The Best Custom Shutters, Blinds & Shades!
Proudly Serving the Phoenix metro area
Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done on your own in Phoenix has never been easier. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable by yourself.

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

Phoenix DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a handful of the problems that may come up when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it might look easy on the surface, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can be very tricky. As one of our installers says, “There are a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a lot of differences between individual windows that will 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 shutter frame you’re thinking about and how deep into the window jamb will it need to sit? What kind of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

The answers to each of these questions can affect the size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you choose. That also changes how you measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

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

  • Getting the wrong material for shutters. For example, purchasing natural 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.

  • Getting the wrong type of shutter frame, specifically for unique 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 avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you think you’re getting when you buy your shutters.

DIY Shutter Installation

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one tiny mistake in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be a little heavy; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and in some cases dangerous.

Shutter installation in Phoenix bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty common for shutters to not exactly fit your window frame. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are perfectly square. Installing the shutter flush to one edge of the window could result in the shutter looking crooked and making gaps. It’s typical for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

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 usually guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. But if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your windows or the shutters.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters may save you money if it all goes according to plan. But you should know just how easy it is for something to go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you all the money you could have saved. For a professional installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Phoenix by calling 480-485-7743.