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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done by yourself in Honolulu has never been easier. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be inconvenient, tedious, or just too hard to do by yourself. One job that may belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Honolulu DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a couple of the problems that can pop up when you try to install shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it might seem easy at the start, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that will 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 jamb should it need to sit? What kind of frame do you need for casement-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

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

DIY Shutter Buying

The next pitfall for DIY shutters appears during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s a common mistake to buy the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting shutters made of the wrong material. For instance, getting real wood shutters for a space in your home that might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

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

In addition, there can be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing Shutters Yourself

Where DIY shutters can become really hard is trying to install them, as you probably guessed.

There are a few reasons it’s hard – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight error 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 your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in certain scenarios hazardous.

Shutter installation in Honolulu bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly because few window frames are a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and making gaps. It’s common for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the job with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But it’s important to know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you all the money you would have saved. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Honolulu by calling 808-797-2004.