How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Eric Ramsey

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Tampa is easier than ever. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

There are exceptions, though – projects that may be cumbersome, time-consuming, or just too complex to do on your own. One job that might be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Tampa DIY shutters in living room. 

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

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may look easy at the start, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There are a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the shutter frame you’re looking at and how deep into the window jamb does it go? Which style of frame do you need for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

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

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can appear 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 can be easy to buy the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Purchasing shutters made of the wrong material. For example, purchasing hardwood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Getting a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window like your sidelight windows.

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and a slight error in measuring at the beginning or in screwing in a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. 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 hazardous.

Shutter installation in Tampa bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. 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 not be square and create gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes awry 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?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if it’s all done exactly right. But it’s worthwhile to know just how easy it is for something to go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you all the money you could have saved. For a flawless installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Tampa by calling 813-580-7288.