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Shutters in a dining room

How Difficult Are DIY Shutters?

May 15, 2017

Getting home design projects done by yourself in San Antonio is a lot easier than it used to be. With resources easily available to savvy homeowners, many once-difficult projects are now very doable on your own.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be inconvenient, time-consuming, or just too complex to do on your own. One job that may be part of that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

San Antonio DIY shutters in living room. 

Here are just a couple of the problems that may pop up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY job.

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Although it may seem easy on the surface, getting the right window measurements for plantation shutters can get a little tricky. As one of our shutter experts says, “There are a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a lot of ways windows can vary that can change the way you measure.

For example, will your shutters 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 should it need to sit? What kind of frame do you need for tilt-in windows, swinging windows or glass doors?

All these factors can change which style of shutters and frame are appropriate. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next problem area for DIY shutters can appear during the buying process. Just like the variation in windows, there’s a lot of differences between types of shutters, and if you’re flying solo, it’s easy to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Getting 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.

  • 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 with shutter terminology. Talking to shutter experts helps avoid 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 installing them.

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and one slight slip-up in measuring at the start or in installing a bracket can throw everything else off. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be exhausting and in some cases hazardous.

Shutter installation in San Antonio 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 most window frames aren’t perfectly square. Attaching the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could force the entire shutter to not be square and create gaps. Needing to caulk a quarter or half-inch gap is typical with shutter installations, and if you’re an inexperienced DIYer a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you install DIY shutters, you don’t have a safety net. If a professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the product and installation with a warranty. However if something goes wrong when you try to install yourself, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

Is It Worth It To DIY Shutters?

DIYing your shutters 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 more money than you might have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window treatment expert at Sunburst Shutters San Antonio by calling 210-876-0377.