Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

Neil Blackwelder

Getting home improvement projects done by yourself in Charlotte has never been easier. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to walk you through every step, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, tedious, or just too difficult to DIY. One project that might belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Charlotte DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a couple of the problems that may arise when you try to install shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may seem easy at a glance, 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 change the way you measure.

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 differences between types of shutters, and if you’re on your own, it can be easy to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying 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.

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

We’ve also seen some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

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 is a precise procedure, and a tiny mistake in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Charlotte bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is 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 outside your expertise.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have a safety net. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the job 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.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if you do everything correctly. But it’s important to 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.