Vinyl shutters to dress up a window.

Window Dressing:

Installing Vinyl Shutters

In This Article:

Some holes are drilled in the wall and simple push fasteners are used to attach vinyl shutters to a house.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 15 Minutes

By , Editor


The basic, plain window.
The shutters.


The left-hand shutter is upside down. Note how it's bottom "rail" is much wider than the top "rail".


The plastic "Christmas Tree" fasteners were included with the shutters. They are simply pushed into an appropriate sized hole. Fasteners for vinyl shutters.


A Note On Fasteners:

While these "Christmas tree" plastic push fasteners may seem like a special item, they are widely available. They are used extensively in the auto industry to fasten lightweight body parts (such as underbody splash guards) to the chassis of the car.  So these are available at most auto parts stores, but... they may not have anything as long as these, and you won't find anything that is color-coordinated with your shutters, unless your shutters are black.

I have also seen some push fasteners sold at Home Depot and Lowe's, in the fastener aisle, in the not-very-obvious drawers of specialty fasteners.


I held the shutter in place so the top and bottom overlaps were equal. Drilling holes to mount plastic shutters to house.
In the middle, I drilled a 1/4" hole through the shutter and into the vinyl siding.

Lo and behold, this house had no sheathing under the vinyl, just foam insulation and then fiberglass.  Therefore, the shutters may end up relying on the vinyl siding for support. A bad idea, but there are no other options.

I pushed in the first fastener.
Then I drilled a hole down at the bottom, and installed another fastener.


These are pretty simple... just push in. (If the holes stay aligned.)
I discovered that it is best if the fastener goes into the top most part of the vinyl siding panel.

This siding is a double 4" pattern, that is, each piece of siding has two "boards" in it, 4" wide, for a coverage of 8" per piece. So alternating "boards" are at the top of the panel, where the nails hold the plastic to the wall, and the other "boards" are at the bottom of the panel. The bottom part of the panel is not attached as firmly, so I avoided attaching the shutters there.

You can tell where the panels end because of the more well-defined line. Look just behind the fastener in the above right photo. The joint between the "boards" has a more distinct line than the next joint above. Just above that well-defined line, hidden by the panel just above it, will be some nails that hold the siding to the walls. Finding these joints is important to keep the shutters tight against the house.

Next to the window, I was (sometimes) able to find a stud when I drilled the hole.
The fasteners next to the window held the shutter much more securely, because a few actually grabbed some wood.


The finished job.
Note how the siding bulges out behind the top outboard fastener. This is caused by the absence of any sort of wood sheathing under the siding, in other words... cheap construction.


Assorted Rants About Construction Methods:

If I were to cut a hole in this wall I would find:

  1. Vinyl siding.
  2. Foam insulation.
  3. Fiberglass insulation between the studs
  4. Drywall
  5. The inside of the house.

In other words, a person could break into a house like this with a utility knife, or even their bare hands, by just going through any exterior wall. There are hundreds of thousands of houses like this, maybe millions.  Does that give any of you homeowners a warm, cozy feeling?

The above shutter installation example is reason # 317 why un-sheathed framing is nothing but cheap construction.  But many codes allow it, so builders build it. Except me.



Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • 1/4" Drill Bit
  • Step Ladder

Materials Used:

  • Vinyl Shutters
  • Plastic Push Fasteners


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Copyright © 1999, 2005

Written December 28, 1999
Revised January 8, 2005