Are DIY Shutters Hard to Do?

Darik Neilson

Doing home improvement projects by yourself in Las Vegas is a lot easier than it used to be. Since you have a lot of resources easily available to walk you through every step, many once-difficult projects are now very doable.

There are outliers, though – jobs that may be unwieldy, time-consuming, or just too hard to do by yourself. One job that might belong to that category is putting in DIY plantation shutters.

Las Vegas DIY shutters in living room. 

Below are just a few of the problems that may come up when you try to put in shutters as a DIY job.

Measuring Your Windows

Though it can seem easy on the surface, getting the exact window measurements for plantation shutters can be somewhat 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 variation in windows that can impact how you need to measure.

Do you know if your shutters need to be on an outside or inside mount? What’s the thickness of the shutter frame you’re thinking about and how far into the window opening will it need to sit? What style of frame is best for tilt-in windows, crank windows or sliding windows?

Each of these can change which type of shutters and frame are best for you. That also changes how you 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 ways shutter vary, and if you’re on your own, it’s easy to purchase the wrong product. Here are a few easy to make mistakes if you’re a DIYer:

  • Getting shutters made of the wrong material. For example, buying real wood shutters for a space in your home that needs to have a moisture-proof window treatment.

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

  • Getting the wrong type of shutter frame, especially for specialty windows like in sidelight windows.

When talking to DIYers, we’ve found there might be some added confusion with shutter terminology. Talking to a shutter company helps avoid any confusion, so you get exactly what you need.

DIY Shutter Installation

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

First off, shutter installation is a precise procedure, and a small mistake in measuring at the start or in hanging a bracket can throw a wrench in the whole project. 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 exhausting and sometimes hazardous.

Shutter installation in Las Vegas bedroom. 

The majority of shutter DIYers are unaware that it’s fairly common for shutters to not fit the window frame precisely. This is mainly due to the fact that few window frames are a perfect square. Installing the shutter flush to one edge of the window 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 doing it alone a caulking job could be a little too much.

Finally, when you do a shutter installation yourself, you don’t have anything to fall back on. If a professional installer puts in your shutters for you, they’ll typically guarantee the job with a warranty. However if something goes awry when you try to install yourself, you’re not likely to be covered for damage to the shutters or any other part of your house.

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 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 flawless installation and the ability to rest easy, talk with a window design pro at Sunburst Shutters Las Vegas by calling 702-850-6619.