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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects on your own in Fort Lauderdale is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be unwieldy, tedious, or just too complex to do on your own. One project that might belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Fort Lauderdale DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a couple of the problems that might pop up when trying to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Although it might seem easy at a glance, 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 wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” 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 outside or inside mount? How thick is the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how deep into the window opening will it need to sit? What style of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

All these factors can have an impact which kind of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters can pop up during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of 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 real wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

  • Ordering a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window such as your French doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Working with shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is trying to install them, as you might have guessed.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a tiny mistake in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Fort Lauderdale bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s fairly typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Caulking a ¼ or ½inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Finally, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not going to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters might save you money if it’s all done exactly right. 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 might have saved. For a professional installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Fort Lauderdale by calling 561-440-8535.