Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Get New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Salt Lake City?

October 30, 2017

With cold weather around the corner in Salt Lake City, several homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Beyond putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, some of the best solutions to keep your home warm in the winter are to install fancy new windows, or to get insulating interior shutters.

Salt Lake City foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

But what’s better, getting new windows or installing better window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s break it down.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Getting Shutters

Before speaking with a window installer in Salt Lake City, most homeowners undervalue the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a normal Utah home, putting in new glass (around 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost more than 30 grand to start. That’s almost the down payment for a whole new house! Of course, newer windows can add to the resell value of your house, but it comes with a steep price tag.

On the other hand, choosing plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is important to you, permanent interior 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 be good insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you shell out for three-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard glass window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Indoor Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to finalize your winterization projects before winter arrives in Salt Lake City. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows may even 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 caps out at about 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval from your HOA. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need approval from your county or city.

Salt Lake City shutter installation 

Moreover, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can make a huge mess. If any drywall work needs done, expect a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. A shutter install job by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any certified remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood interior shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with indoor shutters are fairly stark:

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically less than $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 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. None!
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all energy loss from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to make the call on how you want to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Salt Lake City today at 801-515-3598 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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