Winterizing A Charlotte Home: Install New Windows Or Insulate With Shutters?

Neil Blackwelder

With cold weather coming soon to Charlotte, several homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic film to your windows, two of the best solutions to control your home temperature are to put in new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Charlotte foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or installing insulating window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

Comparing the Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Before speaking with a window installer in Charlotte, a lot of homeowners lowball the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a normal NC house, putting in new glass (approximately 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost more than $30,000 off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a whole new home! Obviously, new windows will increase the resale value of your house, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, installing indoor shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in new windows. And if increasing your home’s resale value is a priority, high-quality interior shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows during a tour or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should be effective insulators, especially when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments built specifically for insulation? 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 significant, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard glass window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Insulating Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to finalize your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into Charlotte. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors may even be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you might as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and can be even less.

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 walls or ceiling, you might also need approval from your county or city.

Charlotte shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, taking out old windows and installing new ones can make a big mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. Installing shutters 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 reliable remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you examine what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood plantation shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, installation, and color of the product.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with indoor shutters are pretty stark:

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically under $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to put in several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are done within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape You may need to get HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block 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 Charlotte today at 980-231-1116 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.