Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Buy New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Clearwater?

October 30, 2017

With colder weather on the horizon in Clearwater, lots of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting some awkward storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic film to your windows, a few of the best ways to better insulate your home are to put in new windows, or to put in insulating interior shutters.

Clearwater foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or installing better window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s find out.

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Putting in Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window contractor in Clearwater, a lot of homeowners undervalue the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a standard Florida home, installing new glass (approximately 2 doors and 8 windows), may cost as much as 30 grand off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a brand-new house! Of course, brand-new windows can add to the value of your house, but it comes with a steep price tag.

Conversely, choosing plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, high-quality interior shutters catch the eye a lot easier than new-ish windows when potential buyers walk through.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should offer effective insulation, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the bulkiest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you upgrade to three-pane windows, the the best r-value you’ll get out of new windows will be between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Insulating Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to finalize your winterization projects before winter arrives in Clearwater. The lead time for installing new doors and windows can sometimes be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By that point, you might as well go the rest of the winter with your furnace cranked up and eat the cost. Shutters, on the other hand, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even less.

The lead time for installing brand-new doors or windows could drag on even further if you have to get approval by your homeowners’ association. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your walls or ceiling, the job could also require permits from your county or city.

Clearwater shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a big mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris on all your furniture. A shutter install job by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every certified contractor will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood plantation shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and color of the shutters.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with insulating shutters are pretty blatant:

Product New Windows Indoor Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually under $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to install several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are finished within just a few hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to half of all energy loss from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to make the call on how you want to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Clearwater today at 813-580-7288 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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