Things You'll Need
Exterior coated screws
Clear silicone caulk
Most home improvement warehouses sell pre-cut and pre-drilled shutter spacers for vinyl siding.
Spacers can be made from 1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe, then painted black to hide them
Do not over tighten the screws. Over-tightened screws can break the shutter.
The addition of shutters to a home can add curb appeal and style. Shutters are also a reflection of personal taste and complete the look of a home's exterior. When improperly installed, damage to the shutters and siding can result in overwhelming repair costs. However, when properly installed, shutters can last for years with little maintenance.
Measure the thickness of the shutter.
Measure the thickness of the lap on the siding. Most vinyl siding is made to imitate wood lap siding, so the "lap" of the siding is measured at the bottom of the simulated wood panel, where the real wood would overlap each other.
Add these two measurements together, then add 1/2 inch. This is the length of your screw. For example: shutter is 1 inch thick, lap is 3/4 inch. So, 1 inch + 3/4 inch + 1/2 inch = 2-1/4-inch screw.
Attaching the Shutter
Position the shutter along the side of the window or door. Mark the locations of the laps closest to the corners and middle of the shutter.
Lay shutter flat on work surface. Drill holes at lap locations. Holes should be slightly larger than the screws. This will reduce the chance of breaking the shutter when attaching to the wall.
Turn the shutter over. Place spacers at hole locations; use silicone caulk to hold them in place. Spacers should be pre-cut to the lap measurement and pre drilled with the same size hole as the shutter. For shutters with hollow backs, add the thickness of the shutter to the lap measurement for the length of the spacers. Allow silicone to dry for 10 minutes to hold spacers in place.
Place a pea-sized spot of caulk on the spacers where they will meet the wall. Position the shutter back on the wall and screw to the house. The screw should be long enough to grip in the sheathing under the siding.
Michael Rippetoe has been writing for 15 years, and has recently decided to make it his career. He has been a journeyman carpenter, ASE Master Mechanic, certified irrigation professional and currently writes for this site, designs websites, and does professional photography. Rippetoe's articles appear on eHow, Garden Guides, AnswerBag and others.