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Shutters in a dining room

Are DIY Shutters Hard?

May 15, 2017

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 DIY. 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 come up when trying to install shutters as a DIY project.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it might look easy at the start, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat 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 sliders?

All these factors can have an impact 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 arises 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 for a space in your home 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 the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for unique windows like in 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 slip-up in measuring at the start or in screwing in a bracket can throw everything else off. 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 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 exactly fit your window frame. 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 on your own 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 professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the job 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.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own might save you money if you do everything 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 more money than you might have saved. For a flawless installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design expert at Sunburst Shutters San Jose by calling 916-542-1305.