Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Sacramento?

October 30, 2017

With cold weather on the horizon in Sacramento, lots of homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Beyond putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the best solutions to better insulate your home are to install fancy new windows, or to get insulating interior shutters.

Sacramento foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or putting in better window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s break it down.

The Price of New Windows vs. Getting Shutters

Prior to consulting a window contractor in Sacramento, many homeowners lowball the price tag of windows and glass doors. For a standard California home, putting in new glass (in the neighborhood of 8 windows and 2 doors), could cost more than 30 grand off the bat. That’s almost a down payment for a whole new house! Obviously, newer windows will add to the resell value of your house, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, choosing interior shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around three quarters less than the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, permanent plantation shutters stand out a lot more than new-ish windows when potential buyers walk through.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows need to be good insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you pay extra for three-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, that insulation has nothing on the temperature control of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party studies have shown to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Insulating Shutters

Keep in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to finish your winterizing projects before winter arrives in Sacramento. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows may even be be as much as 10 weeks. By then, you might as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, conversely, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows can sometimes be extended by even a few more weeks if you need approval from your HOA. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, the job could also require permits from your local zoning office as well.

Sacramento shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a big mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris all over your house. Shutter installation on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any reputable and insured remodeler will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty does and does not cover, a decade or two can seem extremely short. Conversely, Polywood interior shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and color of the product.

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

Product New Windows Indoor Shutters
Cost Over $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically less than $5,000 for most Sacramento homes. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes multiple days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are finished within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape May require HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Normal r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to 50% 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 prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Sacramento today at 916-250-0758 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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