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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects by yourself in Indianapolis is a lot easier than it used to be. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to you, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable by yourself.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do on your own. One job that may belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Indianapolis DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a few of the issues that might pop up when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may look easy at a glance, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat tricky. As one of our installers says, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that can change the way you measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how far into the window jamb should it go? Which type of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or glass doors?

Each of these can have an impact which kind of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next difficulty for DIY shutters arises during the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re flying solo, it’s a common mistake to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Buying the wrong material for shutters. For instance, ordering real wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

  • Choosing the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for unique windows like in sidelight windows.

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing DIY Shutters

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is when it comes time to install them, as you likely guessed.

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight mistake in measuring at the start or in hanging 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 the location of your window, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Indianapolis bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s pretty common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to be crooked and make gaps. Needing to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, 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 project with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters might save you money if you do everything exactly right. But it’s important to know just how easily something can go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you might save. For a flawless installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Indianapolis by calling 317-558-9066.