Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

Spencer Madsen

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in Boise is easier than ever. With resources easily available to you, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too complex to do by yourself. One project that may belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Boise DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a few of the problems that can arise when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it can look easy at the start, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a lot of variation in 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 looking at and how far into the window jamb does it go? Which kind of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

All these factors 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.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next pitfall for DIY shutters can pop up in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it can be easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Purchasing shutters made of the wrong material. For example, getting natural wood shutters to put in a room that should have a waterproof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter option that impedes 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 sidelight windows.

In addition, there can be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

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 tiny error in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in some cases hazardous.

Shutter installation in Boise 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 because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to be crooked and make gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be a little too much.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the project with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re not going to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if you do everything exactly right. But you should know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you all the money you would save. For a perfect installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment pro at Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions by calling 208-609-9129.