How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

Collins Jones

Getting home design projects done 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 difficult to DIY. One job that might belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Dallas DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the problems that can arise when trying to put in shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it may look easy on the surface, getting the right 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 affect how you should measure for shutters.

Have you decided whether your shutters will 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 sliders?

Each of these can affect the size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you pick. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next pitfall 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 flying solo, it’s easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying shutters that are the wrong material. For example, ordering natural wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

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

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with 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

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 screwing in 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 location, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and sometimes 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. It’s typical for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, 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 almost always 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 might save you money if it all goes according to plan. But you should 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 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.