Shutters in a sitting room

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

October 30, 2017

With cold weather around the corner in Phoenix, several homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Beyond putting some awkward storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic wrap to your windows, some of the most popular solutions to better insulate your home are to put in new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Phoenix foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But what’s better, getting new windows or installing insulating window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s find out.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Installing Shutters

Prior to talking to a window installer in Phoenix, many homeowners understate how much it costs to replace windows and glass doors. For a normal Arizona house, installing new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost more than $30,000 to start. That’s basically a down payment for a brand-new home! Of course, new windows will increase the resale value of your home, but it comes with a hefty cost.

Conversely, putting in interior shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s resale value is important to you, permanent indoor shutters stand out a lot more than semi-new windows when potential buyers walk through.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should offer effective insulation, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you upgrade to triple-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While decent, those numbers have nothing on the temperature blocking powers of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a double pane window.

How Long It Takes To Get New Windows vs. Interior Shutters

Bear in mind that time is limited to plan your winterizing projects before winter arrives in Phoenix. 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 cranked up and live with the cost. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even shorter.

The lead time for installing brand-new doors or windows can be even longer if you have to get approval by your homeowners’ association. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need approval from your local zoning office as well.

Phoenix shutter installation 

On the subject of installation, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can result in a big mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris in your space. Installing shutters by comparison leaves no dust or debris, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every reliable window installer will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two might seem a little short. On the other hand, Polywood plantation shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the shutters.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with shutters are pretty blatant:

Product Window Replacements Insulating Shutters
Cost More than $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes multiple days to put in several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are done within just a few hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape May require homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Phoenix today at 480-485-7743 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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