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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done on your own in New Brunswick is a lot easier than it used to be. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be unwieldy, tedious, or just too complex to do by yourself. One job that might belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

New Brunswick DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a handful of the issues that might arise when trying to put in shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may look easy on the surface, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little tricky. As one of our installers says, “There’s about a thousand ways to measure windows wrong, but only one way to do it right54.” There’s a lot of variation in windows that can 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 far into the window opening does it need to sit? What type of frame do you need for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

Each of these can have an impact what size of shutters you’ll need and what frame you pick. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters can appear in the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re on your own, it’s easy 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 instance, buying natural wood shutters for a space in your home that might actually need a moisture-proof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter option 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 like your sliding glass doors.

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to shutter experts can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing DIY Shutters

The hardest part of DIYing shutters, similar to any home improvement job, is in actually putting them in.

First off, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one small slip-up in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in New Brunswick bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly because few window frames are perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one edge of the window could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Caulking a ¼ or ½inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be outside your expertise.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have a safety net. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the project with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re on your own if there’s any damage to your windows or the shutters.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if it’s all done exactly right. 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 design pro at Sunburst Shutters New Brunswick by calling 732-301-6168.