Houston Home Winterizing: Install New Windows Or Reinforce With Shutters?

Cory Cryer

With winter weather on the horizon in Houston, many homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting those hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic film to your windows, two of the most popular ways to better insulate your home are to install brand-new windows, or to install insulating indoor shutters.

Houston foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

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

Comparing the Cost of Window Replacements vs. Putting in Shutters

Before speaking with a window installer in Houston, most homeowners understate the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a typical TX home, putting in new glass (around 8 windows and 2 doors), could cost as much as $30,000 to start. That’s basically the down payment for a whole new house! Obviously, brand-new windows will increase the value of your house, but it’s still a hefty cost.

Conversely, choosing indoor shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, permanent 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 need to offer effective insulation, particularly when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window coverings designed to insulate? Even if you upgrade to three-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 insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard glass window.

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

Keep in mind that the days are dwindling to finish your winterizing projects before it starts to get cold in Houston. The lead time for installing new doors and windows could be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you might as well go the rest of the winter with your furnace on at all times and deal with the energy bills. Shutters, conversely, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval by your homeowners’ association. If your contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, the job could also require approval from your local government.

Houston shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can make a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, expect a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. Installing shutters by comparison is a no mess job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you examine what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years might seem a little short. On the other hand, Polywood interior shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and finish of the product.

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

Product Window Replacements Plantation Shutters
Price More than $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes several days to put in several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape You may need to get homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Standard 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 make the decision on how you want to winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Houston today at 713-853-9629 and we’ll give you a free in-home window design consultation.