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

Eric Ramsey

With colder 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 flimsy 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 the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a typical FL house, installing 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! Naturally, brand-new windows can add to the value of your home, but it’s still a steep price tag.

Conversely, installing indoor shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is important to you, high-quality interior shutters stand out a lot more than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows need to offer good temperature control, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you pay extra for triple-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value 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 close to 6.0 in a standard glass window.

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

Remember that the days are dwindling to finish your winterizing projects before it starts to get cold in Gainesville. The lead time for installing new 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 installing brand-new 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 local zoning office as well.

Gainesville shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can result in a huge mess. If framework needs to be redone, expect tons of dust and debris on all your furniture. A shutter install job on the other hand is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every certified window installer will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you consider what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two can seem extremely 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 an average size home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes a few 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 the same amount of energy efficiency. Usual 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 winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Gainesville today at 813-602-5966 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.