How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Darren Wong

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Honolulu is easier than ever. With resources easily available to you, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable by yourself.

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

Honolulu DIY shutters in living room. 

Here 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 correct 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 right way.” There’s a good amount of ways windows can vary that will affect how you should measure for shutters.

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 jamb does it need to sit? What style of frame is needed for casement-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

All these factors can have an impact which type of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you 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 variation in shutters, 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 the wrong material for shutters. For instance, getting real wood shutters for a space in your home that should have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

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

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts 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, like with any home improvement job, is in actually installing them.

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight error in measuring at the beginning or in screwing in a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and where your window is, 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 force the entire shutter to be crooked and make 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 project with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to your shutter or to your window.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But you should know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you all the money you could have saved. For a flawless installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Honolulu by calling 808-797-2004.