Shutters in a sitting room

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

October 30, 2017

With colder weather on the horizon in New Brunswick, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the best ways to better insulate your home are to install fancy new windows, or to install insulating plantation shutters.

New Brunswick foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But what’s better, replacing your windows or putting in more effective window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s break it down.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Prior to talking to a window installer in New Brunswick, many homeowners lowball the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a typical NJ home, getting new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s almost a down payment for a brand-new home! Obviously, new windows will increase the resale value of your home, but it’s still a steep cost.

On the other hand, putting in indoor shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a lot less – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing replacement windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent plantation shutters stand out a lot more than semi-new windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should be good insulators, especially when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window coverings designed to insulate? 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 significant, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a double pane window.

How Long It Takes To Get Window Replacements vs. Insulating Shutters

Keep in mind that time is limited to finish your winterizing projects before the temperature starts falling in New Brunswick. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors may even be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. 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 almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even less.

The lead time for putting in brand-new 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.

New Brunswick shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and putting in new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris all over your house. A shutter install job by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Just about any reliable remodeler will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood plantation shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, installation, and finish of the shutters.

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

Product New Windows Installing Shutters
Cost More than $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to put in several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are finished within just a few hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape You may need to get HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get the same amount of 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 decision on how you want to winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters New Brunswick today at 732-301-6168 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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