Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

Todd Hansen

Doing home design projects by yourself in Orlando is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too hard to DIY. One job that may be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Orlando 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 job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it can seem easy on the surface, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little tricky. As one of our team members says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that can 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 shutter frame you’re thinking about and how deep into the window jamb does it need to sit? Which kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

The answers to each of these questions can affect what size of shutters you’ll want and what frame you choose. That also changes how you measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters springs 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 that are the wrong material. For example, purchasing natural wood shutters to put in a room that might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build that impedes window movement, making it so you can’t fully open the window.

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

We’ve also seen some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with shutter experts helps avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a tiny error in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Orlando bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because few window frames are a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one edge of the window could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating gaps. Caulking 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.

Finally, 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 typically guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your windows or the shutters.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if it all goes according to plan. 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 could save. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Orlando by calling 407-630-7011.