Nothing finishes off an old house like shutters. Not the cheesy plastic versions found on suburban split-levels, but real wood ones that open and close. Unfortunately, wood shutters are often neglected and allowed to deteriorate, so your first inclination might be to replace them. But in fact, new shutters — real ones, that is — typically cost more than the time and materials it takes to restore the originals.

I begin a shutter job by assessing the units’ general condition from the ground. Then I take the shutters down and inspect them to get the true scope of the damage.

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