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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

May 15, 2017

Doing home design projects by yourself in Virginia Beach has never been easier. With resources easily available to you, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

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

Virginia Beach DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a few of the issues that might pop up when you try to install shutters as a DIY project.

Measuring Your Windows

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’s about a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one right way.” There’s a good amount of variation in windows that can impact how you need to measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will be on an inside mount or an outside mount? What’s the thickness of the frame of the shutters you’re looking at and how far into the window jamb should it go? What type of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliders?

The answers to each of these questions can have an impact which type of shutters and frame are appropriate. By extension, that changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next pitfall 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 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 the wrong material for shutters. For instance, getting hardwood shutters to put in a room that should have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

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

In addition, there can be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to a shutter company helps eliminate any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

Installing DIY Shutters

Where DIY shutters can become most difficult is when it comes time to install them, as you likely guessed.

There are a few reasons it’s so difficult – first, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one tiny error in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can ruin the whole thing. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be strenuous and in certain scenarios dangerous.

Shutter installation in Virginia Beach bedroom. 

Many DIYers also don’t realize that it’s pretty typical for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly because most window frames aren’t a perfect square. Attaching the shutter flush to one edge of the window could result in the shutter looking crooked and creating gaps. Caulking a quarter or half-inch 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 anything to fall back on. If a professional does your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the project with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

Are DIY Shutters Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can 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 might save. For a flawless installation and complete peace of mind, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Virginia Beach by calling 757-210-6448.