Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Winterize Your Home in Charlotte?

October 30, 2017

With cold weather around the corner in Charlotte, a lot of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Other than putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic film to your windows, two of the best solutions to keep your home warm in the winter are to put in new windows, or to get insulating indoor shutters.

Charlotte foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

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

Comparing the Cost of New Windows vs. Getting Shutters

Before talking to a window installer in Charlotte, a lot of homeowners lowball the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a normal North Carolina 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! Naturally, newer windows will increase the resale value of your house, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, putting in 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 brand-new windows. And if increasing your home’s resale value is a priority, high-quality interior shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

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 made to be effective insulators? Even if you shell out for triple-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 insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Insulating Shutters

Bear in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to plan 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 putting in brand-new doors or windows can sometimes be extended by even a few more weeks 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 local zoning office as well.

Charlotte shutter installation 

Moreover, taking out old windows and installing new ones can result in a big mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, expect a lot of dust and debris on all your furniture. 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 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, a decade or two 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 shutters are pretty stark:

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically under $5,000 for most Charlotte homes. 
 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 May require 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 make the call on how you want to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Charlotte today at 980-231-1116 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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