Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

Charlie Cole and Brady Parker

Getting home improvement projects done 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 unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One job that might belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Fort Myers DIY shutters in living room. 

Here 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 may look easy at a glance, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As one of our team members says, “There’s about a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one right way54.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

Have you decided whether your shutters will 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 should 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 need to 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 variation in shutters, and if you’re on your own, it’s easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Purchasing the wrong material for shutters. For instance, getting 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.

In addition, there can be 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

The most difficult part of DIY shutters, like with any home project, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight slip-up 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 your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Fort Myers bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize 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 force the entire shutter to be crooked and make gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap, 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 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 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 the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Fort Myers by calling 239-208-6577.