Orlando Home Winterizing: Buy New Windows Or Reinforce Using Shutters?

Todd Hansen

With colder weather around the corner in Orlando, lots of homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Beyond putting those hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic film to your windows, a few of the most effective solutions to control your home temperature are to install new windows, or to put in insulating indoor shutters.

Orlando foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or putting in more effective window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s take a look.

Comparing the Cost of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Before talking to a window contractor in Orlando, many homeowners understate how much it costs to replace glass doors and windows. For a normal FL home, installing new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost as much as $30,000 off the bat. That’s just about a down payment for a brand-new home! Naturally, newer windows can increase the resell value of your home, but it comes with a steep price tag.

Conversely, choosing interior shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around 75% less than the price you’d pay to put in replacement windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent plantation shutters stand out a lot more than new-ish windows when potential buyers walk through.

Are New Windows or Interior Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should be effective insulators, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the bulkiest windows stack up against window treatments made to be effective insulators? Even if you pay extra for three-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While significant, that insulation has nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard glass window.

How Long It Takes To Get New Windows vs. Interior Shutters

Bear in mind that time is limited to plan your winterization projects before winter arrives in Orlando. The lead time for putting in replacement windows and glass doors may even be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By that point, you might as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, on the other hand, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that caps out at about 4 weeks, and can be even less.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows could drag on even further if you have to get approval from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, the job could also require approval from your county or city.

Orlando shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and putting in new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’re sure to get layers of dust and debris in your space. Shutter installation by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, a decade or two can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood plantation shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, installation, and finish of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with insulating shutters are fairly stark:

Product New Windows Installing Shutters
Cost More than $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically under $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to install several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are finished within just a few hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape You may need to get HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half 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 Orlando today at 407-630-7011 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.