Winterizing A Fort Lauderdale Home: Get New Windows Or Insulate Using Shutters?

Danielle Micich

With colder weather on the horizon in Fort Lauderdale, several homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, some of the best solutions to control your home temperature are to put in new windows, or to get insulating indoor shutters.

Fort Lauderdale foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

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

Comparing the Price of New Windows vs. Installing Shutters

Before speaking with a window installer in Fort Lauderdale, many homeowners lowball the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a standard FL home, installing new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost more than $30,000 off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a whole new home! Of course, brand-new windows can increase the resale value of your house, but it’s still a hefty price tag.

Conversely, getting indoor shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent interior shutters are more pronounced than semi-new windows during a walkthrough or open house.

Which is the Better Insulator: New Windows or Indoor Shutters?

Your windows need to offer effective temperature control, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments designed to insulate? Even if you pay extra for three-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, that insulation has nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Insulating Shutters

Bear in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to finish your winterization projects before winter arrives in Fort Lauderdale. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors can sometimes be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By that point, you may 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 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 from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, the job could also require approval from your local zoning office as well.

Fort Lauderdale shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and installing new ones can make a big mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’re sure to get a lot of dust and debris all over your house. A shutter install job by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every established contractor will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty does and does not cover, a decade or two might seem a little short. Conversely, Polywood interior shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the shutters.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with new windows or with interior shutters are fairly stark:

Product New Windows Installing Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically less than $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes several days to put in several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are done within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape May require HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Energy Efficiency  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. Can block up to 50% of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to make the decision on how you want to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Fort Lauderdale today at 561-440-8535 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.