Shutters in a dining room

How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

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 you, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, tedious, or just too complex to DIY. One project that might fall into that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Atlanta DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a couple 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 on the surface, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There are a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that can change the way you measure.

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?

All these factors can affect which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters can spring 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 might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build that blocks window movement, meaning you can’t fully open the window.

  • Getting a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window such as your French 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

The hardest part of DIYing shutters, similar to any home project, is in actually installing them.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight mistake in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and the position of your window, 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 almost always guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes wrong 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?

DIYing your shutters may save you money if it all goes according to plan. But you should know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you more money than you could 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.
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