How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Kimball Jones

Getting home design projects done on your own in San Diego has never been easier. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too difficult to DIY. One job that might belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

San Diego DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the issues that can pop up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it might seem easy on the surface, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that can change the way you measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to be on an outside or inside mount? How thick is the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening will it go? Which style of frame is needed for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

Each of these can change which style of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters can arise in the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of variation in shutters, and if you’re flying solo, it can be easy to buy the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For instance, purchasing hardwood shutters to put in a room that needs to have a moisture-proof 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.

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

DIY Shutter Installation

The most difficult part of DIY shutters, like with any home improvement job, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a small slip-up in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the location of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in certain scenarios dangerous.

Shutter installation in San Diego bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is 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 be crooked and make gaps. Needing to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the project with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re on your own if there’s any 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 correctly. 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 might save. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters San Diego by calling 858-956-5822.