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

October 30, 2017

With winter weather coming soon to 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, some of the most effective solutions to keep your home warm in the winter are to install brand-new windows, or to put in insulating interior 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 find out.

Comparing the Cost of Window Replacements vs. Putting in Shutters

Before speaking with a window contractor in Orlando, many homeowners severely underestimate how much it costs to replace glass doors and windows. For a standard Florida home, installing new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost as much as $30,000 off the bat. That’s almost a down payment for a brand-new home! Obviously, new 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 three quarters 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 are more noticeable than new-ish windows when potential buyers walk through.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows should be effective insulators, particularly when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window treatments made to be effective insulators? Even if you shell out for three-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 energy efficiency of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a standard pane window.

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

Remember that time is limited to finalize your winterization projects before it starts to get cold 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 by your homeowners’ association. 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. Installing shutters on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every established remodeler will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years is actually pretty 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 Plantation 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
Install Time Several hours, sometimes a few days to install several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are done 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
 Temperature Control  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. 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 winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Orlando today at 407-630-7011 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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