How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

Dan Taylor

Doing home design projects by yourself in Atlanta is a lot easier than it used to be. 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 unwieldy, tedious, or just too complex to do on your own. One project that might belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Atlanta DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a handful of the issues that can come up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it may seem easy at a glance, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

Do you know if your shutters need to 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 should it go? What type of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or glass doors?

The answers to each of these questions can affect the size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you choose. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next pitfall for DIY shutters pops up during 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 buy the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For instance, purchasing real wood shutters to put in a room that should have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

  • Getting a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window such as your sliding glass doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing DIY Shutters

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight mistake in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Atlanta bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly due to the fact that most window frames aren’t perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one edge of the window 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 a little too much.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters may save you money if it all goes according to plan. 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 complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Atlanta by calling 404-962-8517.