How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Holly Perron

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in Hartford is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to you, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable on your own.

There are exceptions, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to DIY. One job that may be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Hartford DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the issues that can come up when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it can look easy at a glance, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to do it right54.” There’s a good amount of differences between individual 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? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how deep into the window opening should it go? What style of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

All these factors can change which type of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters appears in 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 purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For example, getting hardwood shutters to put in a room that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Choosing a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window like 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 want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is trying to install them, as you might have guessed.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a tiny error in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the location of your window, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Hartford bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because few window frames are perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Caulking a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re on your own a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

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. However if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not going to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters may save you some cash if you do everything 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 more money than you could save. For a perfect installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Hartford by calling 860-266-5459.