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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard?

May 15, 2017

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in St. George has never been easier. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be unwieldy, tedious, or just too difficult to DIY. One project that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

St. George DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a few of the issues that may come up when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it might look easy at a glance, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a good amount of differences between individual windows that will impact how you need to measure.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening does it go? What kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

All these factors can have an impact the size of shutters you’ll want and what frame you choose. That also changes how you measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters appears during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s a common mistake to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying shutters made of the wrong material. For example, purchasing natural wood shutters for a space in your home that should have a waterproof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build 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 like your sliding glass doors.

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts helps avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight error in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in St. George bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly due to the fact that 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 make gaps. Caulking a quarter or half-inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you some cash if it’s all done 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 all the money you could save. For a perfect installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters St. George by calling 435-485-9332.