Shutters in a dining room

How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects 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 correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little 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 does it need to sit? Which kind of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

The answers to each of these questions can have an impact which style of shutters and frame are best for you. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next difficulty for DIY shutters can arise 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:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For instance, buying 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 a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window such as your sliding glass doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing Shutters Yourself

The most difficult part of DIYing shutters, similar to any home improvement job, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a small 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. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize 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 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.

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 would save. For a flawless installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window treatment pro at Sunburst Shutters Destin by calling 850-203-0419.
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