Are DIY Shutters Hard?

Curtis Orton

Doing home improvement projects on your own in San Jose is easier than ever. With resources easily available to walk you through every step, a lot of once-difficult projects are now very doable on your own.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too difficult to do on your own. One project that may be part of that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

San Jose DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a few 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 at the start, getting the correct window measurements for plantation shutters can be a little tricky. As one of our installers says, “There are a thousand ways you can measure windows wrong, but only one way to measure right54.” There’s a good amount of differences between individual windows that will impact how you need to measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to 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 jamb does it go? Which kind of frame is best for casement-in windows, swinging windows or sliding windows?

All these factors can change which kind of shutters and frame are appropriate. By extension, that changes how you need to measure your windows.

DIY Shutter Buying

The next problem area for DIY shutters appears during 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 can be easy to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Purchasing the wrong material for shutters. For instance, ordering natural wood shutters to put in a room that might actually need a waterproof window treatment.

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

  • Getting a shutter with a frame that doesn’t work well with your specialty window such as your sliding glass doors.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion about certain shutter terms. Talking to a shutter company can help clear up any confusion, so you get exactly what you want for your windows.

DIY Shutter Installation

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one small error in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically hard to maneuver on your own; depending on the material and your window’s position, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in certain scenarios hazardous.

Shutter installation in San Jose 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 a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening 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 more than you bargained for.

Last, when you do a DIY shutter project, you don’t have a safety net. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the project with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you DIY, you’re not likely 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 you do everything exactly right. But it’s important to know just how easily something can go wrong during the process, and how that can cost you more money than you might have saved. For a perfect installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters San Jose by calling 916-542-1305.