Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard?

May 15, 2017

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Clearwater is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to you, many once-difficult projects are now very doable on your own.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, tedious, or just too hard to do by yourself. One project that may be part of that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Clearwater DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a few of the problems that can pop up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it may look easy at a glance, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get very tricky. As one of our team members says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a lot of ways windows can vary that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? How thick is the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening will it go? Which type of frame is best for casement-in windows, crank windows or glass doors?

The answers to each of these questions can change the size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you pick. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters can pop up during the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of variation in shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s a common mistake to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For example, purchasing real wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a moisture-proof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter configuration that blocks window movement, making it so you can’t fully open the window.

  • Getting a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window like your French doors.

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing DIY Shutters

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is when it comes time to install them, as you probably guessed.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a slight slip-up in measuring at the beginning or in hanging a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in certain scenarios dangerous.

Shutter installation in Clearwater bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s fairly typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and making gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be a little too much.

Last, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters can save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But it’s worthwhile to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you all the money you would save. For a flawless installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Clearwater by calling 813-580-7288.