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

Kevin McCormack

With winter weather coming soon to Jacksonville, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Beyond putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic film to your windows, some of the best solutions to control your home temperature are to put in new windows, or to get insulating plantation shutters.

Jacksonville foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

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

The Price of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Prior to talking to a window contractor in Jacksonville, a lot of homeowners understate the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a typical FL home, installing new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), could cost as much as $30,000 to start. That’s almost the down payment for a brand-new house! Of course, new windows will increase the resale value of your home, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

Conversely, choosing interior shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around a quarter of the cost of installing brand-new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent interior shutters are more noticeable than new-ish windows during a tour or open house.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to be effective insulators, especially when the weather gets cold. 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 highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While decent, that insulation has nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Interior Shutters

Remember that you don’t have the luxury of time to finish your winterization projects before the temperature starts falling in Jacksonville. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors may even be be as much as 10 weeks. By then, you might 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 replacing doors or windows can be even longer if you have to get approval by your homeowners’ association. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your walls or ceiling, the job could also require permits from your county or city.

Jacksonville shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and putting in new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. Shutter installation by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every reputable and insured 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, two decades can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood plantation shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting 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 blatant:

Product New Windows Interior Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually under $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 several days to put in several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are done within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape You may need to get HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Normal r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all heat loss & gain from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to make the decision on how you want to winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Jacksonville today at 904-289-1663 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.