How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Danielle Micich

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 inconvenient, tedious, or just too complex to DIY. One project that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Fort Lauderdale DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a handful of the problems that might arise 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 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 good amount of variation in windows that will change the way you measure.

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 far into the window opening will it go? What style of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliders?

The answers to each of these questions 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 thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For instance, purchasing hardwood 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 the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for specialty windows like in sliding glass 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 think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing DIY Shutters

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 small 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 where your window is, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Fort Lauderdale bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s fairly common 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. It’s typical for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re doing it alone a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your shutter or to your window.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

DIYing your shutters can save you money 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 might have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Fort Lauderdale by calling 561-440-8535.