each rail, cut mortises where the tenon of your louver slats will fit into. Do the same on the stiles for the mullions. To prepare mortises efficiently, use the drill and mortise tool or router.
  5. Confirm the level of mortises by placing the rails against each other. Use the sandpaper to scrub the corners, top and bottom surfaces of each rail.
  6. Dry fit the louvers into the rails as you continue working but don’t glue them yet. For the best results, sand the surface where the units join and apply varnish to prevent water damage.
  7. Now you have all the shutter parts. Join them together using special glue and use a corner clamp for the joints. Start with the interior mullions. Leave the unit overnight to improve adhesion.
  8. Sand the fittings in the entire unit after loosening the clamp, stain the frame and the louvers and apply varnish or paint for the final layer.

Final Thoughts

Bahama shutters will redefine the outlook of your home. They add a touch of classic style and timeless beauty. At the same time, they add functional value by offering storm protection, privacy and enhancing energy efficiency. With these tips, you can now make quality Bahama window shutters for your home. If you don’t have the tools or expertise, it is always advisable to call a professional contractor to do the job.