Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

Steve Hill

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Detroit has never been easier. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, many once-difficult projects are now very doable on your own.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be cumbersome, tedious, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One project that may belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Detroit DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a couple of the problems that can arise when trying to put in shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may seem 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 wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that will affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an outside or inside mount? How thick is the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how deep into the window jamb should it need to sit? Which style of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

All these factors can change which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can pop up in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of variation in shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s a common mistake to buy the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Purchasing shutters that are the wrong material. For example, getting real wood shutters to put in a room that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter configuration that blocks window movement, meaning you can’t fully open the window.

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

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

Installing DIY Shutters

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

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a small slip-up in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Detroit 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 because few window frames are perfectly square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating 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.

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. But if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your shutter or to your window.

DIY Shutters – Are They 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 easy it is for something to go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you might save. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Detroit by calling 248-429-9294.