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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Detroit is easier than ever. 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 fall into 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 on the surface, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “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.

Have you decided whether your shutters will 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 kind of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

All these factors can have an impact which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you need to measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next pitfall 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 the wrong material for shutters. For example, buying real wood shutters to put in a room 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 like your sliding glass 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

The most difficult part of DIYing shutters, similar to any home project, is in actually installing them.

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a small slip-up in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and your window’s position, 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 exactly fit your window frame. 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 install DIY shutters, 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 not going to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if it’s all done correctly. 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 flawless installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Detroit by calling 248-429-9294.