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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects on your own in Fort Myers is a lot easier than it used to be. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to you, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable by yourself.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One job that might fall into that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Fort Myers DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a few of the issues that might come up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it can look easy at a glance, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our team members says, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re looking at and how far into the window opening does it go? Which style of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

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

DIY Shutter Buying

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

  • Purchasing shutters that are the wrong material. For instance, buying natural wood shutters for a space in your home that should have a waterproof window treatment.

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

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

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts 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 trying to install them, as you might have guessed.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight error in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Fort Myers bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s fairly typical for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and making 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.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the job with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, 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 might save you some cash if you do everything correctly. 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 might save. For a professional installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Fort Myers by calling 239-208-6577.