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How To Remove Shutters From Vinyl Siding [Step By Step Guide]

Shutters are a great way to give your home a more distinctive, finished appearance. But eventually, you'll need or want to get rid of them for whatever reason and are interested in learning how to take these shutters off your vinyl siding. We have extensive research on this topic and have all the necessary information!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Here are the steps for removing shutters from a home's vinyl siding:

  1. Determine the shutters' attachment mechanism.
  2. Pull out the shutter buttons.
  3. Remove the window shutters.
  4. Remove all the insect nests.
  5. Extract the remaining spike base.
  6. Clean up the window shutter under the surface.
  7. Caulk the holes.

You might be hesitant if you're unsure of how to remove shutters on vinyl siding. It's not nearly as difficult as you think, so don't worry! In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this topic to guide you throughout and successfully finish the job. With that said, let's dive right in!

How Do You Remove Shutters From Vinyl Siding?

Many DIYers start by removing the old shutters before hanging the new ones. Removal of exterior vinyl shutters requires minimal time, few easily accessible tools, and simple procedures.

Window and shutters

1. Determine The Shutters' Attachment Mechanism

You should ascertain how the shutters are attached before moving forward. Whether the shutters are made of wood or metal, they are usually secured to the house with metal screws.

If the shutters are made of vinyl plastic, you will find plugs or locks. It is more difficult to remove plastic locks than metal screws.

However, you can carefully clip out any fastener spikes between windows and shutters if the shutters are vinyl plastic and have locking mechanisms.

2. Pull Out The Shutter Buttons

To avoid scratching the surface, removing them one at a time is better.

Shutter buttons have ridges or scales (commonly called shutter spikes) that hold the shutters in place when inserted into a hole in the siding. Moderate force can pull a spike from the hole.

You can use the following tools for this extraction:

Pry Bar

Position the pry bar’s “v” shaped claw end underneath the shutter button and then hold the top of the bar and rock it gently backward and forwards to loosen the shutter buttons.

Click here to see this pry bar on Amazon.

5-in-1 Tool & Hammer

As you did on the pry bar, insert the 5-in-1 tool underneath the shutter button and tap it lightly with a hammer until it cuts the face off.

Click here to see this 5-in-1 tool on Amazon.

Click here to see this hammer on Amazon.

3. Remove The Window Shutters

After extracting all the spikes or shutter buttons with the tools you have chosen, remove the window shutter from the vinyl siding. Just take them out and put them aside before continuing.

4. Remove All The Insect Nests

Be aware that some shutters may harbor wasps or other insect nests. You might want to remove these nests before you proceeds.

Using a high-pressure electric washer, you may power wash the house or on the opposite side of the shutter later to remove these nests and bugs. However, you can scrap them away.

Click here to see this electric pressure washer on Amazon.

5. Extract The Remaining Spike Base

Newer, stronger spikes may pull out intact, while other older, more frail spikes may break in the process. To extract the spike base, grip with pliers and pull.

Alternatively, use diagonal cutting pliers to sever the remaining spike at the face of the siding, leaving a portion of the spike just under the surface.

See this pair of standard pliers on Amazon.

See this pair of diagonal cutting pliers on Amazon.

6. Clean Up The Window Shutter Under Surface

Over time the area under the shutter has certainly become dirty. You may wish to clean the surface with a scrub brush to prepare for replacement shutters.

Click here to see this brush set on Amazon.

7. Caulk The Holes

Caulk hole

To eliminate an entry point for moisture or insects, fill each hole with silicone caulk. You're then ready to install new replacement shutters if you plan to.

Click here to see this silicone caulk on Amazon.

The YouTube video below might help you understand how to take shutters off of the vinyl siding:

How To Attach Shutters To Vinyl Siding

A two pane vinyl window with shutters on a vinyl siding house, How To Remove Shutters From Vinyl Siding [Step By Step Guide]

Now that you know how to remove the shutters, it's time to start replacing new shutters for your vinyl siding! With some guidance below, you will successfully install your shutters.

1. Check The Window's Dimensions

Man checking window dimension

Measure the windows before making a new shutter purchase to make sure you got the proper size. To do this, use a ruler or measuring tape.

Except for the sill, the height of the shutter is equal to that of the window opening.

Click here to see this ruler on Amazon.

Click here to see this tape measure on Amazon.

When purchasing shutters for your home's space between two windows, measure the distance between the two windows to make sure the shutters will fit without overlapping.

2. Mark The Shutter Hangers' Positions

Put the shutters next to the window. Leave a ¼” space between the vinyl or composite shutter and the window when mounting them.

It will enable the material to expand and contract as the temperature varies throughout the year.

If you're installing wood shutters, there is no gap necessary. Before you mark the corners with your pencil, use a level to ensure these crucial spots are level.

Click here to see these pencils on Amazon.

Click here to see this level on Amazon.

3. Make Holes In The Vinyl Siding

Drilling vinyl siding

Place the shutters facing up on a flat platform, on top of two sawhorses or a scrap of plywood. Mark a spot 2” from the top and 2” from the bottom in the middle of both side rails.

Click here to see these sawhorses on Amazon.

Six fasteners must be used when installing shutters longer than 40”—one in each corner and another in the middle of each rail.

After designating the holes, drill pilot holes through the shutters using a ¼” scrap. To do this, use a screwdriver.

Click here to see this drill on Amazon.

Click here to see this screwdriver kit on Amazon.

4. Mount The Shutters Into The Siding

Use a piece of tape or a felt tip pen to mark the measurement at three ¼” from the drill bit's tip. With the help of the corner marking you previously made, place your shutter next to the window.

Click here to see this masking tape on Amazon.

To prevent accidental breaking or cracking of your exterior shutters, drill through each hole in your siding and shutter no deeper than three ¼” of an inch below the surface level, using your mark as a depth guide.

Metal screws and plastic plugs are two different installation options for external shutters. For the most stability, use a cordless driver to pound in metal or wooden shutters when fastening them!

Install the fasteners for the exterior shutters into the vinyl siding using the hammer.

The fasteners secure the shutter to the house while allowing it to expand and contract without endangering the vinyl or the shutter.

Be careful not to overtighten the screws to prevent damaging the siding. Once the shutters are in place, you can cover the screw heads with screw caps.

Click here to see these screw caps on Amazon.

To visualize how the process is done, a video on YouTube is shown below:

Is It Better To Paint Or Replace Vinyl Shutters?

Vinyl siding and vinyl shutters in the residential home

Authentic shutters that fit your house can cost several hundred dollars. However, external vinyl shutters cost between $40 and $60, while interior vinyl shutters cost between $100 and $300.

The cost of restoring shutters with intricate designs is typically less than that of duplicating them.

The least expensive option for updating a shutter is frequently painting vinyl shutters. The steps are to remove the shutter, wash it, and then, in most cases, spray it with a paint spray setup.

On average, eight sets of shutters can be painted in two coats with one gallon of finish paint.

Since ladders must be moved to reach the higher sets, the labor time required to remove and reinstall shutters is frequently shorter than the time needed to spray them (minus drying time).

How Much Does It Cost To Repair/Replace Shutters By A Professional?

The nationwide average price for professional shutter repair, including parts and labor, is $139 to $437.

Replacement shutters may be a better option when damage is severe, or repairs are challenging, as is frequently the case for composite or vinyl shutters.

Installation of new shutters typically costs between $125 and $1,150 per window, including supplies and labor. Installation fees for high-end solutions, including motorized or accordion shutters, can range from $400 to more than $1,100 per window.

When estimating the cost of a shutter repair service, shutter repair professionals frequently visit your home, especially if the issues are complex.

Instead of providing a detailed project estimate, they can quote an hourly charge in the $55 to $100 range for simple jobs.

Hiring a handyperson with experience in house repairs could help you save money if you only want minor repairs, such as repairing hardware or painting a shutter.

They usually bill $20 to $60 per hour plus material costs.

To Finish Up

We hope this article clarifies how to remove shutters from the vinyl siding on your house.

You may complete the task effectively in less than an hour with just a few essential tools and the desire to do the job. If you can’t, you can rely on a professional without running the danger of causing any harm.

Made it to the end? Check out these related posts below!

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What Is The Best Paint To Use On Vinyl Siding?