How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

Greg Arnett

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 unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do by yourself. One project that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Phoenix DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a couple of the problems that may arise 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 affect how you should measure for shutters.

For example, will your shutters 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 style of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

The answers to each of these questions can affect which kind of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you need to 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 ways shutter vary, 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:

  • Buying shutters that are the wrong material. 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 can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

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 screwing in a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes dangerous.

Shutter installation in Phoenix 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 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 more than you bargained for.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, 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’s all done correctly. But it’s important to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you all the money you would have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters Phoenix by calling 480-485-7743.