Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

Stefano Diotaiuti

Getting home design projects done on your own in Nashville is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

There are exceptions, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too hard to do by yourself. One project that might be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Nashville DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a couple of the problems that might arise when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it might look easy at a glance, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get somewhat tricky. As a member of our team likes to say, “There’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that will impact how you need to measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the shutter frame you’re looking at and how far into the window opening should it need to sit? Which kind of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

All these factors can change which type of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next difficulty for DIY shutters can spring up in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re doing it alone, it’s a common mistake to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Purchasing shutters that are the wrong material. For example, ordering hardwood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Getting the wrong type of shutter frame, specifically for specialty windows like in sidelight windows.

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

Installing Shutters Yourself

The hardest part of DIY shutters, similar to any home project, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight error in measuring at the beginning or in hanging 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 sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Nashville bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because few window frames are a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one edge of the window could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Needing to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap is common with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Last, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll usually guarantee the project with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But it’s worthwhile to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you all the money you could save. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Nashville by calling 615-236-8530.