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Plantation shutters in a bedroom

How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

May 17, 2017

It’s easier than ever to DIY a lot of projects around your home. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable on your own.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be cumbersome, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One job that may fall into that category is DIY plantation shutters.

Plantation shutters in a living room 

Here are just a few of the problems that can come up when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it may seem easy on the surface, getting the exact right window measurements for plantation shutters can be very tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There are about a thousand ways to measure wrong, but only one way to measure right.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that will 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 frame of the shutters you’re looking at buying and how far into the window opening will it go? What type of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, crank windows, or sliding windows?

The answers to each of these questions can affect what size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you choose, and by extension, how you measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters appears in the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of variation in shutters, and if you’re flying solo it can be easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Purchasing shutters made of the wrong material. For example, getting natural wood shutters for a space in your home that might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.
  • Picking a shutter option that impedes window movement, making it so you can’t fully open the window.
  • Getting the wrong type of frame, especially for specialty windows like in French doors.

In addition, there can be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with a shutter company helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is trying to install them, as you might have guessed.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a slight mistake in measuring at the beginning or in installing a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in some cases dangerous.

Plantation shutter installation 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s fairly common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is because most window frames aren’t perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re on your own a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, when you DIY a shutter installation, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However, if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to your shutter or to your window.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own may save you money if you do everything correctly. But it’s important to know just how easy it is for something to go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money before all is said and done. For a perfect installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters by calling 877-786-2877.