Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in New York City?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather coming soon to New York City, several homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Other than putting some awkward storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the best ways to keep your home warm in the winter are to put in fancy new windows, or to get insulating plantation shutters.

New York City foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or putting in insulating window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Price of New Windows vs. Installing Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window contractor in New York City, a lot of homeowners lowball how much it costs to replace windows and glass doors. For a typical New York house, putting in new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), may cost more than $30,000 off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a whole new house! Obviously, brand-new windows can increase the resell value of your house, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

Conversely, putting in indoor shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is a priority, high-quality indoor shutters stand out a lot more than semi-new windows when potential buyers walk through.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows should offer good temperature control, especially when the weather gets cold. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window treatments made to be effective insulators? Even if you upgrade to three-pane windows, the the best r-value you’ll get out of new windows will be between 2.0 and 3.0. While decent, that insulation has nothing on the temperature blocking powers of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party studies have shown to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

How Long It Takes To Get New Windows vs. Insulating Shutters

Bear in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to finish your winterizing projects before winter arrives in New York City. The lead time for replacing multiple doors and windows may even be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you might as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows can be even longer if you have to get approval by your homeowners’ association. If your contractors have to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need permits from your local government.

New York City shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, taking out old windows and installing new ones can cause 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 on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, a decade or two is actually pretty short. On the other hand, Polywood plantation shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, installation, and color of the shutters.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with indoor shutters are fairly stark:

Product New Windows Insulating Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically under $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to replace several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are done within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape You may need to get homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Insulation  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Typical r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all energy loss through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters New York today at 631-246-3930 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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