How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

Kasey Udy

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in St. George is easier than ever. 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 do on your own. 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 might arise when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it might look easy on the surface, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat 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 do it 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 style of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

The answers to each of these questions can change which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters arises 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:

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

  • 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 can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing Shutters Yourself

The hardest part of DIY shutters, like with any home project, is in actually putting them in.

There are a few reasons for this – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight error in measuring at the start or in hanging 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 strenuous and in some cases 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 result in the shutter looking crooked and making gaps. It’s typical for an installer to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Last, when you install DIY shutters, 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 on your own if there’s any 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 you should know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you all the money you would save. For a flawless installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters St. George by calling 435-485-9332.