Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Get New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Atlanta?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather on the horizon in Atlanta, a lot of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting some awkward storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic film to your windows, a few of the best ways to control your home temperature are to put in brand-new windows, or to get insulating indoor shutters.

Atlanta foyer with glass doors and plantation 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 talking to a window contractor in Atlanta, most homeowners lowball the price tag of windows and glass doors. For a typical Georgia house, getting 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! Obviously, newer windows will add to the value of your home, but it’s still a hefty price tag.

On the other hand, putting in interior shutters on windows and glass 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 indoor shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows should be effective insulators, particularly when the weather turns nasty. 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 significant, 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 that almost never goes over 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.

Atlanta shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, removing windows and putting in new ones can result in a huge mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, you’re sure to get tons of dust and debris in those rooms. Installing shutters by comparison leaves no dust or debris, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any established window installer will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, a decade or two can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood 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 Indoor Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually less than $5,000 for most Atlanta homes. 
 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 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 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 give you a free in-home window design consultation.
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