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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

May 15, 2017

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

There are outliers, though – projects that may be unwieldy, tedious, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One job that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Sacramento DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a handful of the issues that can come up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it can look easy at the start, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As one of our team members says, “There are a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one right way54.” There’s a good amount of differences between individual windows that will change the way you measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re looking at and how far into the window jamb should it go? What kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

Each of these can affect which kind of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next pitfall for DIY shutters can pop up in the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s easy to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying shutters made of the wrong material. For example, getting hardwood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build that doesn’t let you open or close your window all the way.

  • Ordering the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for specialty windows like in sliding glass doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing DIY Shutters

Where DIY shutters can become really hard is trying to install them, as you probably guessed.

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a slight error in measuring at the beginning 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 location of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Sacramento 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. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating gaps. Needing to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Last, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have a safety net. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters might save you some cash if you do everything exactly right. But you should know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you more money than you would have saved. For a professional installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Sacramento by calling 916-665-0078.