Are DIY Shutters Hard?

Gary Harding

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in Colorado Springs is easier than ever. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to savvy homeowners, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be cumbersome, time-consuming, or just too hard to do by yourself. One job that might be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Colorado Springs DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a couple of the issues that might pop up when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it can look easy on the surface, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little tricky. As one of our team members says, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that can change the way you measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to 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 jamb should it need to sit? Which type of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

Each of these can affect which style of shutters and frame are appropriate. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters springs up during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re flying solo, it can be easy to purchase the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

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

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

  • Choosing a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window such as your sidelight windows.

We’ve also seen some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Working with shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

Installing Shutters Yourself

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

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one slight error in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Colorado Springs bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. 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. Needing to caulk 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.

Finally, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

DIYing your shutters can save you money if you do everything correctly. 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 could have saved. For a flawless installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window treatment pro at Sunburst Shutters Colorado Springs by calling 303-625-6431.