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

Blake Jarman

With colder weather on the horizon in Raleigh, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic film to your windows, some of the most effective ways to control your home temperature are to put in new windows, or to get insulating plantation shutters.

Raleigh foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, getting new windows or putting in more effective window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Price of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Before consulting a window installer in Raleigh, most homeowners lowball the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a standard North Carolina home, getting new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), may cost more than 30 grand off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a brand-new house! Naturally, brand-new windows can increase the resell value of your house, but it’s still a hefty price tag.

On the other hand, putting in plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around three quarters less than the price you’d pay to put in new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is important to you, high-quality indoor shutters are more pronounced than semi-new windows during a walkthrough or open house.

Which is the Better Insulator: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to be effective insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window coverings designed to insulate? Even if you pay extra for triple-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While significant, that insulation has nothing on the temperature control of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent tests have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard glass window.

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

Remember that the days are dwindling to finish your winterizing projects before it starts to get cold in Raleigh. The lead time for installing new doors and windows can sometimes be around 10 weeks or so. By then, you might 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, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even shorter.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows could 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, you might also need permits from your local government.

Raleigh shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can make a big mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris all over your house. A shutter install job by comparison is a no mess job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty does and does not cover, two decades can seem extremely short. Conversely, Polywood interior shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and color of the product.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with shutters are fairly stark:

Product Window Replacements Insulating Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to replace several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are finished within just a couple of 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. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all energy loss through 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 Raleigh today at 919-887-9198 and we’ll give you a free in-home window design consultation.