Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

Eric Ramsey

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in Destin has never been easier. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to savvy homeowners, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – projects that may be cumbersome, time-consuming, or just too complex to DIY. One project that may fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Destin DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a handful of the problems that can come up when you try to install shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it might look easy at a glance, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There’s about a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one right way54.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that will impact how you need to measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the shutter frame you’re thinking about and how far into the window jamb should it need to sit? Which kind of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

All these factors can have an impact what size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you choose. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next difficulty for DIY shutters springs up in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re on your own, it’s a common mistake to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For instance, getting hardwood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Getting the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for unique windows like in French doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with shutter experts helps avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a tiny error in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in certain scenarios hazardous.

Shutter installation in Destin bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and make gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have a safety net. If a shutter company installs 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 on your own if there’s any damage to your shutter or to your window.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters may save you money if you do everything exactly right. But it’s worthwhile to know just how easily something can go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you could save. For a flawless installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment pro at Sunburst Shutters Destin by calling 850-203-0419.