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Measuring For Shutters

Measuring for your shutters is just like measuring for any regular blind. Use a steel tape to measure accurately and order your exact sizes, we make to the nearest millimeter!

If you are in any doubt please call us, we are here to help.
You will need a steel tape measure, a pencil and paper, you may require steps and another pair of hands to help!

Full Height Style Shutters


Inside Recess Fitting


Before you begin: Check Your Recess is square

First, you need to check that your recess is reasonably square, making it suitable for installing shutters inside the recess.

All you need to do is measure the recess diagonally from corner to corner on both sides. Then, compare the two measurements.

If the difference is 12mm or less, you’re good to go.

We would always recommend using a Z frame fitted to the front of your recess for an easier, more forgiving installation.

If the measurements vary by any more than 12mm, then we would recommend you choose to fit shutters ‘outside mount’, on to the internal wall.  
Inspect your window recesses for any potential obstructions such as handles, architecture, dodo rail or any inward opening windows or doors. We would recommend you use an outside mount for any inward opening windows so that your windows can still open in full and are not obstructed. Ensure the position of your shutters will not interfere with any of the above and consider the position of your shutters when they are folded open, normally only done when gaining access for cleaning or ventilation. All our full height shutters are supplied with a four-sided frame for strength, stability and ease of installation.
Decide where your shutters are going to sit. This can be at the front of the recess (order Z frame) or inside the recess(order L frame). Always take your measurement at the position you plan to fit your shutters. Don’t worry about making any deductions for clearance, we do that for you.

Fitting to the Front Edge of your recess – using the ‘Z’ Frame

For the front of recess fitting you need to measure at the front edge of the recess. Measure the width at the Top, Middle and Bottom.

Next measure the drop on the right, in the centre and on the left. Make a note of the smallest measurements taken, these are the sizes you will use later to place your order.

Now you’re ready to choose and order your favourite ‘z’ frame style. The overlap flange of the frame will cover any uneven clearance gaps between the edges of the recess and frame. This is the most forgiving method of recess fitting and would not normally require any filling of gaps with caulk or silicone filler.


Fitting Inside recess – using the ‘L’ Frame

For an inside recess fitting, you can position your shutters anywhere you choose inside the recess, even flush up against the window frame if there are no obstructions such as window handles.
The universal ‘L’ frame can be face fixed or if you need to move the shutter forward to give clearance, side fixed.


Mark where you are going to fit your shutters and measure both the width and the drop in 3 places, note down the smallest measurements taken, these will be used when ordering.
NB: When ordering enter the smallest  exact minimum recess width and drop. We will make a small deduction to ensure your shutters fit.
Always consider the position of the shutter panels for when they are folded back, this would normally only be when cleaning or opening your windows. The panels will fold back against the side of your recess when fitted within the opening and back towards but not fully flush with, the room wall if fitted to the front edge. You can easily calculate an approximate projection of your folded panels by dividing your total shutter width by the total number of panels required.

Outside recess Fitting – using the ‘L’ Frame – face fixed

Ideal for inward opening windows, out of square recess openings and for recesses with a shallow depth.

Measure the recess opening width and add 50mm each side to allow for overlapping.

Next, measure the recess opening drop and add 50mm for overlapping above and if your sill does not protrude, 50mm below the opening for the shutters to overlap (B).

If your sill protrudes past the front edge of your recess, simply add for the top overlap only. The frame will then sit onto your sill (C). 

The ‘L’ frame will be face fixed to the wall.

  1. A. Add 50mm overlap each side of the recess opening.



  1. C. Add 50mm overlap above and if the sill is flush with the wall, a further 50mm below the window recess opening.


  1. B. If the sill protrudes outside of the recess, then ONLY add the 50mm overlap above and measure to the sill itself. The bottom frame will rest on the sill.


  • NB: If your frame sits on the sill and the windows open inward, you will need to double check the clearances to ensure you can fully open the window when required.

  • Use the finished sizes after adding your overlaps, to place your order. We Make no deductions from your ordered sizes when fitting outside the recess.

Café Style Shutters

‘Café style’ simply means that the drop of the shutters does not cover the full height of your window opening. How high you go is your decision.

Measure the width of your shutters the same as for the full height shutters described above, using the appropriate fitting style for inside or outside installation.
For the drop, simply measure from the sill or if outside recess fitting, from the bottom position of the frame, up to where you want the shutter to finish.
The height would normally be appropriately half the height of the window opening or up to a horizontal transom rail on your window frame. The final height is to your preference. Please note our café style shutters are supplied in a four-sided frame for stability.



All shutters over a specified drop below, will require a mid-rail for strength and stability. This will be added automatically to your order.

Boston – Over 1800mm drop
Boston Express – Over 1800mm drop
Hampton Express – Over 1700mmm drop
Hampton – Over 1524mm drop when panel width is also over 609mm wide. Otherwise over 1700mm drop.
(2 equally spaced, mid rails required over  2400mm drop).

The top and bottom sections of louvers will be operated separately, giving greater flexibility.
As standard the mid-rail is positioned centrally. If you require a different position for your mid rail that is off centre, then call us once you’ve placed your order and this can be arranged.

To specify the position of your mid-rail when contacting us, simply measure from the bottom of your shutter to the midpoint of where you want the rail to be positioned.

NB: The exact position of a mid-rail is always determined by the panel height and louvre size selected. The mid-rail position can vary by up to 38mm upwards or downwards depending on the louvre size chosen.
Always consider the position of the shutter panels for when they are folded back, this would normally only be when cleaning or opening your windows. The panels will fold towards but not fully flush with, the room wall. You can easily calculate an approximate projection of your folded panels by dividing your total shutter width by the total number of panels required.

Please Remember:
Measure accurately using a metal tape measure. Always check your sizes!
Look for any possible obstructions within your recess.
Always order your tight smallest width and drop measurements for front or inside recess fitting. We will make a small (normally 5mm) deduction off both the width and drop, to allow for clearance.
Allow for a 50mm overlap to both your width and drop when installing outside the recess only.
Consider the opening of your folded panels for cleaning and access. Shutter panels would normally rest in the closed position with the louvres adjusted to give the desired control.
Shutters provide great insulation and whilst not fully blackout, they offer a great deal of light control and privacy.

Full fitting instructions are provided online and with your shutters. All you need are basic DIY skills and tools to get a professional fit.

•    Questions?

If you still have some questions about how to measure your curtains why not give our friendly customer Services team a ring on 0370 218 7042

Get in Touch

0370 218 7042

0370 218 7042
Our standard office opening times:
9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
9.00am - 2.00pm - Saturday
Closed - Sunday
Jubillee opening times:
Mon 30th May - Wed 1st June 9.00am - 5.00pm
Thur 2nd June Closed
Fri 3rd June Closed
Sat 4th June 9.00am - 2.00pm

Swift Direct Blinds Ltd. 177, Lockwood Rd, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3TG | Company No. 1190828 | VAT No. 184549920

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