Why I’m Breaking the Rules With The Shutter Police



Adding Trim and Shutters to an Existing Log HomeOh my I had no idea shutters came with so many rules. If you missed my earlier post about adding shutter to the house you can read it here. I believe I’ve decided on going with black shutters and painting the trim around the window in the same color as the window casing, which is SW 7051 Analytical Gray. But here’s where all the rules come into play. According to the shutter experts windows should only have shutters if the shutter size could actually be closed over the window and fit completely protecting the window. 

Adding Trim and Shutters to an Existing Log HomeSo according to that my windows on the first story of the front of the house should not have shutters. Phooey I say, because I think it looks much better with shutters on the lower level. What do you think? I spent the last week driving around subdivisions being the shutter critic and guess what? Most people are NOT following proper shutter rules. Shutters were designed for function not curb appeal but I do believe most are going with the curb appeal approach.

Log HomeHere’s a quick pic to see what the house looks like naked with no shutters. I did luck out and Menard was having a terrific sale on shutters so I picked up what I needed and if I don’t use them all I can return them but I didn’t want to pass up the fantastic price. I was going to make my own but by the time I purchase the lumber and buy a good quality paint I would have more into them than buying them, so I went with the cheaper and easier method. 

I should mention when we pour our concrete we are going with a random stone stamp and it will look close to the photos above where I’ve added it. That’s another reason I picked the black shutters, I think it will accent the stain colors in the concrete. 

Side View of House With Tan Trim and Black ShuttersNow do I add shutters to this side of our home? It’s the entrance we always use and can be seen as you come up the drive. If our house was close to the road by the way it’s positioned you can see the front and this side at the same time because of the angle it’s on. So once again according to the shutter experts they say if you can see two sides from the road you should put shutters on those two sides. What do you think? I don’t mind the shutters at all but it seems a little strange to have them on only two sides. I like things to match so I feel like the opposite side of the house you don’t see would also need shutters. 

Side View House No ShuttersWow it’s all a bit much. Who would have thought I could put so much time into thinking about shutter placement? We did decide that once we power wash the house it will need to be stained the same color it is now (hubby doesn’t think it will strip it down to bare wood) so the color you see is what it will be again once we do all the work. 

Side View of House No EditsOnce again here’s a naked view of the side of the house. 

View From DrivewayAnd here’s the view when you come up the drive. See how two sides of the home can be seen at once. So the big decision is do I break the rules with the shutter police? If I do I’ll want to go with photo #1 and #4 but if I go with what is correct it would be photo #2 and #4.

The next thing is I hope we have a ladder tall enough for me to get to the third story window without breaking my neck. I’m quite a clutz and can see this all going wrong if I don’t have a spotter. Luckily my friend Lisa has volunteered to help me out with all my craziness and be there when I paint the second and third story trim. Hey what would life be without friends who are willing to go along with all my hair brained ideas?

Leave your comments below on what you would do!




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  1. I’m a member of the Anti-Shutter Police so I say do whatever you want. Photos 1 and 4 look great!

    1. JoAnne apparently most are anti-shutter police too, but it has been fun seeing what people do with theirs!

      1. I would always make shutters that would cover the window completely even if closed. It makes all the difference in how the house looks. There are reasons why their are rules most have to do with the functions not always esthetics. If you have shutters on windows and your just going for the look i would just add little extra and get them built correctly. I do see a trend to install the louvers backwards. The thinking is that the water will run down the from and not towards the home but there are a couple reasons to install them correctly. In the open position with the louvers facting the house the rain and sunlight will keep pest from nesting behind. It also gives it some air movement to keep the shutters from warping and rotting. I mostly restore Southern Plantation Shutters but have been doing a lot of Bahama shutters lately.

  2. Deb Voorhorst says:

    A decorater once called my shutters “shudders” . Ha! But it did ruin it for me. I now spend a lot of time looking at shutters as well. That being said I do think your shutters (as mine) are too small for the windows. But I still have mine so of course it’s a personal opinion. Your house is adorable by the way.

    1. Deb, Ha-Ha “Shudders” she must not have been happy with them! By size do you mean height or width. If I follow the rules height is supposed to be the same as the window not the trim and with is supposed to be 1/2 the window width. Ah too many rules, lol.

      1. Deb Voorhorst says:

        Well…width. but. What do i know?? Lol

        1. LOL Deb I think anything goes these days. I think the one I purchased are 15″ wide, which is the perfect size for all the single windows but the double would have to be huge if I follow the rules.

          1. Deb Voorhorst says:

            Good. I’m keeping my skinny shutters then!

  3. Well I didn’t know there were rules so I’m waiting on your decision before I make mine. I’ve wanted shutters on the front for a long time, but now I need to go out there and look to see if I would be following any, all, or none of the rules. I hate decisions so it could very well be another 20 years before any shutters are installed. However, don’t fall off the darn ladder if you add them to the side of the house I can see when I drive up.

    1. LOL I know what you mean why does it have to be so difficult. I think I will go with shutters on 3 sides just to make it feel more balanced.

  4. Aunt K.O. says:

    Love the black, and I’d put them on all 4 sides of the cabin. It would drive me bonkers to be unbalanced!

    1. Aunt KO I know what you mean but I don’t have any windows on the back side just french doors so 3 sides it would have to be.

    2. Nope Im wrong I do have 2 windows on the back side. LOL I don’t even know my own home!

  5. I think you should go with what feels right for you. These people that are always making the trends for colours, shapes, rules, etc are just trying to sell you a product that you might not want and then a few years later they try to sell you something else just to suit their trends!

    1. Linda you’re probably right. I agree, I’m going with what I think looks best for our home 🙂

  6. I say phooey too! I have shutters on my second story windows and they are doubles. I know about the “rules” but don’t always agree. Do what you want…it’s your house!

    1. LOL Ann I’m not sure who set all these rules but I’m not finding many who go along with them.

  7. Kathleen G says:

    Good morning Dawn, read the comments. Shutters will be black and will be installing them on all the windows. Looking forward to see the reveal. Take care on the ladder,
    Kathleen in Az

    1. Kathleen I figure shutters are easy to put up so if I decide I don’t like them, they can always come down.

  8. Dawn, your shutters look great, black being the correct choice with your log home they just inhanse. As far as height and width you are correct the only thing that I would do is add shutters to the top middle window in the front and the side. Having been a builder for some 20 yrs in the 80’s rules of thumb have changed but shutters haven’t. The other choice on the top front and side would be closed shutters which would look awesome. Houses sell better with shutters but all in all you have done a very good in detail job, best of luck in selling your home, PS. homes also sell better if show at night with candlelit and soft music, something baking helps also. Just a few tips from someone who’s sold a few homes. God Bless and again great job.

    1. Joy do you mean shutters on the 3rd story window on the side?

    2. Dawn, have you seen the closed shutters that totally cover the entire widows, but they are kept closed, that’s what I mean by closed shutters if you don’t want to use those I would just put the same as the rest you have on your home on those very top window on end of the house and the middle window on front but I really think it looks very nice. I’m glad you chose black. Good job and best of luck.

      1. Joy yes I have seen the closed shutters and see them used where people want to give the illusion of a window that isn’t there. That may be an idea!!

  9. I say “do what makes you happy”. I like the look of your shutters.

    1. Thank you Carol Im going to go for it. I’m just waiting for warmer temps so I can paint the trim. It snowed here today 🙁

  10. I think they look fine on the first floor, and i think I would want to do the front and both sides, it’s about the symmetry with me. I know the rules about width, and have the same large windows, so would be facing the same issue. My little Cape doesn’t need shutters, but I have coveted window boxes for years, but can’t seem to actually do something about it!

    1. Lisa that’s exactly what I am planning, 3 side. I was going to do window boxes this year too on the two sides of the house but decided against it. It’s a pain to keep them watered, they dry out so easily. I love the look, but not the upkeep.

  11. I think there should be two sets of rules for shutters. 1. for those that live were there is hurricanes. they need to cover the windows 2. for those that live anywhere else. no rules. I like that you are going to put them on 3 sides of your house.

    1. Angela I had a hard time finding the size I needed for my bathroom windows but Lowes had them today so I was happy to find them. My windows are stock sizes so I’m not sure why I had such a hard time. I know having them custom made it pricey.

  12. For me, it would definitely be 1 and 4. No question! The shutters will look great. Rules are made to be broken. Lol

    1. Nancy you are so right, I broke a lot in my younger years I better start again, LOL.

  13. Personally I like your style of house better without shutters – it looks more primitive but maybe that’s not the look you’re going for. We used to have a log home and did not have shutters at all. But I’m like you – a rule breaker. I think shutters are a purely decorative accent these days unless you live in a hurricane area.

    1. Arlene my last home was decorated in the Primitive style and I’m not fond of it anymore. When we re-stain the house the chinking will no longer be visible so we’ll just have a dark brown colonial log home. I’m ready for a change and if it wasn’t a lot of work I would side over the logs just for upkeep purposes but that won’t happen any time soon.

      1. Don’t blame you at all! We actually ripped out all the logs on our house, section by section and rebuilt it as a regular framed house. Now this isn’t something we would willingly have jumped in and done ourselves, but we had a lot of problems with rotten logs and no contractor wanted to touch it. So now we have vinyl siding on the outside, yet a rustic look on the inside. I’m so over my desire to have a log home! No one clued us in to how much work they are to maintain! Love the look, but wow…..getting to old for all that work. Good luck with your decision, you will make whatever you choose look great!

        1. Arlene we have 3 logs right now that are rotting and need to come out. I’ve had the saw mill cut and dry them we just have to find the time to pick them up and put them in. Hubby and I can do all the work ourselves but finding the time is another problem. My Brother in Law is on his 3rd build of a log home and he’s older than we are. I know we would never do another one but it was a dream of ours and I love the home but as you say it’s too much work as we get older.

  14. I would say go with what you are comfortable with Dawn.. Your talented and I’m sure what you do will look awesome❤️

    1. Thanks Melissa if the weather holds out this week Im going to start painting the trim 🙂

  15. I love the shutters! Hope the weather holds out to get the project done. It’s been rain, rain and more rain here on the Eastern Shore! AND careful on that ladder.

    1. Carrie I’m hoping next week to get at it all. I have family here for the next 3 week so will work around their schedule.

  16. Carole Alden says:

    Sorry to ask this but do you want your knots to weep, or did you get someone who didn’t know how to take care of them? They really grap my attention in a bad way and it’s hard to notice anything else. Carole

    1. Carole apparently they did this because the stain we used didn’t have a sealer in it. We didn’t know that until this year. We are stipping it and restaining it this summer to cure the problem. We used the recommended stain but apparently there is something better on the market now, so we’ll go with that.

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