Shutters in a sitting room

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

October 30, 2017

With cold weather coming soon to San Antonio, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the most effective solutions to keep your home warm in the winter are to install new windows, or to put in insulating interior shutters.

San Antonio foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, getting new 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 talking to a window contractor in San Antonio, most homeowners understate the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a normal Texas house, installing new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), may cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s basically a down payment for a brand-new home! Obviously, brand-new windows can increase the resell value of your home, but it comes with a hefty cost.

On the other hand, choosing plantation shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing replacement windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is important to you, high-quality plantation shutters catch the eye a lot easier than new-ish windows during a tour or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should offer good temperature control, especially when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window coverings designed to insulate? Even if you upgrade to three-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While decent, that insulation has nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party studies have shown to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Interior Shutters

Keep in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to finalize your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into San Antonio. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows can sometimes be around 10 weeks or so. By then, you may as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, on the other hand, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that caps out at about 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need permits from your local government.

San Antonio shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a fairly large mess. If any drywall work needs done, expect tons of dust and debris in those rooms. Installing shutters by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every reputable and insured remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the shutters.

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

Product Window Replacements Interior Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically under $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes a few days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Usual r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all energy loss from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters San Antonio today at 210-876-0377 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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