How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Blake Jarman

Getting home design projects done by yourself in Raleigh has never been easier. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to walk you through every step, 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 handful of the issues that might arise when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it can 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 do it right54.” There’s a lot of ways windows can vary that will change the way you measure.

For example, will your shutters be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters 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 sliding windows?

The answers to each of these questions can change 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 variation in shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it can be easy to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting 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 configuration 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 likely 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 physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in some cases hazardous.

Shutter installation in Raleigh bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. 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 your shutter or to your window.

Are DIY Shutters 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.