Shutters in a sitting room

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

October 30, 2017

With winter weather coming soon to Tampa, several homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Beyond putting those awkward storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic film to your windows, a few of the most popular solutions to keep your home warm in the winter are to install new windows, or to put in insulating indoor shutters.

Tampa foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

But which one is right for your home, getting new windows or installing better window treatments – particularly when you need to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Prior to consulting a window contractor in Tampa, most homeowners severely underestimate how much it costs to replace windows and glass doors. For a normal Florida home, installing new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), may cost as much as $30,000 off the bat. That’s just about a down payment for a brand-new house! Naturally, newer windows will add to the resale value of your house, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, getting interior shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is a priority, high-quality plantation shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows need to offer good insulation, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window coverings designed to insulate? 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® plantation shutters, which independent tests have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Insulating Shutters

Bear in mind that the days are dwindling to finish your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into Tampa. The lead time for installing new doors and windows may even be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By that point, you may as well go the season with your furnace on at all times and eat the cost. Shutters, on the other hand, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

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 walls or ceiling, you might also need permits from your local government.

Tampa shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, removing windows and putting in new ones can cause a big mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris in those rooms. Installing shutters 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 established remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, a decade or two can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and color of the shutters.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with shutters are fairly blatant:

Product Window Replacements Plantation Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically under $5,000 for most Tampa homes. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes a few days to put in several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are done within just a few hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Usual 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 winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Tampa today at 813-580-7288 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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