Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Buy New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Boston?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather coming soon to Boston, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting those hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic film to your windows, a few of the most effective solutions to better insulate your home are to install brand-new windows, or to install insulating plantation shutters.

Boston foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

But which one is right for your home, getting new windows or installing more effective window treatments – particularly when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

The Price of New Windows vs. Getting Shutters

Before talking to a window installer in Boston, a lot of homeowners lowball how much it costs to replace windows and glass doors. For a normal Massachusetts house, installing new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost more than $30,000 to start. That’s just about the down payment for a brand-new home! Naturally, newer windows will add to the value of your home, but it’s still a steep price tag.

Conversely, installing plantation shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a lot less – usually around a quarter of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if increasing your home’s resale value is a priority, permanent indoor shutters are more pronounced than semi-new windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows should offer effective temperature control, particularly when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you shell out for three-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value between 2.0 and 3.0. While decent, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have concluded to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Plantation Shutters

Remember that there isn’t a whole lot of time to finalize your winterizing projects before winter arrives in Boston. The lead time for installing new windows and glass doors may even be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you may as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, on the other hand, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even less.

The lead time for installing brand-new doors or windows could drag on even further 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, the job could also require approval from your local zoning office as well.

Boston shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a huge mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, expect layers of dust and debris in those rooms. A shutter install job on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in less than half the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every reputable and insured window installer will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years can seem extremely short. Conversely, Polywood plantation shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and finish of the product.

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

Product Window Replacements Interior Shutters
Cost Over $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually 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 several days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are completed within just a few hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape You may need to get homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Usual r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to half of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Boston today at 781-352-2205 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.
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