Asked on Feb 25, 2016

How to apply apply shutters when brick comes 1/4 way up window?

Cathy Wansing
by Cathy Wansing
We purchased this home a couple of months ago. We basically bought it for the land and the "guts" of it. It needs A LOT of updating. One of the main things that bothers me is that the exterior is so plain and dull. We are not in the position to replace the siding right now, and I think that shutters would help add some color. My problem is how do I apply shutters when the brick comes 1/4 way up the window? Do I just get ones that measure from the brick up? I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but the top of the brick has a lip in it also.
OK - so while I am at it, those thorned (I assume rose) bushes will be coming out also. Suggestions? The front porch is just to the right of the right hand side bush. THANKS!
  24 answers
  • KatAych KatAych on Feb 25, 2016
    Wow, it's unfortunate the previous owners chose to apply the brick that sure limits your shutter options! Especially since the windows go all the way up - you don't even have room to add something decorate on top! I think it might look a little weird not having the shutters run the full length of the windows; how about doing colorful awnings instead? What about adding some planter boxes or trellises for climbing vines?
  • Hi! I flip houses and I've seen all sorts of dumb design things like this. Here are my thoughts to increase your curb appeal: I'd paint that brick. Maybe a gray and the wood siding white? Or vice versa. Either way, instead of regular shutters, consider a large "cornice" style at the TOP of the window. It adds something b/c I'm not sure you are going to figure out a way for typical shutters. At least a "cornice" adds some depth and character. If you do paint the brick, I'd paint the cornice the same color as the brick. WIth that small amount of brick, you could knock that out in a weekend. Best of luck!
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 25, 2016
    Instead of focusing on the negative put your positive energy where it belongs. Shutters are not going to add any of interest per say. In my opinion I would aim for focal points within your property. There are many inspirational ideas available on sites such as hgtv ,houzz,fine gardening etc. You need to really to worry about the yard as a whole.
  • Moxie Moxie on Feb 25, 2016
    That is a hard detail to deal with..Without of full house picture I am unsure of the scale but if you want shutters; you could make some with 1x (the rustic look ones with vertical and one horizontal top and bottom) and the put a spacer behind from the brick up so the shutter could run the full length of the window you could make a pair and see if you like them; I think they would be cute...maybe utilize that brick ledge to add some window boxes to match your shutters for flowers/color (be sure to include some that flow downward to) and I think I would paint the exposed foundation wall to blend in better with the brick and then add foundation planting beds with a flowing/curving pattern around the house; perhaps where you bring it out farther into the yard add a mound and some planter/pots here and there to have different elevations of plantings for interest. Every year you could add more perennials that go in your area and do well in the lighting available in this location so eventually it would just blooms and be beautiful on its own...I think the shutters would go in style with the swooped retaining wall on down in the pic. Good luck whatever you do and enjoy making it yours!
  • Patti Pickett Patti Pickett on Feb 25, 2016
    If it were me, I would add window boxes even with the top of the brick and plant something pretty...even in winter you can add pine branches to them. Then I would put little shutters from the brick up. This would cut off the view from the inside, so I would put something on the inside of the window to hide that fact....not sure since I can't see what it looks like. Might have to remove or cut back the rose bush too.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 26, 2016
    Hi Cathy! Congrats on the new home! Adding shutters might be a nice addition, and I have seen them both ways-from the top of the brick up or framing the entire window. Since the purpose of shutters in the "olden days" was to protect the windows, I personally prefer the look of a full window size. You would have to build out a frame behind the shutter the same depth as the brick so they will hang flush from top to bottom. That will make your entire window appear recessed visually so you'd want to make sure the trim is a nice bright color to stand out. I would suggest that you paint out the brick to match the siding so the wall is one continuous color. That way you won't have "horizontal stripes" from the brick against the vertical lines of the shutters.
  • Bsq1746019 Bsq1746019 on Feb 26, 2016
    Instead of shutters. Just frame the windows with wider wood trim above the brick and paint it a contrasting color.
  • Barbara Barbara on Feb 26, 2016
    My mother has a similar style of home with bricking and stucco. The shutter company she used knows how to install the shutters in masonry so that it won't compromise the integrity of the grout or brick. In terms of shrubs, if your area is sunny enough large hydrangea's in a variety of colors can replace the prickly rose bushes, or English lavender grows tall enough and adds a pleasant fragrance too. We used star jasmine also, a light, fragrant scent but not the night blooming variety since the heavy floral can be too intense.
  • Ericm Ericm on Feb 26, 2016
    You can add pieces of wood or pvc to the upper backside of the shutters that are the same thickness of the brick but it might still have a somewhat strange appearance. I'd have someone hold them up to the windows and you can take a picture to decide if it's really an improvement to add window length shutters before you invest the time and money for this project.
  • Linda Linda on Feb 26, 2016
    Thorny bushes below a bedroom window was something recommended (I saw in a mag article years ago)to help protect your home,and you, by discouraging someone who might want to enter through the window or do some peeping. If the bushes are salvageable, you might want to reconsider.
  • Tommi L. Perkins Tommi L. Perkins on Feb 26, 2016
    If those are knock out roses, trim them sometime around the first of March down to about 1.5 ft from the ground. That way they will not grow up so tall that they cover the window. I have seen shutters on some very expensive homes that are hung so that they look like they are not flat against the wall but at about 2 to 4 inches out from the wall on the outside of the shutter, not the inside of the shutter which is the side closest to the window. You have to build a frame to support the outside (easy, try a 1X4 on its side. Then for the bottom part of the window where the brick is the frame would be a 1X2 to make up for the difference the brick makes in the depth of the frame. Wish I had a picture to show you but this really looks cool and expensive looking. Of course the frame for the shutter is painted the same color as the shutter. Get on line and see if you can find ways to hang shutters. The problem with just trimming the windows with wider trim is that the windows go to the top and you cannot put trim over the window. I think it would look strange without the same wide framing over the window. Just a thought.
  • Karen Karen on Feb 26, 2016
    I would use a wide board to frame the window..but stop at the brick.. Leave the bushes..good security.
  • Cynthia Nye Cynthia Nye on Feb 26, 2016
    Attach a spacer board at the top of the shutter and one just above the brick, into the siding. Attach the shutter to the two boards; they will be next to the window but off the siding and be able to hang over the brick. If screwed into the boards, they would also be removeable for painting, etc.
  • Ranger Ranger on Feb 26, 2016
    What about putting a windowbox at the bottom of the window, below the shutters? You could mix real and silk flowers to keep continual and changing colour 'pop' through the sesons and you'd be able to control the height of plants to keep that lower part in sync with the bottom of the shutters. Or maybe a fixed piece of wrought iron work across the window bottom; or a piece of fixed-on stained glass cover? Personally, I'd be thinking about dealing with the gap on it's own rather than adjusting shutters to fit the bricks. Will be nice to see what happens. Good luck.
  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Feb 26, 2016
    ALL shrubbery, including roses for security, should be planted at least 18" from the foundation. Then do like Tommi L. Perkins said.
  • Trudy Trudy on Feb 27, 2016
    Don't hang a short shutter above the brick, it would look awful! T
  • Tamara Sanders Tamara Sanders on Feb 27, 2016
    being married to a contracted must of my life I think maybe trying just a nice paint job in two colors for contrast.if you go to a paint store they will help.As far as windows go I would use landscaping to give it that extra touch. check out online sites.good luck
  • Cathy Wansing Cathy Wansing on Mar 01, 2016
    Thank you everyone for your advice. I think I may either add window boxes or try to trim out with a wider decorative piece somehow. Things may look better when we update the porch (which is to the right in the pic - sorry I did not include that) and add some color there. I just LOVE shutters and have never NOT had them. :)
  • Tanya L M Tanya L M on Mar 02, 2016
    Cathy Some links for ideas This has lots of different looks for ideas Other thing I was looking at [in the 1st and 2nd link] Exterior Barn Door Shutters - can be on a track system - both links have great ideas Post pics when you are done!
  • Darrel Rose Darrel Rose on Mar 06, 2016
    It depends if you are going to eventually remove that brick then you could hang shutters but if you are leaving the brick then I would suggest not using shutters, they would be best perhaps applied to the front of the house instead, as attaching shutters there would look pretty weird, I myself would wait till you have some plans and know what changes to the house will be before adding shutters just simply to make the house look prettier until then you could as I say make this house look for the worse and then with later changes won't be able to incorporate shutters into your update, you could try Pinterest for some ideas as well they might have some ideas to make this house look pretty until then, I use Pinterest all the time for ideas and they are simply lovely
  • Mary-Ann Mary-Ann on Aug 09, 2016
    You can build out the sides of the windows above the brick so it is level with the brick. Then attach the shutters to the built out sides.
  • Rita Rita on Oct 30, 2016
    Just remember that the historical reason behind shutters was always so that they could be closed and protect the windows in a storm. They should always be the length of the window. You can add shutters, but you will have to have blocks put up to even the depth. I would paint the brick to match your siding.
  • Janice Janice on Jan 23, 2024

    No to shutters; however, I do like the idea of a window box at the base of the windoow.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 23, 2024

    I would frame the window sides and paint in contrasting color. On the bottom I would add a window box for flowers. You can put fake ones in the window box if you are not good at growing.