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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done by yourself in Raleigh is easier than ever. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to you, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

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

Raleigh DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a couple of the issues that might come up when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it may seem easy at the start, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a lot of ways windows can vary that will change the way you measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an outside or inside mount? How thick is the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window jamb will it need to sit? What style of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliders?

All these factors can have an impact which type of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters can arise during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re doing it alone, it can be easy to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For instance, ordering hardwood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a moisture-proof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build that doesn’t let you open or close your window all the way.

  • Ordering the wrong type of shutter frame, specifically for specialty windows like in sidelight windows.

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with shutter experts helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a small mistake in measuring at the beginning or in hanging a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and in some cases hazardous.

Shutter installation in Raleigh bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are a perfect square. Attaching 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 ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, 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. However if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters may save you some cash 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 all the money you could have saved. For a professional installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window treatment pro at Sunburst Shutters Raleigh by calling 919-887-9198.