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

Antonio Meza

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 best solutions to control your home temperature are to install brand-new windows, or to put in insulating indoor 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 take a look.

Comparing the Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Before speaking with a window contractor in San Antonio, most homeowners understate the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a normal TX house, getting new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s basically a down payment for a brand-new home! Naturally, brand-new windows can increase the 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 three quarters 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 when potential buyers walk through.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should be good insulators, especially when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window coverings designed to insulate? 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 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. Indoor Shutters

Keep in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to plan your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into San Antonio. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows could be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By then, you may as well go the rest of the winter with your furnace cranked up and eat the cost. 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 replacing doors or windows can be even longer 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 

Speaking of the installation, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a fairly large mess. If any drywall work needs done, expect a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. Shutter installation by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every reputable and insured contractor will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you consider what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years can seem extremely 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 new windows or with shutters are pretty blatant:

Product Window Replacements Indoor Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically under $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to install several windows, can cause 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!
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Typical 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 give you a free in-home window design consultation.