How Hard Are DIY Shutters?

Gary Harding

Getting home improvement projects done on your own in Denver has never been easier. With resources easily available to you, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable by yourself.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be cumbersome, tedious, or just too complex to do on your own. One job that may belong to that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Denver DIY shutters in living room. 

These are just a handful of the problems that might pop up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it may look easy at the start, getting the precise window measurements for plantation shutters can get very tricky. As one of our team members says, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a good amount of ways windows can vary that can impact how you need to measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re looking at and how far into the window opening does it go? Which style of frame is needed for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

The answers to each of these questions can affect which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can arise during 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 purchase 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, buying real wood shutters to put in a room that needs to have a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Choosing the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for specialty windows like in sidelight windows.

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

Installing DIY Shutters

The most difficult part of DIY shutters, similar to any home project, is in actually installing them.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight mistake in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and where your window is, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Denver 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 result in the shutter looking crooked and creating 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 shutter installation yourself, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional installer puts in 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 shutter or to your window.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters might save you some cash if it all goes according to plan. But it’s important to know what all can go wrong at any time, and how that can cost you more money than you might save. For a flawless installation and total peace of mind, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters Denver by calling 720-538-0182.