How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

Curtis Orton

Doing home design projects 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 inconvenient, tedious, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One job that might belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Sacramento DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the issues that can arise 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 somewhat 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 affect how you should measure for shutters.

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 style 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 flying solo, 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 real wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Ordering a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window such as your French doors.

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

DIY Shutter Installation

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

There are a few reasons for this – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a slight slip-up 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 your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be strenuous 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 force the entire shutter to be crooked and create gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

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.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

DIYing your shutters might save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. 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 than you could have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Sacramento by calling 916-250-0758.