How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

David White

Doing home design projects by yourself in Miami is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be cumbersome, tedious, or just too difficult to DIY. One project that may belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Miami DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a couple of the problems that may come up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it may seem easy at a glance, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “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 will affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? How thick is the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how far into the window opening should it go? What kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

All these factors can affect the size of shutters you’ll want and what frame you choose. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters appears 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 a common mistake to buy the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Purchasing the wrong material for shutters. For instance, purchasing real wood shutters to put in a room that should have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Ordering the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for unique windows like in French doors.

In addition, there can be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company helps avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing Shutters Yourself

The most difficult part of DIYing shutters, similar to any home project, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one small error in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Miami bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s fairly common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are a perfect square. Installing 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 solo a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the project with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your shutter or to your window.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

Doing a shutter installation on your own may save you some cash if it’s all done exactly right. But it’s worthwhile to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you all the money you would have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Miami by calling 305-520-7515.