Find out how to replace shutters. Learn why you should go with fiberglass shutters, which will stand up better to the moisture from your brick walls. Get tips on using a hammer drill with a masonry bit to attach them.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to go to Alabama and Peggy’s looking to replace some shutters .
Peggy, how can we help?
PEGGY: Hi, Leslie. Yes, I live here in Enterprise, Alabama and over a period of years my shutters on the outside of my brick home have been painted over many, many times but I don’t know how to take them down from the – I know I’m probably pretty stupid because I’m just a crazy female trying to do this stuff (inaudible) …
LESLIE: Don’t ever say things like that.
TOM: No way. If you weren’t smart, you wouldn’t be living in a town called Enterprise.
PEGGY: That’s right; the starship Enterprise. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: There you go. I was thinking that you are very enterprising folks.
PEGGY: Oh yeah, well …
LESLIE: And she’s like, “I like Star Trek.”
PEGGY: It does feel like living in Star Trek sometimes. You’re right.
TOM: Sometimes a house is pretty confusing; it is like an alien beast. (Leslie chuckles)
PEGGY: That’s true. But if you could please tell me what kind of equipment do I use to drill holes in the brick or how do I …
TOM: Well, if the shutters are up, Peggy, the holes are probably already drilled. You’ve just got to locate the fasteners. The thing is they may have been painted over. But I would just check the corners and I’m sure that they’re probably just screwed to the brick wall themselves, so you wouldn’t join …
LESLIE: Are they functioning shutters ?
PEGGY: Well, they are, Leslie, but the fact of the matter is over a period of years – I’ve lived here since 1985 and I do believe that they need to replace. Paint jobs can only hide so many flaws over the years and then you’ve got to go with something else, you know?
TOM: Well, the other thing that happens is with wood shutters and brick houses  you get a lot of moisture on the back side of the shutter where you never paint. So it tends to rot out sort of from the back forward. So when you …
LESLIE: Just from the moisture in the brick itself.
TOM: Yeah. And the problem is that when you do take those off, Peggy, you might find that they’re rotted and not be able to get them back on, so you could be looking at a shutter replacement.
Now if you’re going to replace them, I would probably recommend that you look at the fiberglass shutters because they really do look fabulous. They can be painted to match the house. And they’re not going to rot. Once you paint them, the paint lasts a lot longer because fiberglass is not organic. So without the expansion and contraction and all of that, the paint tends to stay a lot longer.
PEGGY: Fiberglass shutters. OK, I’ll sure give that a look-see.
LESLIE: And if you’re going to be putting these up yourself and you have to replace the hinges – like maybe the fiberglass ones have a special hinging system that you need – what you need to do, if you have or can you rent or you have a neighbor who has something that’s called a hammer drill. And basically it’s just a lot stronger and way noisier and it’s meant to go into masonry. And you need a special masonry bit; probably like a Tapcon or something that you might use to put in this hinging system. And it’s basically you’re going to drill a hole in that masonry, you’re going to – I like to put some sort of like a wire. I usually take some basic gardening wire – that green, craft wire – and take a piece that’s as deep as the hole that I’m making and fold it in half and stick it in there. So when I screw into that, the wire will sort of wrap itself around and grab hold to the masonry so it acts like an anchor.
So it’s a good tip because sometimes if you just put the – if you just drill a hole and then you drive the screw into it, it just has too much play and it will come right out and that wire really sort of makes it tight.
You can also take, if you’re outside, even like a scrap of like a tree branch. Just cut it to the depth of that space, put it in that hole, and it’ll act almost like a plug or an anchor itself.
PEGGY: OK. Alright. Okey-dokey. That sounds great.
TOM: Alright, go for it, Peggy. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.