Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

Jacob Hayes

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Kingsport has never been easier. With resources easily available to you, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be cumbersome, time-consuming, or just too complex to do on your own. One project that may be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Kingsport DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a handful of the issues that can arise when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it can look easy on the surface, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a good amount of ways windows can vary that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? How thick is the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening does it need to sit? Which kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

Each of these can change the size of shutters you’ll want and what frame you choose. By extension, that changes how you measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next difficulty for DIY shutters arises in the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re on your own, it’s a common mistake to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For instance, getting natural wood shutters for a space in your home that might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

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

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to shutter experts helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

The most difficult part of DIY shutters, like with any home project, is in actually installing them.

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a tiny slip-up in measuring at the beginning or in hanging a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the location of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in certain scenarios hazardous.

Shutter installation in Kingsport bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly typical for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly because few window frames are a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to be crooked and create gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

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 usually guarantee the project 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 the shutters or any other part of your house.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But it’s important to know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you all the money you might save. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Kingsport by calling 276-685-5343.