Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Gainesville?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather on the horizon in Gainesville, several homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting those hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic wrap to your windows, two of the most effective ways to keep your home warm in the winter are to put in fancy new windows, or to put in insulating indoor shutters.

Gainesville foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But what’s better, replacing your windows or installing more effective window treatments – particularly when you want to winterize? Let’s take a look.

Comparing the Cost of New Windows vs. Installing Shutters

Before talking to a window installer in Gainesville, a lot of homeowners undervalue how much it costs to replace glass doors and windows. For a typical Florida house, getting new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost as much as 30 grand off the bat. That’s almost a down payment for a whole new home! Obviously, brand-new windows can add to the value of your home, but it’s still a steep price tag.

Conversely, installing plantation shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a lot less – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, high-quality interior shutters are more noticeable than new-ish windows during a tour or open house.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows need to be good insulators, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window coverings built specifically for insulation? Even if you pay extra for triple-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, that insulation has nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent tests have shown to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard glass window.

How Long It Takes To Get Window Replacements vs. Interior Shutters

Bear in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to finish your winterizing projects before winter arrives in Gainesville. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors can sometimes be be as much as 10 weeks. By then, you might as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows can be even longer if you need approval from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, you might also need permits from your county or city.

Gainesville shutter installation 

On that note, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can make a huge mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris on all your furniture. A shutter install job on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established window installer will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two is actually pretty short. On the other hand, Polywood indoor shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and finish of the product.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with interior shutters are fairly stark:

Product Window Replacements Interior Shutters
Cost More than $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically less than $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to install several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Gainesville today at 813-602-5966 and we’ll give you a free in-home window design consultation.
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