Are DIY Shutters Difficult?

Tyler Jorgensen

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Oklahoma City is easier than ever. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to walk you through every step, many projects that used to be hard are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – projects that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too complex to DIY. One job that might fall into that category is installing DIY plantation shutters.

Oklahoma City DIY shutters in living room. 

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

DIY Window Measuring for Shutters

Though it may seem easy at a glance, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can get very tricky. As one of our team members says, “There are a thousand wrong ways to measure windows, but only one way to do it right.” There’s a good amount of differences between individual windows that will change the way you measure.

Have you decided whether your shutters will 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 go? Which type of frame is needed for casement-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

The answers to each of these questions can have an impact which kind of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you should measure your windows.

Buying DIY Shutters

The next pitfall for DIY shutters appears during the buying process. As with the variation in windows, there’s a lot of ways shutter vary, and if you’re on your own, it can be easy to buy the wrong thing. Here are a few common DIY mistakes:

  • Purchasing shutters made of the wrong material. For example, getting real wood shutters for a space in your home that should have a waterproof window treatment.

  • Picking a shutter build that doesn’t let you open or close your window all the way.

  • Choosing a shutter with a frame that doesn’t fit your specialty window such as your French doors.

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

Installing DIY Shutters

The most difficult part of DIY shutters, like with any home project, is in actually putting them in.

There are a few reasons it’s hard – first, shutter installation needs to be precise, and one small error in measuring at the beginning or in installing a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. Shutters can also be physically difficult to install; depending on the material and the position of your window, lifting a shutter can be very cumbersome and in certain scenarios dangerous.

Shutter installation in Oklahoma City bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s pretty common for shutters to not fill out the whole window frame exactly. This is mainly because few window frames are a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one side of the window opening could result in the shutter looking crooked and making gaps. It’s typical for an installer to caulk a ¼ or ½inch gap, and if you’re solo a caulking job could be more than you bargained for.

Last, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a shutter company installs your shutters for you, they’ll almost always guarantee the job with a warranty. However if something goes wrong when you DIY, you’re not going to be covered for damage to your windows or the shutters.

DIY Shutters – Are They Worth It?

Doing a shutter installation on your own can save you some cash if it’s all done correctly. But it’s worthwhile to know what all can go wrong at any step in the process, and how that can cost you all the money you could have saved. For a professional installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Oklahoma City by calling 405-300-4664.