How to Avoid Common Mistakes When DIY’ing Shutters

Yasmeen 9/11/2020 1:38:20 PM Ask Yasmeen
At The Shutter Store we strive to make the do-it-yourself journey as smooth as possible from start to finish. Our order review and confirmation process are designed to double check your order to ensure it will be a good fit, before it even goes into production.

A successful shutter journey does require our customers’ full participation, which involves following our measuring guides and asking questions whenever in doubt. Our review process is an added filter to catch any red flags or potential installation issues, and we have put together some tips below to help avoid some common DIY mistakes and ensure a successful, easy install.

Getting Started >>


Avoid Measuring Errors

Our number one tip to ensure a successful installation, is to have accurate measurements. Following our step by step measuring guides will ensure the most accurate measurements, and easiest installation.

Whether it is your first time installing shutters, or you are a professional contractor, our measuring guides are specific to our product, and contain the specs and printable templates for all our frames, as well as essential tips to avoid obstructions and measuring recess depth to make sure your slats can operate properly.

Download Measuring Guides >>

We recommend using a metal tape measure, not a laser or digital measuring device. If you measured using a laser or digital device, be sure to double check the measurements in 3 spots for the width and height, using a standard metal tape measure, marked in 1/16th inch intervals.

Measure 3 spots for the width and height of each window and write these measurements down, carefully labeling width and height so as not to reverse them. When entering your dimensions, width is entered first, and height is entered second.

For Inside mount, order using the exact smallest measurement, down to the 1/16th of an inch, and leave any deductions or hinge allowances to us. This will be discussed over the phone and confirmed in writing with you after the order is placed.

Outside mount is the most prone to mistakes, as we ask for the outside finished dimensions, including the width of the shutter frame, not the window opening dimensions. Because every window is different, we cannot make an assumption as to whether the frame will mount tight to the window opening or cover a portion or all of any existing trim surrounding the window.

For this reason, we ask that you input the finished dimensions, utilizing our frame templates, and including the width of your selected shutter frame. Be sure to focus on the pages of our measuring guide designated to the specific material you are ordering, as frame styles cannot be interchanged among different materials.

Avoid Ordering Mistakes

If you have any questions when navigating our website, or selecting your design options online, please give us a call or send us an email with a picture of the window in question, and one of our experts will gladly guide you through the process.

Contact Us >>

Step 1 of the order design page is to enter your dimensions. Keep in mind, these will be your overall width and height dimensions, not the height of each individual shutter panel or each separate tier (if choosing tier on tier style). Under Step 2, you will be able to specify your number of panels, divide point for your tiers, or mid-rail height. Step 1 will be your overall finished dimensions.

The number of panels under Step 2, refers to how many shutter panels or doors will be contained within the dimensions you entered in Step 1. For example, if you enter a width of 40” in Step 1, and select two panels, this will result in two 20” panels.


If you want to double the quantity (i.e. ordering for two 40” windows), design the first shutter completely and add it to your cart, then click “create similar” to add another shutter of the same size to your cart.

The illustration on the ordering page will change as you select certain options to give you a visual of what is being selected. However, keep in mind this is used as a general example, and will not be to scale or reflect the actual slat count for each shutter.

When choosing your shutter color or finish, if you are trying to match a specific color in your home, please be sure to request our free color samples. Each monitor display and brightness can vary, so the physical color sample is the only sure way to confirm the exact color in each material. Each material can absorb the paint differently, so be sure to request a sample in each material you are considering, to see the exact color and finish.

Free Samples >>

When choosing your frame, you can always opt for “discuss frame on our call” to get our expert’s recommendation during your order review phone call. A 4-sided frame is always recommended for any full height or tier on tier style shutter. For Z-Frames, a sill cut is offered to remove the overlapping decorative trim on the bottom frame piece, for windows with a protruding sill/ledge at the bottom.

Sill cut on a Z-Frame

A Successful Shutters Installation

Reading our measuring guides and following the tips above should really rule out any common installation issues. Just be sure to have a 2nd person to lend a hand with the install, as the shutters are 100% solid material and can be heavy for one person to balance while installing.

When assembling your frame, keep in mind that the labels on your frame sides are labelled as if you are facing the shutter installed in a window. So, when you have the frame face down for assembly, the left frame piece should be on your right-hand side and vice versa, so that they end up in the proper position when you mount the frame to your window opening.

The slats on our shutters close flat in the upwards direction, so you can refer to either the labelling on the shutter panel or check the slat closure to ensure your panels are not upside down. Whenever there are panels hinged on the left and right side of a shutter, the right will overlap the left.

The panels are also labelled with numbers or letters going in ascending order (1,2,3,4 or A,B,C,D etc) from left to right. Again, these are labelled as though you were facing the front of the shutter installed in the window opening.


Be sure to use a spirit level as you are mounting the frame. Start with one loosely drilled screw in each frame side (while your friend holds the frame in place) and check each side with a level prior to adding any additional screws and keep checking for levelness as you tighten each screw.

Follow our detailed installation guides and check out our video library for troubleshooting and maintenance. And as with any questions you have, our shutter experts are available by phone, email, or online chat to answer any questions along the way.

               Installation Guides >>

               Video Library >>

Our valued customers know that we are truly invested in your success! We do not send orders straight into production, but instead assign a shutter expert to review and confirm all details and tweak any order as needed to ensure a good fit before production begins. Whenever in doubt, please reach out to us. We are here to help!


This post was brought to you by Yasmeen, one of The Shutter Store USA's experienced shutter consultants. Get in touch today for more advice on ordering the right plantation shutters for your home. Our friendly team of shutter experts are a call, chat or email away! Upload a picture of your windows with your order or send it in to our support team for help designing your perfect shutters. We are here to help!


Shop All Styles >>