Choosing Between Plantation Shutters or New Windows to Winterize Your Home in Destin

Eric Ramsey

With winter weather around the corner in Destin, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Beyond putting those old storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic film to your windows, two of the most effective solutions to control your home temperature are to put in fancy new windows, or to get insulating interior shutters.

Destin foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

But what’s better, replacing your windows or installing better window treatments – particularly when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

Comparing the Cost of New Windows vs. Installing Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window contractor in Destin, many homeowners understate the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a typical Florida house, putting in new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost more than 30 grand off the bat. That’s basically a down payment for a brand-new home! Of course, new windows will increase the resell value of your home, but it’s still a hefty cost.

Conversely, choosing indoor shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a lot less – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is a priority, high-quality indoor shutters are more noticeable than semi-new windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows should offer effective temperature control, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you upgrade to 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, those numbers have nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Plantation Shutters

Bear in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to plan your winterizing projects before the temperature starts falling in Destin. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors can sometimes be be as much as 10 weeks. By that point, you may 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 generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows can sometimes be extended by even a few more weeks 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 local government.

Destin shutter installation 

On the subject of installation, taking out old windows and installing new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris in those rooms. Shutter installation by comparison is a no mess job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every reliable remodeler will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, two decades is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood indoor shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and finish of the product.

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

Product Window Replacements Plantation Shutters
Price Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually under $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are finished within just a few hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape May require HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Normal r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to half of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to make the decision on how you want to winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Destin today at 850-203-0419 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.