Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Buy New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Winterize Your Home in Indianapolis?

October 30, 2017

With cold weather around the corner in Indianapolis, several homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting those hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic film to your windows, some of the most effective ways to keep your home warm in the winter are to install new windows, or to install insulating indoor shutters.

Indianapolis foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

But what’s better, getting new windows or putting in more effective window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window installer in Indianapolis, most homeowners understate how much it costs to replace glass doors and windows. For a normal Indiana house, getting new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s basically a down payment for a whole new home! Obviously, newer windows can add to the resale value of your home, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

On the other hand, putting in indoor shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent interior shutters catch the eye a lot easier than new-ish windows during a walkthrough or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should be effective insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window coverings built specifically for insulation? Even if you shell out for triple-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While significant, those numbers have nothing on the temperature control of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Plantation Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to finalize your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into Indianapolis. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows can sometimes be be as much as 10 weeks. By that point, 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 by your homeowners’ association. If your contractors have to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need permits from your local zoning office as well.

Indianapolis shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can result in a huge mess. If any drywall work needs done, expect layers of dust and debris in your space. A shutter install job on the other hand is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every certified window installer will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, two decades can seem extremely short. Conversely, Polywood faux wood shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and finish of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with new windows or with interior shutters are pretty stark:

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes several days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of 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. None!
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to 50% of all energy loss 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 Indianapolis today at 317-558-9066 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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