Are DIY Shutters Hard?

Kevin McCormack

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Jacksonville has never been easier. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to DIY. One project that might fall into that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Jacksonville DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a handful of the issues that may come up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it can look easy on the surface, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that can change the way you measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to 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 will it need to sit? Which kind of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliders?

Each of these can affect which type of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters springs up 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 can be easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

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

  • Picking a shutter build that doesn’t let you open or close your window all the way.

  • Choosing a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window such as your sliding glass doors.

We’ve also seen some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with a shutter company helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing DIY Shutters

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

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a tiny mistake in measuring at the start or in hanging 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 the location of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Jacksonville bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one edge of the window could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Last, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional installer puts in 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 on your own if there’s any damage to your windows or the shutters.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if it all goes according to plan. But it’s important to know just how easy it is for something to go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you would have saved. For a perfect installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Jacksonville by calling 904-289-1663.