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Shutters in a dining room

How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Doing home improvement projects on your own in Dallas 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 – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too hard to do on your own. One job that might belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Dallas DIY shutters in living room. 

Here 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

Though it can look easy at a glance, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There’s about 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 can change the way you measure.

For example, will your shutters be on an inside mount or an outside mount? How thick is the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening should it need to sit? Which style of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

Each of these can affect which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can appear in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of variation in shutters, and if you’re doing it alone, it can be easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For example, ordering natural wood shutters for a space in your home 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.

  • Getting the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for unique windows like in sliding glass doors.

We’ve also seen some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with a shutter company 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 improvement job, is in actually installing them.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one tiny mistake in measuring at the beginning 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 exhausting and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Dallas bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly common for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating gaps. Caulking a ¼ or ½inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll typically 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 shutter or to your window.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters can save you money if you do everything correctly. But it’s important to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you more money than you would have saved. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Dallas by calling 214-301-5066.