Many of us now spend a great deal of time ‘doing it ourselves’ to make improvements to our home and gardens. Not only does it provide hours of satisfaction for many, but also cuts the cost considerably of having others in to do the work for us, saving money and also cutting down on the intrusion into our homes of strangers.
rug or drapes – source
Many in the window shutter industry would have us believe that it’s a specialist job that can only be done by those who are experienced or trained without considering coordinating rugs and curtains. As interior window shutters are not a cheap option, although the initial outlay is balanced by their durability and timelessness, DIY shutters may feel like a risk. However, there are suppliers who are making it possible for anyone to have a product that is growing in popularity at an affordable price by doing it themselves. And yes, it really is that easy!
How do I choose a product?
It is worth talking to the person you wish to buy from, find out why they selected that particular range of DIY shutters. While your budget may affect the choice, as there are MDF shutters as well as more expensive wooden products available, you do get what you pay for. It is worth considering what is important for you, and remembering that the cheapest supplier or product may not necessarily be the best for you.
i need help selecting an area rug to complement my curtains – source
If it’s a big window or a doorway you will need to opt for something lightweight and therefore may need to opt for a wooden shutter, although for the majority of windows and homes an MDF shutter will be suitable.
For kitchens and bathrooms it is preferable to choose a plastic (ABS) or MDF shutter as these will perform best in a room where there will be steam or water, as they are less likely to warp and have a plastic content in their finish for water-resistance while coordinating rugs and curtains.
Wooden DIY shutters do have the largest range of options, for example color and stain choice, and tend to have a slightly nicer finish. Some woods will have a grain running through them so that it is more obvious what they are made of, while others will have a much smoother finish.
For your ease it is worth finding a company who provide DIY shutters that are essentially fully made, with hinges already attached and louvers fitted, so that all you need to do is place the shutters in the frame and screw them into the window. Check what will arrive, will you be sent everything you need to fit the shutters, for example screws and hinge pins.
How do I choose who to buy from?
Find a DIY shutter specialist. There are many companies who will supply shutters, but ensure that there is someone with experience and technical knowledge willing to discuss your options and advise you how to measure and fit. It’s important not just to speak to a salesman, but to actually discuss your requirements with someone who has experience of measuring and fitting a range of windows and can help you anticipate anything that may affect your shutters. You should always ask what experience the person has of measuring and fitting shutters, and how long the company has been running. If they are unwilling to spend time helping you then it may be better to look elsewhere.
Some companies offer a photo upload service, which enables you to send photos of your windows for an expert to view so they can provide you with bespoke advice. This is the ideal way to get expert help, advice and guidance in measuring to ensure your shutters fit perfectly and to give you confidence in ordering.
A company offering a bespoke on-line ordering system and advice will usually specialize in DIY shutters, and be able to offer a complete service including an option for an easy fit shutter kit to make DIY shutters simple for you.
Read the company’s customer testimonials, as this can be an excellent source of information guiding you as to what you can expect. Specialist DIY shutter companies offer genuine testimonials and photos that will reflect how easy it is to fit your own plantation shutters and provide you with confidence in your choice.
Is measuring and fitting really that simple?
Essentially to successfully order DIY shutters there are only a few measurements that are required for each window. Obviously the complexity of your windows may affect how much time and effort measuring can take, but usually this is straight forward and requires the smallest measurements within your window recess.
With the help and guidance of a DIY expert it’s easy to do. Ask the companies you approach how they can help you get this right, some companies can provide you with pictures indicating where to measure and will spend time advising you over the phone.
If you opt for a DIY shutter that essentially comes readymade, fitting is very straight forward. If you have double glazed windows you may need to consider battens of wood to help space the shutters away from window handles, but for sash windows the shutters can be screwed directly onto the windows themselves.
What are the benefits of DIY shutters?
There are a number of benefits to having DIY shutters. Of course probably the greatest benefit to doing it yourself will be the reduced cost, in some cases by up to 50% compared to fitted shutters. It is also more convenient as it means there is no intrusion into your home by sales people, or fitters so you can measure and fit when it suits you best.
Some companies offer DIY shutters online while also coordinating rugs and curtains, and this can be the most convenient way to order as doesn’t tie you into opening hours but allows you to gather information and order at a time to suit you.
Finally there is always a great satisfaction for many in being able to tell admirers of your shutters that you did it yourself!