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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done 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 might arise when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it may seem easy on the surface, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little 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 ways windows can vary 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 style 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 arises during 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’s a common mistake to buy the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

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

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

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

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one small slip-up 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 your window’s position, 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 fit the window frame precisely. 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. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

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 job with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for 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 complete peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Miami by calling 305-520-7515.