How to fix rickety exterior shutters?

Exterior shutters develop two problems: the slats or frames can loosen or come apart, and the shutter may fall from the house. If parts of the frame -side, top, or bottom rails-or the slats become loose, you may be able to repair the shutter, using two bar or pipe clamps.

Lay the frame face down on a flat surface. Put the parts back in place, holding them together as much as possible with your hands. Clamp the outsides of the side rails and close the clamp gradually and carefully, locking everything into place.

To keep the shutter realigned, screw brackets (available at hardware stores) to the corners with galvanized screws. Release the clamps, and the shutter is ready for service.

Decorative shutters sometimes pull away from the house because the nails holding them are too short. To check, sight along the side of the shutter. Nails should be visible. If they are not, use 10d (or larger) galvanized finishing nails to secure the shutter. Countersink the heads, fill with wood putty, and repaint the shutter. Or, simply leave the heads flush and dab them with a paint that closely matches the shutter paint.