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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

May 15, 2017

Getting home improvement projects done by yourself in Charlotte is easier than ever. With resources easily available to you, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be unwieldy, tedious, or just too hard to do on your own. One project that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Charlotte DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the problems that might come up when you try to install shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it can seem easy on the surface, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one right way54.” There’s a lot of differences between individual 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 far into the window jamb does it need to sit? Which style of frame do you need for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

Each of these can have an impact the size of shutters you’ll want and what frame you pick. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can arise during the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re on your own, it’s easy to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

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

  • Picking a shutter option that impedes window movement, making it so you can’t fully open the window.

  • Choosing a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window like your sliding glass doors.

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing Shutters Yourself

Where DIY shutters can become really hard is when it comes time to install them, as you likely guessed.

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a small mistake in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Charlotte bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s fairly common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and make gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the job with a warranty. However if something goes wrong 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?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if you do everything correctly. But you should know just how easily something can go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you would have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Charlotte by calling 980-231-1116.