Are DIY Shutters Hard?

Tyler Jorgensen

Doing home improvement projects on your own in Austin has never been easier. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to DIY. One job that might be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Austin DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a couple of the issues that might pop up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it can look easy at a glance, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be very tricky. As one of our team members says, “There are 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 impact how you need to measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to be on an inside mount or an outside mount? How thick is the frame of the shutters you’re thinking about and how deep into the window opening should it need to sit? Which style of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

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

Buying DIY Shutters

The next difficulty for DIY shutters can pop up during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re on your own, it’s easy to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

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

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

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

In addition, there can be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

Installing DIY Shutters

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 small error in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and your window’s location, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and in some cases hazardous.

Shutter installation in Austin bedroom. 

Something some DIYers don’t know is that it’s fairly common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and make gaps. Caulking a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the job with a warranty. However if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your shutter or to your window.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you some cash if you do everything exactly right. But it’s worthwhile to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you more money than you might have saved. For a professional installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Austin by calling 512-549-6077.