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Shutters in a dining room

How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects on your own in Gainesville is easier than ever. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too complex to do on your own. One project that might be part of that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Gainesville DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a few of the problems that might come up when you try 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 be a little tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There’s about a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to do it right54.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that can affect how you should measure for shutters.

Do you know if your shutters need to be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how deep into the window opening should it go? What style of frame do you need for casement-in windows, crank windows or sliders?

Each of these can change which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters springs up 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’s a common mistake to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying shutters made of the wrong material. For instance, buying real wood shutters to put in a room that should have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Ordering a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window like your sliding glass doors.

We’ve also seen some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with a shutter company helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing DIY Shutters

Where DIY shutters can become really hard is when it comes time to install them, as you probably guessed.

There are a few reasons for this – first, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a small error in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Gainesville bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t perfectly square. Installing the shutter flush to one edge of the window could force the entire shutter to not be square and make gaps. Caulking a quarter or half-inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re on your own a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your shutter or to your window.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

DIYing your shutters can save you money if it all goes according to plan. But it’s important to know just how easily something can go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you all the money you might save. For a flawless installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Gainesville by calling 813-602-5966.