Should You Get New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Winterize Your Home in Kingsport?

Jacob Hayes

With cold weather on the horizon in Kingsport, lots of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic film to your windows, a few of the most effective ways to keep your home warm in the winter are to put in brand-new windows, or to put in insulating indoor shutters.

Kingsport foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

But what’s better, replacing your windows or putting in better window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Cost of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Prior to talking to a window installer in Kingsport, a lot of homeowners undervalue the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a normal TN house, putting in new glass (in the neighborhood of 8 windows and 2 doors), may cost as much as 30 grand off the bat. That’s almost the down payment for a brand-new house! Obviously, new windows can increase the value of your house, but it’s still a steep cost.

Conversely, putting in plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around a quarter of the price you’d pay to put in new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is a priority, high-quality indoor shutters stand out a lot more than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to be good insulators, especially when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you upgrade to 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 insulating features of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party studies have concluded to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Indoor Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to finalize your winterization projects before winter arrives in Kingsport. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows can sometimes be be as much as 10 weeks. By that point, you might as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, conversely, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, the job could also require permits from your county or city.

Kingsport shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a big mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris in those rooms. A shutter install job by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood indoor shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and color of the product.

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

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost More than $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically under $5,000 for the average 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 result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape May require homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks 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 Kingsport today at 276-685-5343 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.