Home Winterization in Atlanta: Replace Windows Or Insulate Using Plantation Shutters?10/30/2017Dan Taylor With winter weather on the horizon in Atlanta, several homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on temporary 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 install insulating indoor shutters. But what’s better, replacing your windows or putting in better window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s find out. Comparing the Price of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters Before speaking with a window contractor in Atlanta, many homeowners lowball the price tag of windows and glass doors. For a typical Georgia house, installing new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s just about the down payment for a whole new house! Naturally, newer windows will add to the value of your home, but it’s still a hefty price tag. On the other hand, installing interior shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around a quarter of the cost of installing replacement windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, permanent interior shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows when potential buyers walk through. Are New Windows or Interior Shutters Better At Insulating? Your windows should offer effective temperature control, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the bulkiest windows stack up against window coverings built specifically for insulation? Even if you upgrade to triple-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, those numbers have nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party tests 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. Plantation Shutters Keep in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to plan your winterizing projects before the temperature starts falling in Atlanta. The lead time for putting in replacement doors and windows could be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you may as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even less. The lead time for installing brand-new doors or windows can be even longer if you need 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 permits from your local government. On that note, removing windows and putting in new ones can result in a huge mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’re sure to get a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. Shutter installation by comparison leaves no dust or debris, and will be done in a fraction of the time. Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters Just about any certified window installer will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two is actually pretty short. On the other hand, Polywood interior shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the shutters. In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with insulating shutters are pretty stark: Product New Windows Interior Shutters Price 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 Install Time Several hours, sometimes multiple days to put in several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are completed within just a few hours, without any debris or dust. Red tape May require homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None! Insulation You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Typical 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 make the call on how you want to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Atlanta today at 404-962-8517 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.