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

Mike Horn

With winter weather on the horizon in New Brunswick, many homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the most effective 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. Getting Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window installer in New Brunswick, many homeowners lowball the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a typical NJ home, installing 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! Naturally, new windows will increase the resale value of your home, but it’s still a steep cost.

On the other hand, putting in plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around three quarters 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 during a walkthrough or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should be good insulators, especially when the weather gets cold. 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 highest r-value new windows can offer is 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 installing new windows and glass doors may even be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By then, you may as well go the rest of the winter with your furnace on at all times and deal with the energy bills. Shutters, on the other hand, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 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 make a fairly large mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris all over your house. A shutter install job by comparison is a precise, clean 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, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years is actually pretty 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 most New Brunswick homes. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to put in several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are done within just a few hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape May require HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Insulation  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 decision on how you want to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters New Brunswick today at 732-301-6168 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.